My Depression is Not Pretty

My depression is not pretty. It is not cute, catchy, or attractive. It does not cause heads to turn, hands to clap, or lips to smile.

My depression is not a trait about me. It is not something that I get to share amongst friends at parties, co-workers at work events, or as an ice breaker with strangers.

My depression is not something that I like, a thing that sums up who I am, or a part of me I’m proud of.

My depression is ugly.

It is a dark cloud of thoughts that I cannot control, a monster that hides within the small crevices of my self-worth, a part of me of which I am ashamed.

My depression causes self-doubt, loneliness, and a feeling that I am going through life constantly in a fog or on auto-pilot. It makes me feel as though I do not play a main character in anyone else’s story, even though they are cast as a star in mine. My depression convinces me that I am not a leading role, a supporting one, or even the barista in the coffee shop that hands the star her coffee. In the stories of the people around me, my depression tells me that I am merely an extra that can be easily replaced.

While it is not always present, my depression is a stream of bad luck that never seems to go away. It makes the bad moments worse and the good moments mediocre at best. It takes everything personally and decides my mood based on a laundry list of minuscule details and ludicrous categories.

This cloud of self-doubt and fear takes exciting things like the first hangout with a new friend and twists it on its side. My own thoughts and beliefs are pushed and pulled until I’m convinced that I’m only being spoken to out of pity and my mere existence on the same earth as them drives them insane.

It tells me that my presence doesn’t matter, that I don’t make a difference to anyone around me, and that, at the most simplistic of forms, I am replaceable.

My depression hates everything about me. It hates the things I’m confident about, the things I’m complimented on, and the things others love most about me. It hates the things I hate, the things I’m not as comfortable with, and the things I wish I could change.

My depression is a constant bully, and I am always in its presence. It follows me around, day after day and night after night, attempting to tear me down until I am only a shell of a person. It does not care that those around me think I’m funny. It does not care that I have a heart of gold. It does not care that I am thoughtful, empathetic, or loyal.

It tries—and often succeeds—to take me to my knees and then kicks me when I am down.

It eats away at me no matter what the time, the feeling, or the status. Like a vulture, it eats away at a carcass that has already lost its life. It does not relent, relax, or cut breaks. There are no paid vacations, no excused time off, and no days of getting off early.

There is only fighting.

What my depression does not know, however, is that I know how to fight, too.

Each time I am attacked, broken, or kicked down, I stand taller than the time before. I become stronger. I become smarter. I become more resilient.

I may not always win the battle, but I will continue to fight the war.

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