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This article was originally submitted by Manahil Malik
1. There are good days amongst the bad.
Many people fail to realize that depression isn’t all crying and well, acting depressed. It’s quite the rocky journey, some even say it is their rock bottom. It follows you like a weight around your neck, every time you take a step, it chokes you – it stops you from fully doing what you want. You’re a slave to the depression. But some days, the weight gets lighter, sometimes so light that you forget about it. In those moments, you are happy. You are you. The world doesn’t seem so dark, there is a light at the end of the tunnel that everyone talks about. But suddenly, you feel it creep up on you, unannounced and unwelcome. It’s back. It’s a whole cycle, sometimes it can all happen in one day even. And other times, it can happen over the course of years.
2. For some reason, people will always try to define you.
I don’t know what it is about the general public. Why are they so interested in your life? Don’t they have other things to do? Other things to talk about? I mean, if I’m writing this, I guess not. For some reason when word gets out about your clinically diagnosed depression at age 21, people are quick to judge, and even quicker to tell others. It almost spreads like wildfire. And we know our Pakistani awaam, if people are talking, 99% it means people are either creating rumours or spreading them. Well anyhow, people will always try to define you. Many people will even go so far as to say that you don’t have depression – umm, literally got diagnosed my a consultant psychiatrist but alright auntie. Others will define you as insane, or an attention seeker, you know where I’m getting at.
3. There doesn’t always have to be a reason
Although many life experiences can trigger depression, there isn’t always a reason. This past year, even though my personal life has been calm and collected, the reason I got depressed in the first place is resolved, I’m still depressed. My parents beg me for a reason, but I, unfortunately, don’t have one. Life would be easier if I did. I could have something to point a finger to – to solve. But it’s not as easy as that. I wake up most days, feeling sad. The day has just started, I have no reason to be sad, no prior reason either, but it is what it is. And sometimes you’ve gotta accept that.
4. Sometimes friends get it.
Do you guys have those friends where you can tell them anything and they won’t judge? You can say literally anything to them, and they won’t be fazed, they’ll always be there to support you. Those are the types of friends that pull through when you’re struggling with depression. They check up on you, check up on your health and if you’re taking your meds, if you’re eating well, and if you’re sleeping well. They never get tired of asking you these questions, and even if you think they’ll get tired of your answers – they don’t. Those friends are gold.
5. And sometimes, friends don’t get it.
But other times, you’re not so lucky. You have friends with whom you have a lot of fun. You joke around, you laugh till you almost pee yourself. But when you become depressed, they can’t comprehend it. You? No way. But you’re always happy. Well yes, but now being happy has become exhausting. Getting out of bed has become an achievement. Brushing your teeth? Gold star for you, because that’s huge. But seriously, sometimes you don’t have the effort to be the same fun person you were known as. Like #1 stated, you still have good days, and these friends show up for them, but for the rest of the time, you feel like a burden – emotional baggage.
6. Everything will not be okay, but that’s okay.
A lot of the time our thoughts about becoming better are returning to our old lives, trying to minimize the problems we had, the issues we faced. While that is one aspect, it’s not everything. Sometimes, life will never work out. It won’t go your way, it won’t go to plan. And that’s okay. That’s what you have to accept. That you aren’t in control of everything, and things happen just because. Living a problem-free life isn’t the goal for us depressees’, we have to master the art of distancing ourselves from chaos, but little hiccups in the road? We’re more strong enough for those.