While chatting with someone yesterday, the topic of depression came up. I mentioned (very casually, might I add) something about my own experience, and this person asked me a question that really caught me off-guard.
“Why do you keep talking about it?”
The person may not have meant it this way, but their question came across as an attack rather than genuine curiosity. But in case they (and anyone else reading) are actually curious, then I do have a few answers.
– To let others know that they’re not alone.
– To let others know that it’s okay to admit that they’re not okay.
– To let others know that, while depression is a daily battle, there is hope.
– Because it helps me heal.
Prior to my own diagnosis, I had no idea that depression was so widespread. I had no clue that so many people suffered in silence, that there were so many others who felt at war with their own minds. And so I talk about my own experience so that maybe, just maybe, it helps others see that it’s not just them. That there is a light at the end of that excruciatingly long tunnel. And yes, talking about it helps me. Hiding depression is like hiding a secret that eats away at you, slowly, slowly, slowly, until there’s nothing left but the pain, the loneliness, the downright agony. Being a shell of a person with nothing but the ache inside is no way to live. Being honest with myself, and with others, frees me of that.
Sure, the openness makes me vulnerable (especially to people who attack me for speaking out), but it’s also brought me so much closer to others. I’ve received messages from people I’ve known for years, saying, “Yes. This is me. Right now, this is me. Thank you.” And for that, it’s all so very worth it.