Last night I was talking to my best friend and realized that I was shaking. We were laughing about how measurements need to be done correctly, how tired she was, and you know, what friends talk about. Then it hit me, I was shaking because I was afraid.
“Hey can I say something serious for a sec?” I asked.
“Yes you may,” she replied.
And then I word vomited on her.
Up until that moment in time I didn’t realize I was still ashamed that I had depression. Up until that moment in time I didn’t realize I felt damaged. Up until that moment I didn’t know I was afraid.
I explained to her that I wasn’t do well. Although, I’m sure she already knew. I explained that I was afraid to see her because I was afraid of her seeing how badly I was struggling with my depression. I told her it was bad and I apologized.
Her response was, “Depression can’t stick around when the sun is out and I’m bringing the sun.”
She didn’t know it but I cried then. Not only because of her response but because after all this time, after holding it in, after refusing to face it, all of my feelings about depression came to the surface. All the noise that I was hearing from society about people with depression came spilling over. I had to stay busy or I would have been a blubbering mess. So I told my husband I needed to finish some housework before I could actually sleep.
You see, while I talk about my depression on my blog, I am a great actress. I have learned how to be a highly functional adult when I am forced to be a part of society. Unless you read my blog you wouldn’t know that I deal with such a debilitating health issue. Some people say that I’m a fighter. Maybe I am. But, really, I have walls built so high up that not many people can scale it to get to the other side. All it takes is a charismatic smile to hide the broken girl so no one will notice how very fragile you are.
Look, I know a lot of times society won’t see depression as an illness. I get that. I can’t change the minds of people who don’t want to see it as such. Unless you have dealt with depression or know someone who has then the phrases, “Well, that’s depressing!” or “How depressing!” means nothing but, “Well, that made me a little sad. Now to carry on with my day.”
When people see depression they throw words at the depressed person:
“You’re so dramatic.”
“You’re so weak.”
“You just need to get out more.”
All of this only makes those who suffer with depression feel worse. We feel like we are high contagious and that something is seriously wrong with us. We feel isolated. Like we are carrying around the Black Plaque. Society’s view on depression makes us cower to a corner, forces us to stay silent in fear that we won’t be stigmatized as crazy.
Here’s what I think. I think depression should be a more educated and talked about topic. I will be the first to tell you, I NEED HELP. I’m not proud that I have depression. But, after last night, I sure as hell will not allow anyone to tell me I’m a depression leper. I can only take a day at a time. An hour at a time. A step at a time. Getting over the obstacle of talking to her and letting her know I was afraid that she would see me in a state that only my husband has seen me broke a barrier. The elephant that was sitting on my chest stood up. The load on my shoulder was removed.
Depression isn’t easy to snap out of. Boy, I wish it was. But, I’m going to do my best to find a way to educate people about depression. Educate about how depression can make you feel things, say things, do things that aren’t you. Educate about how depression makes you want to be home, in a safe haven, with a security blanket to feel normal. Educate about how depression doesn’t only hurt the depressed but those they care about.
Depression is a nightmare. And I think it is time for society to wake up. xoxo