I’m a private person. I’m not the sort of person that will just open up and talk to you. If you meet me in person, you’re likely to think I’m a miserable bastard. I know this about me and although it’s not great, it’s the person I am. I will never be that guy who is just full of energy and enthusiasm.
“Don’t judge me until you’ve lived my life.”
There are a number of phrase like the one above that are thrown about. I’m not claiming my life is completely awful or that no-one has it worse. In many ways I’m very fortunate to live in a nice apartment, with a good job and loving family.
So why do I feel so utterly low and worthless at times?
Depression. Even now there is still a stigma attached to that word. People don’t choose to be depressed, it is something that happens to them. Yet, many people still look down on those that are depressed. It’s almost as though being depressed makes that person less worthy of help, than say a person with physical paralysis.
I choose the example of paralysis because depression can result in mental paralysis. I know a few people who suffer from depression. Some have confided in me in detail, others have only touched on the subject. One thing I’ve noticed, and one thing that seems to be commonly accepted about depression, is that it can result in mental paralysis.
In the last few years I’ve become more self aware. I know that I have depression and that sometimes it can be almost overwhelming. In the last couple of weeks in particular I have struggled pretty badly. I know there are going to be some people that read this that feel bad because they will feel they have burdened me with their problems; I want to say to those people, please do not feel bad or try to apologise to me or anything like that. It will simply make both you and me feel worse.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been on a knife edge of losing my temper at the slightest thing. It’s hard enough for me to get through one day at a time, even an hour at a time, without just saying “fuck it” and walking.
The thing about depression is that you don’t necessarily need anyone to do anything for you. It’s not about someone having to be there for you. It’s about knowing that if you want to talk, then someone will be there for you. It’s about knowing that you can open up and talk without embarrassment, without being judged or made to feel even worse about yourself.
I didn’t chose depression. If I come across as a miserable bastard then try to understand it took a lot of effort for me to even leave home that day. The things that any person suffering with depression needs are patience and understanding. Don’t make them feel like a burden. They didn’t choose to be that way. Making a fuss over them, or making it seem like a huge drama is also not the way to go. Sometimes, a hug, a smile and a nice word is all that is needed to give that person the strength to make it through another minute, another hour or another day until they see light again.
Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.