Just because I’m depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t smile.
In my entire time of blogging, this by far will be one of the toughest blog posts I write. It’s raw. It’s painful.
But… I need to write this. For myself. For my community. For my recovery.
When someone breaks their leg you can physically see the wound. The cast on the leg, the crutches the person is using to get around. It’s there. Right in front of your face that the person is clearing injured.
However, the person with depression you can’t physically see the wound. You can’t see how much their heart aches. The tears they cry on the inside, or the demons in their head that are constantly moving around. No, you can not see depression, but trust me it’s there.
Society has odd ideas about depression. They think that people who are depressed just lay in the dark, on their couch all day watching re-runs and eating ice-cream, but this is not the case for many people with depression; including myself. And more importantly, this is why depression continues to be completely misunderstood by so many people in society.
Just because I’m depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t smile
I want society to know that just because I’m depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t smile. Going to the beach with my family and and capturing a beautiful photo of our memories together is part of fighting the depression. It’s in these rare moments, that I win and the depression loses.
Because for the other part of my day depression wins. The part that happens before the beach, where I have to force myself to get out of my pj’s and put my cloths on in order to ensure that my depression doesn’t impact my kids.
There are a million other scenarios I can also talk about: just because I travel doesn’t mean I’m not depressed, just because I do the school pick up doesn’t mean I’m not depressed, just because I go to dinner with my friends doesn’t mean I’m not depressed, it’s bigger than that.
What it does mean is that little by little I’m working towards my recovery. The dark and gloomy days are being replaced with a beautiful and vibrant pink. That I don’t cry at the drop of a hat and that my heart is starting to heal. But recovery is different for everyone. It takes times.
So the next time you see someone smiling, don’t ever assume that they aren’t depressed. As Robin Williams once said:
“All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are.”
To all of those that are also suffering from a mental illness, you’ve got this. We’ve got this. Keep getting the help you need and if you’re not getting help but need help please reach out to your loved ones, GP, police etc because you matter to so many people.
And remember, just because I’m depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t smile.
Angela is an author, entrepreneur, blogger, mental health clinician and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting/children on her blog and also in her three books: 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mothers to Take Care of Themselves, 30 Days, 30 Ways for Connecting with Your Child and Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids.