Admitting to being sad about something is one thing. But truly copping to suffering from depression is like laying every personal weakness out on a table for all to see and letting people stand and judge you. It’s even worse when you are someone who people think is really together, tough, and able to handle whatever comes her way. Once they get over the shock that you are depressed, people often feel duped. If they had the guts to say it out loud, they’d say “So, all of this time, you’ve been pretending to be happy, but you’re just a big liar”. And to that I would answer, it’s actually a little of a) and a little of b). I pretend to be happy in an attempt to make you more comfortable and to trick myself into not being depressed. It sort of works, up to a point.
There are days when all I can think about is how badly I want to get back into bed and sleep. Not because I’m physically tired, but because the world is just too overwhelming. I typically try to hide this from those I don’t know well, but I have started being candid with the people I am closest with. Even though there is nothing they can do to “fix” me, at least they know that I’m struggling. They can give me a hug, squeeze my hand, or even just say, “I’m sorry you are feeling so sad. Let me know what I can do to help”. It’s also important to let people in on how you’re feeling because it’s easy for others to take you being down or sad personally, as if they have somehow caused it. By letting them know you are going through a rough patch, they can help you turn your day around, instead of worrying that they have done something to cause your sadness.
I say all of this not to make you feel sorry for me, but to help those who also suffer from depression. Reach out to those around you. Go to your doctor and ask for help. Talk to a professional. Feeling sad all of the time is not normal. You don’t have to live each day wishing for it to “just be over already”. Life is too short to spend it feeling bad. Let go of the shame.