“I am not my depression”

When I was younger, I was passionate. I cared deeply, I loved deeply, I felt deeply. But kids are mean, the world is rough, and somehow my passion turned to something dark, something like a heavy shadow that follows me everywhere I go. I once had a friend ask me to describe what my depression was like, and I told him: there’s this huge, dark, smoke-like creature that looms just out of sight over my shoulder telling me all of the things I can’t do. Some days, he’s louder than others; some days he’s so loud and convincing I can’t get out of bed because it seems like nothing I do would be even worth doing. Some days he’s loud enough and convincing enough to tell me my life is pointless and I shouldn’t even continue living.

But some days… Some days he’s not there. There are some days when I can get dressed, walk outside, smile at the sun, dance my heart out, and truly enjoy and embrace all the wonderful things I have in my life. It’s so difficult to remember the days when I see the sun on the days when I’m stuck in bed under the covers.

I need constant motivation to get out of bed to find the sun, literally and figuratively. I feel like a burden to my friends when I don’t want to go out or when I need constant reassurance that I matter; I feel like I let down my peers and mentors when I can’t wake up in the morning and start my day; I disappoint myself every time I have to let my dreams and aspirations go because I can’t move. I want to go places, I want to be someone, but some days I can’t even be myself.
So I take it one day at a time. I keep myself busy so I have to get out of bed and keep moving. I commit to projects and people so I can force myself to keep going. And I make sure to love everyone I know wholeheartedly, because I never want anyone else to feel as hopeless, alone, and empty as I feel some days.