Content warning: suicide and self harm mentions.
Depression isn’t just being sad. In fact, for me, it’s more a lack of emotions. The feeling of emptiness and fatigue. Simple tasks like getting out of bed or making food become difficult, it’s as though there isn’t any point in doing anything. Things you used to love just make you feel numb, it’s as though the world has lost its colour. For me, I feel immense guilt for not enjoying the things other people seem to or not wanting to go out and have ‘fun’ like my friends. I feel as though every task or event is just another inconvenience I could do without. I think I could actually sleep all day if someone would let me. Because of this numbness and draining feeling, I’m considered ‘lazy’ and ‘ridiculous’. It took me a long time to realise I wasn’t; sure, I can be straight up lazy when I want to. But on days where I physically feel like I can’t get up, my bodies heavy and my mind spinning, I know it’s not laziness. I am ill.
Pair these feelings with anxiety and boom, we have ourselves one hell of a fucked up cocktail. Anxiety for me is feeling too much. Overthinking and analysing every little thing I’ve said or done. Did they take that the wrong way? Was that good enough? Am I good enough? Anxiety is also feeling sick, dizzy and confused. It makes it hard to concentrate and creates problems where there isn’t any. But how can I feel this way when depression makes me emotionless? I feel like they take turns, each day (or sometimes minutes) deciding who’s going to make my life hell. Sometimes they even join forces and cause me to have panic attacks over work that’s due, or a party I’m supposed to be going to all whilst making me feel so drained that I can’t bring myself to do anything about it.
Due to this evil pair, I can go from being perfectly fine, to anxious and on edge, then to being almost lifeless within minutes. But how do you explain this to the people around you? How can you deal with this and cope with day to day life? You can’t act this way at work, you’re expected to constantly be happy and smiling. ‘The customers always right!’ and positive energy. So how does someone who feels this way blend in with the rest of the world? They pretend. I smile and say I’m fine, I don’t discuss my problems, I wave and say hello, I make conversation, I try my best to listen and concentrate, I push any creeping feeling to the back of my mind, I take a quick 5 minute break to myself to cry or scream, I fake it.
The world isn’t made for people like me, yet there are so many of us in it. Society ignores our problems, they ignore us. We are expected to be ok, if not we’re expected to lie about being ok. People don’t want to know about how I tried to take my own life, or how I nearly relapsed back into self-harming; no, they want to know about how happy and grateful I am. They want to know about all the colour, when all I see is black and white.