Have you wondered how it feels to be someone who suffers from mild depression but the symptoms aren’t that deadly so nobody gives a shit?
Hold on, this isn’t any comparison or whatsoever. Every type of depression is equal and should be treated with utmost care and respect. This is NOT a competition.
I have good days and bad. Mostly good days, but the bad ones are bad enough to overshadow the good ones by a long shot. I live a pretty, good privileged life and I should be thankful for it (which I am) but that’s not the point. I don’t cry my eyes out or have trouble breathing at random, but I still “feel” like shit most of the time. A minor inconvenience fucks up my entire thought process and creates indescribable disruption. I fall into pieces which only I can assemble back. I hear everyone say, “I’m here for you if you want to talk.” ; so where do I begin? How do I explain a lifetime of battling with anxiety and “mild” depression? How do I possibly put aside the fear of getting judged while narrating my sob story to a society which constantly disappoints and puts down every human being? Be it shaming a 3 year old for what her mother made her wear or a global female icon for getting shot and making something out of her misery. And mind you, it’s not just my gender that throws me further into the deep, dark pit of depression. It’s much bigger than that.
I love how these supportive messages begin to pop up at the death of one famous entity. As soon as that fades away, so does the empathy for the dead person. It breaks my heart that people like me who are struggling every day, sometimes just to wake up and gather the energy to live a single day without overthinking, or without having to indulge in small talk, will have to keep on handling themselves because no matter what, nobody else can understand your pain like you do, nodbody gives a shit about you like you do. It’s borderline cynical but if you put some wise thoughts to it only you can save yourself, be your own best friend. The people around you, are all good just for casual encounters.
Of late, I have come across a bunch of hoodwinked people who assume and believe that Depression and Anxiety affects only the less privileged part of the society. Clearly, these people have never faced uneasiness, random pangs of sadness, overpowering them and eventually bumming them down!
Honestly, Depression was never about those temporary bouts of regular old sadness. Depression is certainly not some black and white image with goth boy staring out of a window and some stupid quote caked on to it. It’s just like your regular illness that you wish went away, but worse. Because, nobody comes out and says “I have a disorder” or “I need help.” For whatever reason, opening up about it isn’t something we all do. Nobody hides the truth, but at the same time none of us are facing it head-on either.
It’s almost impressive how worthless depression and anxiety can make you feel. Here’s the thing, get it straight or get out: People get sad. People get depressed. And people cry. No one has the right to say that they can’t and worse, to be happy and say “it’s just a phase” because it doesn’t ever get better.
Depression can hit anybody, regardless of their sex, age, or country. You might have a lot of friends, but you might feel like curling up in a corner and not have any human interaction for days at all. You’d skip sleep but at the same time feel never to get out of the bed. You skip meals because eating feels like a chore. Your friends and family worry about you but eventually they get used to your absence every now and then. They stop asking you what’s wrong because they never get the right answer. What would you say to them anyway? You might have a hundred thousand people by your side when you don’t need them but the moment you do, there’s no one at all. All your nightmares begin to seem to come to reality. And the voices in your head, oh the voices never die.
This is what depression is and if people knew even one fourth of what it feels like to go through the this, they wouldn’t joke around about it. They wouldn’t tell people that it’s ‘spur-of-the-moment’ thing or to get over it or to look at the bright side. There is no bright side for us.
So, don’t let people tell you that your problems are less important than the problems somebody else might have. It’s never the case. Don’t make them make your tough situation any tougher.
Do you, dear heart, and do it well. Someone said ‘there’s something missing in the world and I think I’ll have to create it’, so do. Create what’s missing. Use your voice for something that matters — little boys and girls in homes and in the streets, for men that feel the need to drink at 9 in the morning and then struggle with getting a print of their ration cards because they’re too poor to have learned to use a computer even though their child needs that print to get into school. Use it to speak about your own madness, use it to correct the wrongs that were done to the mouth you kiss every night. Speak for the ones that can’t, because you have a mind and limbs that can get you places. If the sight of the homeless makes you feel guilty about the Starbucks coffee you drink, then let it. Let the shame wash down your throat and scald you, let it propel you into action, because there is little else that’s worse than stifling what makes your heart cry out. If you want to cry, then do. If you want to draw, dance, mix music, then do.
Create what’s missing. Just don’t die with ‘could-have-beens’.