Maybe everyone does have days like that.
Maybe everyone does have to make a conscious effort and force themselves out of bed on their day off, the guilt of lying around only slightly outweighing the relief of not having to face anyone or anything.
Maybe everyone does start crying for literally no reason while stretching out their hamstrings at the gym.
Maybe everyone does have to give themselves pep talks before social gatherings, repeating the reassuring mantra that it will be fun, that they like those people, that it won’t be overwhelming, and promising that they’ll keep up the appearance of a good mood for at least two hours.
Maybe everyone does fake it 90% of the time because it would surprise and confuse anyone who’s known them to think that they weren’t always genuinely happy, peppy, goofy.
Maybe everyone does have days like that. But I’m willing to bet that their days are just days.
Their days aren’t a life.
I’m more or less not allowed to be depressed.
It doesn’t make sense, you know?
How can you be depressed when it’s summer? It’s warm! There’s no crying in baseball, so there’s definitely no hiding irrational tears behind big sunglasses. I’m probably just tired.
How can you be depressed when you get upset at someone gently but incessantly prodding at your anxieties until you snap and yell at them? That’s not depression, that’s a bad attitude. You really need to fix that, young lady, we are not going to have it.
How can you be quick with a joke and claim your favorite thing in the world is making people laugh if you’re depressed? I’m probably just having one of those days.
It's always there, close to the surface, a melancholic time bomb ready to suck the enjoyment out of just about any situation. Even when the circumstances should inspire otherwise, I've been left to fake my way through.
I’ve been depressed at girl’s nights, when I’m sitting in a room of my favorite friends, laughing until I can’t breathe while eating more in one sitting than I have in three days.
I’ve been depressed on dates, when everything is beautiful and romantic and perfect.
Holidays, birthday parties, vacations abroad, lake trips, cuddled on the couch watching a movie. All things considered, I’m actually as close to happy as I could possibly be. But I’m still just...not. And I couldn’t tell ya why.
If I took a glass and shattered it, telling me to un-shatter the glass will not magically put the pieces back together. The glass will not be good as new just because you threw in your two cents. You’re holding an un-shattered glass, telling me to un-break mine, and you think I’m faking it when I tell you it’s not as easy as gluing the shards together again.
Instead, just listen. Put your glass away, and listen.
Let me hold broken glass in my hands and talk about each sharp piece until its edge has softened or I just can’t hold sharp things anymore. Don’t suggest my pieces might actually be plastic, or that the glass will be whole again tomorrow, or that I should ignore the glass and drink from a mug insead.
If you think you’ve lent an ear once and that was “helping” and I should be “fixed” now, please don’t lend an ear ever again. You’re not trying to help. You’re trying to make it go away. I’m sorry the thing I’ve been working to overcome for over a decade is difficult for you.
Please don’t misunderstand: I do have good days.
I have days when I wake up expecting to feel the usual dread and I realize it’s not there, and I glide through my afternoon feeling hopeful that the spell has snapped for real this time.
I’m not overcompensating for anything.
I’m not forcing it.
I’m genuinely laughing.
I’m also trying my hardest to repress the question of how long the good will last before the bad creeps back in. It used to be the opposite, but it’s funny what you can get used to after a few years.
And it’s not like I don’t get it. Depression is an awkward thing to talk about. Inexplicable sadness, emptiness, and despondency are confusing, and trying to get someone to explain why they’re depressed when they don’t quite know themselves is frustrating for everyone.
That’s why it’s not your responsibility to make it go away.
It’s not your responsibility to do anything.
Just don’t tell me I’m having one of those days. It’s so much more than 24 hours.