There are so many things no one tells you when you’re told you have depression. They tell you that therapy will make things easier, maybe medication too. They tell you that you should surround yourself with people you love, find the things that make you happy and do those more often. Maybe they tell you to try working out, eating better, find a Netflix series you like even.
But they don’t tell you everything. Not even close.
They don’t tell you that people will talk poorly about you because you go to therapy, or that after months of trying different medications (some that will make you feel even worse,) that the “right” one just makes everything look grey. And God will the world look so grey. That’s the whole point: you never get too low, and you don’t always feel that intense emptiness and unjustified sadness, but where is the warning label that tells you you’ll never feel high either? You’ll never feel the euphoria that everyone talks about. They don’t tell you that the people you love will distance themselves, or completely walk away, because you’re just too much to handle, and the things that used to make you happy just won’t. You can run for miles, but you can’t breathe when you’re done. Not because you’re out of shape or the air is thin, but because even lying in bed at 3a it feels like something is squeezing your lungs and every breath is fought for. Eating healthy would be great, but did anyone tell you that you’ll never be hungry because every square inch of your body is fighting to stay alive, and eating takes more effort than you’ve got in you? Yeah, me neither.
No one tells you the important shit. Those things that will never ever go away, no matter where you are, what you’re doing, or what you know you should be feeling.
Some days are good, some weeks, if you’re lucky maybe you’ll even get a few good months. I’ve gone months doing everything I can for myself, and while somedays it’s a fight, others I feel like my “old” self. But that’s just another one of those things that no one tells you, so I guess I’m going to have to be the one to do it:
You’re going to feel better, and people are going to notice. Eventually, (if you’re like me it’ll take 5 years,) but you’re going to feel better and people will notice. Those you love will say things like “It’s like you’re back,” “You really seem like you again,” “I missed this version of you- you’re the old you again.” And it’s going to feel so good that you might even cry happy tears, but those same things will come back and eat at you. You no longer know who you are, or who the old “you,” that everyone misses so much was because it’s been so long since you’ve been happy that you don’t remember her anymore. Then one night it will all come crashing down for one reason, a million reasons, or no reason at all. No one tell you, but it always comes crashing down.
And for me it’s usually nothing. I think tonight it’s the cold, damp weather and how quickly the sun sets, but what I never understand is why it happens when it does. I wish I could know when I wake up, or while I brush my teeth getting ready for bed, but it never is. No one tells you that you’ll be in the middle of Target, watching your favorite TV show, or maybe in the shower, your stomach will drop, and you’ll just know. No one tells you that it never goes away.
I wish someone had told me that it never goes away, and that you’re never going to be “better.” I wish someone told me that boys will fall out of love with you for it, or you’ll fall out of love with them because at 4:16p on a Tuesday your brain stopped loving you, and you can’t love anyone else. No one tells you that as you get older it actually gets harder because you’re so much better at pretending life is still great and you’re still okay, and then you feel even worse because no one notices.
No one told me that getting better at hiding it was actually worse, you seem great, and so no one sees what you’re feeling. Now here you are- breaking and alone.
I’m so mad because no one ever told me. But no one ever told me that I’d be the only person who can pull myself through it, and that I’ll be stronger and better every time because of it. No one told me that each time my world crashes, and I feel like maybe breathing isn’t what I want to do anymore, that randomly, tomorrow, in a week, sometimes it takes a few months, I’d be through it. That at 8:12a on a Monday I would laugh, and just like that I’d realize I did it again. I’m on the other side of another really dark time.
No one tells you that you have to be all alone, wonder what it would be like if you gave up, dig your nails into your palms until you bleed, and soak your pillow in tears for days. And then the rain will turn from a hurricane to a light mist, and although it never stops raining, you no longer need an umbrella.
No one tells you that your sky never stops falling, and that it get heavier each time, but they don’t tell you that you’ll push it back up with a new strength when it falls again.
I wish someone had told me all these things 5 years ago.
Maybe it wouldn’t still be so hard every single time.
About The Author
I began writing as a way to say the things that I felt I had no one to tell, and the majority of these writings I kept to myself. As I’ve grown into my 20s, I felt that in sharing my personal stories and thoughts I could help just one person who feels the way I did. Even if it only reaches one person searching for the answer, I hope that what I write can be a source of comfort when the world feels cold.
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