“Forget that depression and despair…see me as shiny and happy”

I’m squatting on the kitchen floor, feeding strawberries into my juicer. I’m grinning wildly, enthralled with what I’m doing. My energy is magnetic and my friends are drawn to it. They gather around as I play the role of mad scientist juicer. I feel vibrant, alive and free, entertaining them and myself.

Once the juice is ready, I turn to Ross and say something that now breaks my heart. I say, “This is what freshman year Keely was like! I’m back!”

Ross is the roommate who took my spot in the house when I dropped out of college due to depression. He’s a year younger than the rest of us and wasn’t around for my freshman year.

When I say, “This is what freshman year Keely was like,” I’m begging him to see me as I want to be seen. “Ross,” I’m saying, “Forget the person I was when you got to know me. Forget that depression and despair and the fact that I was dying.”

“See me like this,” I’m saying. “See me how I once was, that year I was the person I wanted to be. See me as bright and shiny and happy.”

“See me as valuable. See me as someone you would want to be around. See me as worthy.”

Because at that stage of my life, I didn’t see my depressed self as worthy. She was broken. She was a disgrace.

I am a woman. An American woman. I am meant to be happy. I am meant to be fun and lighthearted and outgoing.

My job is to make other people enjoy being around me. And for one year, one blessed year, I achieved that. “Forget the other 20 years of my life,” I’m pleading with Ross, “There was that one year. That year that I was someone. I just want to be her again. Tell me you see her. Tell me I am her.”

21 year old Keely had so much to learn.

Republished from depression-free.org