NOTE: I just came across this post, written some six months ago while I was having a really hard week. Interestingly enough, I remember sitting down to start it, but I don’t remember writing it. My first instinct was to edit it and change it or just discard it altogether. But, I decided to post it exactly as I found it. Hopefully by doing so, it will put a face on some things and spark some good discussion on the topic.

Today is nothing powerful or incredibly deep. It is just a discussion about something hard to write about. It’s a subject I know very well, and that hundreds of you have asked me to discuss. It’s a topic that I think we should all focus on, for at least the next five minutes.

Depression.

How to even approach the subject? I have no idea. And I guarantee that it can’t be done without depressing everybody in the process.

But, I’ve been there. Many times.

I’ve sat in sad moments, praying that someone would come talk to me, praying that nobody would come near me.

I’ve laid prostrate on the sofa, desperate to get up and move, unable to find the motivation to lift my head.

I’ve tried to smile at people passing by my desk, even though secretly I wished they’d all go jump off a bridge so that I didn’t have to smile anymore.

I’ve not smiled other times. People asked what was wrong. I always wanted to kick them in the teeth. I always answered that I was just having a rough day. Nothing to worry about. They always shrugged and walked away.

I’ve sat with my phone in my hands, staring at it, desperate for the screen to light up to make me believe that somebody cares.

I’ve driven down the road, tempted to swerve full-speed into a telephone pole.

I’ve sat in my darkened kitchen, eating. Eating whatever could numb whatever it was that I was feeling. Eating until I was sick. Then eating some more.

I’ve sat in my darkened kitchen, refusing to eat. Strangely satisfied as my body angrily demands energy.

I’ve trudged through Facebook, angry at the happiness I saw others enjoying, desperately wishing it was mine.

I’ve spent the day in bed. Getting up only to use the bathroom. Not eating. Not sleeping. Not happy. Not anything. Just staying in bed because nothing was worth getting out of bed for.

I’ve lied, more times than I can count, about how I’m really feeling.

I’ve hated myself because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t feel happy. I couldn’t get rid of the awful dragging feelings that were burying me. I couldn’t shake it.

I was desperate to shake it.

I would have given anything to shake it.

But I couldn’t. And I hated myself for it.

And for some reason, nobody ever wanted to talk about it. It’s a topic that people avoid like some disease. At least on a personal level. Have you ever tried telling somebody you’re depressed?

It gets real old having people tell you “just get over it.”

I’ve wanted to sock people in the chin when they’ve responded, “you can just choose to be happy”.

“It’s all just a mental thing”, was another favorite.

So finally, I just stopped telling people. I stopped trying to find support for it. I started to believe that I was alone in it, and that when it hit, I’d just have to drudge through it by myself.

Man, that’s just depressing. No wonder people don’t talk about it. No wonder people don’t want to hear it. Who wants to think that anybody they love is depressed? We want to believe that the people we admire, respect, and enjoy being with are happy, rational, sane people that are immune to such things.

Well, guess what. They all aren’t. At least one out of every five people you see every single day suffers with chronic depression. One in freaking five. That means Herbert there often thinks of death, and you never knew it. That means Jennifer is constantly affected with horrible self-loathing thoughts. And even Jim Bob over there sometimes wishes he could just disappear.

Yes, I wish I could disappear sometimes, too. Cease to exist. Truth be told, I wish I could disappear right now. Will I ever publish this? I highly doubt it. People don’t want to hear it. They don’t like to talk about it. People like to think that everything’s always perfect and happy. And if I’m being honest with myself, I prefer to put a face on that says just that.

Oh well. I guess I’ll go write something chipper and happy for tomorrow.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing Depressed Sometimes

And there it is. Why publish it now? I’m really happy right now. I’m feeling great. And… maybe that’s the time that I should take an open look at it.

What are your thoughts about this and/or depression in general? How has it affected you (whether your own depression or the depression of others)?