How We Hide Depression

Published on October 4th, 2021

Updated on March 12th, 2022

How We Hide Depression

If only they knew how I truly felt. If only they could see the depth of darkness in which I am living. If they really knew the pain that tears me apart every day. If they could just hear my cry for help. I am in such heart-wrenching pain, at the bottom of this abyss, and there is no one there with me. I can see for miles and no one is even in sight. Would it make a difference if I were really here or not? Would anyone care if I disappeared? I feel like I am screaming my lungs out and no sound is being produced.

I feel the weight of one thousand pounds holding my chest down and I cannot muster up an ounce of energy to pull myself out of it. Nonetheless, to pull myself out of bed and into the shower some mornings. I learn that I must cover up the less than absolutely perfect parts of my world.

We hide depression for the very reasons that keep us sick. We do not want other people to see that we just do not have it all together, because we are human. It kills us to show others the truth of what is really going on, in fear of rejection or disapproval. Society tells us to pull ourselves up by the boot straps and slap on a happy face. This is where we learn to lose ourselves. We lose touch with what it means to show our hurt and feel our feelings.

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I can draw up the idea that revealing my depression is actually the key to reconnecting to and meeting myself again. I am able to see what I need and what the voice of my depression is telling me.

I can name where it hurts by telling someone else. I find out that there are plenty of others who relate and who are there to lend a hand to me, instead of leaving me alone in that abyss. I can give myself the chance to be brave in walking through the dark, knowing that hiding from it will keep me hostage to what I do not want to face. I will watch myself exist in this perpetual cycle of nothingness and the deeper I’ll go.

When I can turn toward and meet whatever my burdens are, only then can I shake hands with the parts of me that exist in the darkest hours. It’s ironic that we end up turning on ourselves, whether by a thousand cuts or by some big gashes. The path away from ourselves, leaving ourselves in depression, keeps us hidden. So, we either water the depression and watch it grow to where it’s towering over us, or we stop feeding the comfort in the discomfort.

The initial steps in walking out of depression are scary and unexpected. We face what’s unknown when we are ready to leave the pain with which we are so familiar. It’s when that pain becomes worse than the possibility of hope, that we take that step forward. If we are still enjoying the pain we know, then it is likely we will not do anything to change. You can ask yourself what your level of willingness is and what you are open to doing differently at the end of the day. If it is worth it to you, and if you are honest with yourself, you decide if it is worth the step to look at how your world can shift.

Essentially, we know when we are hiding; we do it all the time. We start paying attention to ourselves and the reasons we hide our depression. We either put up more blockades in an effort to shove ourselves back in it even further, or again, we look in the mirror to see ourselves for the first time in a long time. This choice is always available to us. Some days, we may take the former route and others, the latter. It is a matter of how far into the darkness we drown and the duration of that stay that is where we get lost.

If we have a blue day or a few blue days, that is to be expected. If we unpack our bags and move in, that is where we get in trouble. The other option is to let the blue days be as they will and keep putting forth one foot after the other, knowing it is only temporary. We no longer have to hide our depression.

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