If It's Not Okay
Here’s the thing about depression: nobody really wants to hear it.
And I think that’s okay.
Let me explain. When you first get sad; when you first experience the weird decline into apathy or a sudden stress that pushes your brain and emotions into a less-than-calm place, people care. They really do. Your mom hugs you all the time; your friends go out of their way to see you on rainy days; your teachers and coworkers in the know are understanding.
That isn’t the poisonous, thickset part of it. That comes three or four months later, when it still hasn’t gone away, when you’re still re-learning this new way of thinking your brain has latched onto, when it gets dark at 4:30pm and you panic on the bus home for no reason whatsoever. Your parents, friends, and the rest of the world that seemed to cradle you for the first month or two – they all have jobs, boyfriends, and normal people stuff to go about doing. The stuff that you would be doing if you could find the switch in your brain, the one that would turn you back into a functioning being with thoughts and feelings other than disgustingly sad. The world and its inhabitants don’t necessarily revolve around getting you out of bed everyday though. It does not involve reminding you that winter is temporary; sadness is a season as opposed to being your whole life. The fact that your people do not have all the time in the world for you does not make them bad, just like succumbing to sadness does not make you weak. It makes you a person. It makes them all people.
So you struggle with the idea of getting on a train. Anything that involves change seems to involve sadness. Going outside after dark feels crippling and the only ray of light in each day is television, or your dog, or a potential phone call from your dad. The idea of most of your friends and family being slightly too far away to suggest coming over makes your eyes and nose sting like right before you cry. And most days you can control the stinging feeling, but every once in a while you use your break at work to simply stand in the bathroom and cry about small, temporary things.
I’m not completely sure, but I think that a lot of people feel small parts of this. I think that some days, when the clouds are grey and all knowing, the whole world wishes it could retreat into some sort of hibernation, into some kind of safe space that they can remember once having but can no longer attain in conjunction with the daily pressures of just being a person.
I don’t know how to fix it. Winter sometimes weighs on me in a heavier way than I would like, and it leaves me feeling out of control in the most apathetic way possible. It leaves me more sarcastic, more dramatic, more annoyed, and more unhappy than I like to think I normally am as a person.
I recently read an article by a guy that the internet seems to like a lot, and he said something about remembering that people love you when you get sad, and that will help you feel better. I agree, to a point. Of course people love you when you’re sad, but don’t lean into it. People are people, and you will just fall again.
Honestly, I want to end this on a happy note. I want to say something about people not being there and how it gives you the agency and final push to figure it all out yourself. In reality though, it’s probably a jumble of both. It’s something. It’s something that you’ll figure out, and it’s something that I’ll figure out.
John Lennon (or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, depending on your source) once said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” So that’s what I think I’ll go with.