by Olivia Garcia
Note: This piece originally appeared on Learning.Nourshing.Overcoming and has been cross-posted with permission.
I’m depressed. You’re depressed. We’re all depressed.
I feel like the statement “I’m depressed” is thrown around more than “I love you” these days. Yes, you very well may be depressed, but struggling with chronic depression is on a whole other side of the spectrum than just feeling down one day.
But let me tell you, depression isn’t sad poetry.
It isn’t posting melodramatic, black and white Tumblr pictures on your Instagram. (Before anyone gets offended, I’m not bashing anyone who does this, just making a statement.)
Depression is constantly romanticized. I don’t know any other way to put this, but depression is N O T beautiful. Depression is an ugly black hole that I find myself in daily. So, don’t tell me I don’t understand. Don’t tell me I don’t get it.
Depression is crying for absolutely no reason– like crying because you got deodorant on your black shirt one morning getting ready for work.
Depression is wanting to be social, but your mind is screaming at you that you have no friends and the friends you do have “don’t really like you.”
Depression is taking on a bunch of tasks to only find yourself in a frantic panic at all you have to do, so your body decides it’s best to sleep instead.
Depression is feeling like a failure because you can’t accomplish all that you want because you can barely even find the strength clean your room.
Depression is struggling to get out of bed in the morning, sleeping every opportunity, but never feeling like you are rested enough.
Depression is feeling every emotion at once to feeling absolutely nothing at all in a matter of a few hours.
Depression is fighting with a mind that wants to die.
Depression is a disgusting liar that tries to steal my joy every morning. And to be honest, sometimes it wins.
Depression is a mental illness; it’s a disease, not a lifestyle choice.
Depression is a lot of things, but it isn’t beautiful. It isn’t just feeling sad or lonely occasionally. Depression would be so much easier to handle if that were the case.
But people with depression can’t just be happy. And we can’t just feel better. Because I know if I could, I would. I promise everyone that struggles with depression would feel better in a heartbeat if it was a personal choice.
So, what’s my point behind this whole post? Depression is a very real, very destructive disease that millions suffer from. It is not fun or cool or just another emotion. So, before you claim you are depressed from a bad day, understand that depression doesn’t just take a break when life gets better. Depression is a daily battle.
If you know someone who struggles with depression, it is hard to understand. It is okay for you to not understand. Be sensitive. Hug this person. Laugh with him or her. Be there, even though this person probably will try to shut you out 75% of the time. Last, but most important, love this person continuously, in the darkest times of his or her depression and in the happiest days of their depression because there will be both days.
And if you do struggle with depression, you are not alone. Seek help, you do not need to fight this battle alone. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself, depression and all, because you are worthy of love. You deserve happiness and laughter that makes you smile so big that your cheeks cause your eyes to squint. You deserve that and so much more. You can and will beat this. So, keep fighting. You are worth it. There is hope.