By Lauren Cannavino
Depression doesn’t just look like someone lying in bed all day. It’s not just people crying themselves to sleep all night. It doesn’t necessarily mean self-harm. It doesn’t mean you don’t have any friends, or that you have bad social skills. It doesn’t mean you don’t talk to your family. It doesn’t mean you don’t have any form of social media, and it doesn’t mean you hardly eat or you stopped going to all your favorite places.
Depression is not hating people. Depression is not being afraid of love. Depression is not avoiding others and avoiding the things you like. Depression is not ugly. Depression is not a concrete checklist. One depression is not identical to another.
Depression is loving people so much, but feeling like you don’t deserve their love in return. Depression is loving your friends, but not wanting to burden them with your problems. Depression is wanting to talk about your feelings with someone, but not being able to find the words so it makes sense. Depression is wanting to get help but not wanting to explain to everyone what’s going on, strictly because you don’t want to bother them or fear they wont understand.
Depression is getting out of bed every single day. Depression is the pill you take before you leave your room in the morning because you know you couldn’t handle the day without it. It’s hiding behind every smile, every Instagram photo, and every funny tweet. It’s every joke you have ever told, so people wouldn’t look at the parts of you that you don’t want them to see. Depression is having to go to every birthday party, every family gathering, every holiday, and hope that you don’t have to talk about what you’re “doing” with your life with distant relatives.
Depression is being the leader and being the strong one so people don’t have to know that you can hardly fight for your survival every day.
Depression is spending all day with other people, while your counting down the hours until you can be alone. Depression is crying quietly in the shower or in the car, wiping the tears before you have to social again. Depression is feeling, and believing, that your life is unimportant. Depression is the voice that is always in the back of your head telling you that they won’t understand.
Depression is not one size fits all. Depression is not something to be ashamed of. Depression is not kind. Depression lies. Depression will tell you things about your life that is not true. But depression is powerful. Depression is more powerful than words, and stronger than music. Depression is unpredictable.
But, depression does not have to be a lifelong partner.
Depression comes in waves. Depression does not need to make itself comfortable in your mind and heart. Depression does not have the right to slowly consume every ounce of your being. What depression doesn’t know is that it has a time limit. Depression doesn’t know that the cuts it makes while it is here are simply cracks for the light to come through. Every time depression breaks your heart, it is that much closer to opening up. If depression leaves you gasping for air, at least you know that you remember how to breathe, and that right there is enough to wake up again, one day at a time.