I have a secret fear that maybe this is what life is like for everyone. Maybe I’m expecting too much. Maybe other people can cope with life’s stressors better than I can. Maybe I should try harder. Maybe my depression is fake.
Spoiler alert: it’s not.
Part of what makes depression so terrible is that, by its very nature, it keeps you from getting help. It tells you you’re worthless, it makes you ashamed, and it robs you of motivation and energy. My depression tells me that I’m ungrateful and burdensome and that I should keep quiet about the things I’m struggling with. Well, y’know what? I’m sick of taking orders from The Lump.
I’m going to PHP group therapy, individual therapy, and I’m talking to my family and friends about my illness. I’ve even told a few acquaintances about my hospitalization. And, guess what? Everyone has responded with compassion and support. Not one person has said “You’re faking it. Just stop being sad.” The only time I ever hear that phrase is when it’s inside my own mind.
It’s time I show myself a little of the understanding and reassurance I receive from others. After all, I have a biochemical imbalance in my brain. It’s not my fault.