Depression has had somewhat of a makeover of late. People are more aware, more acceptant and more sensitive as to what depression really is. People understand that’s it’s not just a case of feeling sorry for yourself and that, whilst depression is not a visible illness, it is real.
The problem is, there’s still a stigma. There’s still a lack of understanding and there are still huge generalisations when it comes to understanding what depression really is.
For me depression is a daily battle, that can come and go. It arrives as fast as it leaves. And all of this makes it hard to manage.
I can go from being fine, good even. To feeling completely and utterly confounded by a thick darkness I can’t climb out of.
It can be totally debilitating.
Yet, if I’m fine one day, how do I manage people’s expectations when it comes to being utterly restricted by it the next?
It’s impossible. And the pressure can often become unmanageable.
I find myself in this position a lot. And my default tends to be to perform. Become an exaggerated version of myself. Put on a mask. I feel like the show must go on, so I continue. I become the life and soul, with few aware of the real situation. It can take everything I have.
Then when I’m done with the performance for the day. I’m exhausted. My clown face slips and beneath it I’m a non-person. Empty and spent.
I’m not saying feel sorry for me. I’m not even saying sympathise. It is what it is frankly. But I do wish it was a little more understood.
Robin Williams sums it up better than most…
I guess this is more of a therapy post than anything else. Think it, write it down, try to file it. But if you know someone who suffers from depression, try to dig beneath the mask and acknowledge the often daily struggle they face. Trust me, it will mean the world. It will help them to feel human again.