The Happiest Depressed Person on the Block
Depression is a liar. It lies to you… and it lies to me.
Depression likes to hide, and those of us that struggle with it often help it to do so.
Depression is its’ trickiest when no one sees it.
“You’re the funniest person I know!”
“You’re so sweet and bubbly all the time.”
“How do you keep such a positive outlook?”
I am a master at carrying on small talk with the moms at school. They think I am witty… and sometimes I am.
When the camera is pointed at me, my personality switch is turned on. I deliver when I need to. I am skilled.
I keep it hidden…
because I am ashamed.
I’m the happiest depressed person on the block. I can keep up the facade for a good thirty minutes… that works out fine, because that’s all the time I’ll allow myself to be around you. I’ll have the warmest smile for you, and the cheeriest wave goodbye… at the same time, I’ll know in my bones that somehow I’m failing at everything.
You wouldn’t know that my voice is hoarse because yesterday I screamed at my children so loud that it hurt my throat.
You wouldn’t know that some of the simplest tasks feel insurmountable.
You wouldn’t know that my life is in great upheaval right now, and that I don’t have the tools to deal with it because I buried my tool box thinking things would never break again.
I was on medication many years ago while healing from a traumatic event. Under my doctor’s supervision, I weaned off of medication before getting pregnant six years ago. I struggled with postpartum depression, but made it through with natural supplements and no heavy meds. The idea of swallowing them again is… disappointing…
and tinged with weakness.
Depression is a battle – one that is terribly difficult to fight when you are the primary care giver in your home and have no support system.
Today I feel like I’m fighting that battle with little armor, and no one at my back.
Today I found the courage to go to an intake appointment at the psychiatrist’s office… at 7 am, with plans to cut it short so I could get my son to school. The psychiatrist was running late, wanted to reschedule for the middle of the day… but I have a two year old at home and no child care… no family nearby… no available friends. I called my husband in a panic to see if he could take our oldest to school and then wait at home with our littlest so I could see the doctor when he finally arrived, but he was already late for work and couldn’t wait for me any longer.
Today depression showed itself to others. Today I screamed at my husband for not being available… I screamed at the world for not giving me a damn hour break to talk about getting healthy. Today I cried at the psychiatric center’s reception desk as she told me they didn’t have any appointments after office hours – when my husband could be home to watch the kids. Today the facade crumbled… as I stood there nodding at the receptionist… refusing to make a sound…
as a multitude of tears ran down my face.
Today I was swallowed by the hopelessness of being unable to take care of myself… even when I urgently want to.
Today the happiest depressed person on the block became the most desperate depressed person on the block.
Today I’m feeding everyone, bathing everyone, and cooking for everyone…
as I desperately cling to the rapidly dissolving walls of my universe.
Today I am a small lonely island caught in a storm…
praying that lightning doesn’t strike.
Today I am grievously unhappy,
and there’s a good chance that everyone sees it.