If I Told You

Today was a normal day, I woke up, got myself ready and ventured off to work, I spoke to my co-workers, I smiled with my co-workers, I laughed with my co-workers, I refilled, I remerched, I served customers, I did everything that I do in a normal days work, it was no different to usual. I finished work and went to play golf with a couple of co-workers but more so friends, again I laughed at their poor stroke play, I got angry at mine, I was excited when one of us hit a good shot, everything was just normal, but what if it wasn’t, what if I told you that everything I exemplified today was a complete and utter lie, would you be shocked?

What if I told you that last night I probably only slept for three hours, would you be shocked?

What if I told you I couldn’t sleep because I was anxious about something, would you be shocked?

What if I told you I fell asleep with tears in my eyes, would you be shocked?

What if I told you that before leaving for work this morning, I broke down crying at my kitchen table, would you be shocked?

What if I told you that before I walked into work this morning, I had to take five deep breaths just to calm myself down, would you be shocked?

What if I told you that I struggled to even face my co-workers today, would you be shocked?

What if I told you I didn’t even want to play golf today because I thought I might breakdown again, would you be shocked?

What if I told you that all the laughter and smiles I offered today, were actually masking the cries and tears that I felt inside, would you be shocked?

What if I told you that although I was surrounded by people today, I have never felt more lonely in my life, would you be shocked?

I think that most if not all people who communicated with me today, would be shocked, I seemed happy, I was smiling, laughing and joking, I was doing my job, I was playing golf and from the outside looking in, I was happy, but I wasn’t, it was all an act and it’s an act that I’m getting dam well good at playing.

I have developed this act where I can put on a brave face and basically function, during this act I can do my job, I can play sport, I can communicate with people, I can laugh, I can smile and I can make sure that I am the last person you’d expect to have depression, to the point where no one would have any idea of how much I am struggling with my emotions at that very moment, that’s what I did today when in reality I was just seconds away from bursting into tears.

But why do I create this act? Honestly sometimes it’s just easier, from my perspective it can take me away from all the negative thoughts I’ve been having, it can stop me from feeling depressed for a certain period of time because in a sense, I can just run away from my mind, when I’m playing this role, I don’t necessarily think about anything, positive or negative and I’m just on a even keel, it makes me feel as though, just for a second, the world isn’t falling out from under my feet.

Unfortunately this feeling doesn’t last long, and once the act finishes, I’m back to square one, feeling the same emotions I explained at the beginning of this blog, however I don’t want to burden anyone by explaining everything I am feeling and make them feel as though they should have the answers, so I start playing this act again and in all honesty, I just hope someone notices somethings wrong.

I don’t blame my co-workers or friends for not noticing, I’ve perfected the act so well that even my family can’t pick up on it, I wish I wasn’t so good at it because it really doesn’t help, I mean all I really wanted today was for someone to put their arms around me and give me a hug but how was anyone to know that, when I wasn’t willing to showcase that’s what I needed, I guess I was just hoping someone would notice.

In my opinion it’s a common issue individuals with depression struggle with, we tend to create an act or put on a brave face because it’s the easier option, obviously it is a difficult subject to bring up, I know how important it is to speak up and admit that you are struggling, but it’s also one of the most difficult things to do and no matter how many times you’ve done it, it never gets easier, from my point of view, I would much rather wait until someone asks me how I’m feeling as in my mind it makes me think along the lines of “maybe they care”.

If you are supporting someone dealing with depression, I can understand how it can be exhausting at times, constantly having to support them but please remember that continually asking questions can be a really big enabler in allowing them to open up, I hear and use this term a lot, “I’m always here if you need me”, reality is for those people suffering with depression, they will always need you but unfortunately they wont always reach out and use you because honestly we don’t want to be a burden. So instead of waiting for someone to contact you, don’t be afraid to reach out yourself, no one will ever get upset at you asking if they are ok, if there is something they would like to talk about or if there is anything that maybe upsetting them, sometimes a simple question, can be enough to start a very valuable conversation.

Thanks for reading.