Let’s talk about the outward perception of people who are dealing with depression. One recurring theme I always see or hear is “they were so happy, they always have a smile on their face, they are the brightest light in a room.” It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. It’s easier to smile. It’s easier to act happy because when people who are dealing with depression are behind closed doors we wear ourselves out frowning, crying, or being angry. By the time we go out and have to face the world we are so worn out we have to smile because it isn’t as tiring.
One of my most vivid memories from high school is “goth me” walking around with my big smile on my face and our school counselor telling me that I always looked so happy even though I was trying to give that hard goth appearance. Let me tell you a secret. I really REALLY enjoy smiling and being happy. I crave happiness. Don’t get me wrong…I also LOVE to cry. I cry when I am happy, sad, mad, frustrated, you name it I. am. a. crier! You can ask my husband. I like a good ugly cry every now and then, but I have a feeling everyone does. If you are one of the few people who have witnessed one of my ugly cries you are either very special and I trust you or I probably scarred you for life.
I guess the first time I really realized that I couldn’t handle my depression was when I couldn’t go a day without crying and it was not enjoyable. The tiniest thing would bring on sad tears. One thing that you have to remember is my depression is not going to be the same as the next person. That is what makes depression so frustrating. It’s not “one size fits all.” I can tell you all day long how I deal with things and I can help you recognize certain signs to help others, but at the end of the day I can’t help you cure someone or yourself.
With all that being said please don’t think that just because I am smiling means that I am faking being happy. I am very happy, bubbly person and I come by that honestly. I have learned that if I am having a bad day that it is ok. One more secret…hugs help me so if you ever think I might be having a bad day give me one! Thanks for reading.