To The Person Who Loves Me Next, This What You’ll Learn About My Battle With Depression

Alexander Popov

I don’t know what your relationship with this word is or if it’s ever been relevant in your life. But it has been for me. Like this cloud only I see, that hovers over me just waiting to rain on anything and ruin moments that are good.

It’s creeps up unknowingly like some unwelcome houseguest that overstays their welcome and won’t leave.

In the beginning, you aren’t going to notice it really, you’ll see someone who is happy and well put together and on the surface, I look like I have everything going for me. It’s this secret I hate sharing. A part of me proves how flawed I am when I strive for perfection.

But this is what you have to know…

I’m always going to appear happy and upbeat and positive. That’s what I strive for.

It’s going to take some time for you to be able to read me well enough that you know I’m completely bullshitting everyone in the room about how I’m actually feeling.

Couldn’t be better. Happy. Doing well…

…will always be words that escape my mouth. But there will be moments when I say those things I’m not making eye contact. I’m biting my lip. I’m quickly changing the subject out of fear someone might notice I’m lying. People with depression are the best liars because we feel we have to be.

When someone asks me how I am I’m not going to reply, ‘well I stayed up until 3AM last night holding back tears for reasons I don’t know, thinking way too much about why I feel the way I do and what’s wrong with me.’

So instead I say great. Because I don’t want to make people feel awkward.

You’ll notice a level of empathy and sympathy I possess. How I see the good parts of every bad situation. How I try and shine light on things. The truth is I’m like that because I know what it’s like to sit in darkness alone hating myself completely exhausted. I know what it’s like to be the strength for someone else because I simply be the person I needed in those dark moments.

I’m the last person who is going to ask for help because I consider it a weakness. Even if it’s hypocritical of me as I tell people it’s okay to not be okay. I hold myself to a different standard than most.

There are going to be moments where I pull away. Moments where I can’t articulate what’s wrong or why I’m so sad. Moments where I’m going to want space but it’s the last thing I need. And you aren’t going to know how to help me. Because there isn’t anything to say really.

You’re going to see a different version of me. My voice will change. The things I say will. You won’t recogonize me. Because in these moments I’m not going to be the person you fell for.

I won’t want to do anything but lay there. I won’t want to shower. I won’t want to eat. I won’t want to leave my room. And logically I know it makes things worse but I just gotta feel through it.

When moments of depression really hit, I’ve learned I just have ride it out but I understand if you don’t want to or it’s too much to ask.

In these moments, I’m always going to think I’m too much to handle. I’m always going to think I’m unlovable. Because in these moments I hate the person I am and I don’t know how anyone will like me.

I compare myself to others always feeling like I fall short. Feeling the need to try harder than most and overcompensate.

I’m going to try so hard when it comes to you and put in so much effort because I’m going to want you to remember me at my best moments if ever you see me at my worst.

I’m addicted to schedules and being productive because I have to be. Most people look at me wondering how I pull of doing so much, being in three places at once, never letting people down. Exhausting myself time and time again failing to live in the moment sometimes. Overcome with work and hobbies and sports.

It’s admirable but it’s a coverup to. Hiding behind achievements and success because I just want to feel good enough for me.

I watch across social media everyone that seems so happy. And I know everyone paints this picture of things that aren’t real and I shouldn’t make that my standard. But I do.

If you judged me based on what my Instagram looked like, depression is the last word you’d use.

Because I seem happy. The truth is it’s those happy moments I’m advertising because on my bad days that’s what I look back at.

It’s the plans I’m going to cancel with no reason as to why but sometimes I just can’t go out and I want to stay in and I’m going to want to be alone. I need you to not take that personally.

It’s moments in my life that are completely unbalanced and I wish consistency was more of a thing in my life.

I’ll eat healthy for weeks in a row then I’ll eat like shit. I’ll even have days where I don’t eat at all and you ask me if I’m hungry and I haven’t even thought about it. I’ll run a marathon and sit on my ass for the next month. It’s a drastic weight loss or weight gain that comes and goes so often. I’ll have a great productive day then the next I’ll lay in bed for hours. I’ll sleep well for a night or two then be clinging to medicine just to knock me out. Sleeping has always been hard for me.

You’re going to learn me in time. And when you do and you see how this affects me you’re going to have a completely view on the word depression. Because here is this thing that takes someone you love and care for and turns them into someone they aren’t. And you might still love me through my bad moments and if you do, I admire you for that. I’ll always value you for that. I’ll always appreciate you even in those moments I’m falling apart.

The truth is even someone’s most honest love and good intentions can’t beat this.

When we first met I deceived even you. You didn’t know then you would be the one holding me as I fell apart. The soothing words as I broke down. The company when I swore I didn’t want anyone. The person pulling me in as I pushed you away. You saw this pretty girl smiling and laughing and being funny on a night out like it came so easy to me. I’m still that girl. There’s just other parts that are deeper and more complicated that come with it.

I’ll always apologize when negative episodes affect both our lives. But more than anything I’m always going to value you. I’m always going to love you. Because if there’s one thing someone with depression is good at it’s loving really hard, loving really honestly and loving someone really well.

If you can love me at my worst and most vulnerable states I’m always going to try my best. TC mark

Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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