I feel like I'm an open book as far as my depression and anxiety go, but after thinking about it lately I've realized I'm quite the opposite. If someone asks me how I'm doing or has questions about depression I'm always happy to answer them as openly and honestly as I can. That being said, people don't ask. People don't do it out of meanness, they simply don't want to know. They're scared to. How can someone be so down all the time? How hard is it to just be happy?
The answer to that question is that it is, indeed, very hard. Trust me, it's a question I ask myself every single day, and the only thing it accomplishes is making me feel even worse. So, to those who haven't experienced depression and want to know what it's really like, what your loved ones are actually going through, please continue reading.
On a good day you live your life in a fog. Everything seems hazy and blurry and fuzzy. You can touch things, but you don't feel them. You see things, but you don't take them in. Not really. You find yourself walking around in a this numb state, and honestly sometimes it is kind of nice. It's nice not to have to feel the emotions you're having (or should be having). Except that four out of five days you spend staring at the computer screen or out the window waiting for something, anything, to change. Nothing does. Every once in a while the fog will lift and you'll feel like yourself again. Somehow it's both exhilarating and horrifying at the same time. You can see life as it should be, how others see it. But it's difficult to live that way because it's a feeling you don't feel too often, and you spend every waking moment wondering when the fog will return again. It's a feeling you can't even let yourself enjoy for fear of it being snatched away.
On an okay day it's cloudy. Always cloudy. You're so lost in your own emotions (or lack thereof) that you can barely do anything else. Everything is difficult. Getting out of bed is hard. Walking the dog is hard. Checking the mail is hard. Having to pretend to everyone that you're actually really okay is the hardest of them all. Sometimes, for a brief moment, the clouds will part and you can see the sun, but only from a distance. You're never close enough to feel its warmth on your face or to chase the rainbow you can almost see far in the distance. The clouds quickly come back together and you'll swear you imagined it entirely.
On a bad day, it storms. Always. Relentless, torrential rain that doesn't let up, no matter what you do. You may spend a while trying to calm the storm or stop it completely, but eventually you stop trying. It's too exhausting. It's easier to sit and let the downpour engulf you completely. It's easier to let it take over you and become you than it is to waste the energy trying to deal with it. You become wet with rain to your very core and just when you think you can't bear it any longer, you somehow find the strength to go about your daily life as if everything is totally and completely fine. You push the horrid thoughts to the back of your mind attempt to move on. You pretend, you fake it. But no matter how much you pretend, that doesn't mean it stopped raining. It never stops raining.
I urge you to be there for each other. Be accepting of your loved ones, because their hardships are your hardships, their pain is your pain. Even if they don't or can't voice their feelings, you can still support them. You can still let them know that they are actually loved and cared for and appreciated. Because, those of us who live in the misty fog tend to forget that.
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