I have depression.
I am not embarrassed to tell you that. I am sick.
Yes, it’s all in my head. But that’s one place I cannot run from, and have nowhere to hide. It is as real as any sickness you can name. Telling me to ‘get over it’ and cheer up does nothing. Trying to compare me to people with physical illness, doesn’t help.
You tell me I’m weak. But I’m not.
I’m not sad. Depression isn’t a sadness. I am nothing. I am hopeless. Sometimes I can’t think, other times all I can do is think about things I’d rather not. I think about everything that has gone wrong, everything that is yet to go wrong.
I wake up, although sometimes I haven’t slept at all. The idea of living a day in the world hurts. I do not want to face reality. I want to stay in my bed, in a cocoon and pretend I am safe in here. I want to sleep for years, dreaming of a life in which I am truly happy. I want to stay here, and cry out the madness in my head.
But, I still get up.
I want to run away from everyone. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want you to ask how I’m doing because I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t want you to worry about me. I still care, but I don’t want to care. The very idea of falling in love, or making friends scares me. What if you leave? What if you don’t understand? What if you hurt me again? I think about every possibility that has a terrible ending. And I live through them, again and again.
But, I still talk.
I want to stop. I don’t want to study, or work. Not because I’m lazy. Not because I don’t have dreams, trust me I do. Because I don’t think they’re real. I don’t think I can do it, and I lack the motivation to try. I will tell myself to get up, I will tell myself I will smile and laugh and have a productive day. But it’s hard to be motivated when you can’t feel a thing.
But, I’m still trying.
I want to enjoy myself. I want to go a party, I want to laugh and smile and tell jokes with my friends. I want to kiss people and love people, and lose myself in someones eyes. I want to have dinner with my family and tell stories about my day. But I can’t face them. I can’t paint a smile on my face, because something won’t let me. I can’t tell you what, or why it’s happening. Just that it is, and it hurts. Sometimes I don’t have a real reason, there’s nothing stopping me. But I just can’t do it.
But, I’m still here.
I stay up all night, watching the sun fade away and rise back up. Counting down moments, realising each second is one more that I’ve wasted. I feel like I live completely under a black cloud, watching everyone else play in the sunlight. Then, there are brief moments that I can, too. Moments so beautiful, I can hardly believe it. For that moment, I snap out of my life and feel something. I feel everything so deeply it burns. It’s a feeling so different to complete nothingness. I smile, I plan, I live and I love.
I live for the moments like that, in hope one day, they will be my life. I will keep going, because it’s the only thing left to do.
I may be depressed, but I am not weak.