I don’t think there is anything shameful about being depressed. I don’t think someone suffering with depression is weak or pathetic and I don’t think they should be embarrassed or ashamed or hide away. I think depression is an illness not a symptom of a personal failing and I think depression chooses you, not the other way round.
I am ashamed.
I am embarrassed.
I look at myself and feel frustration at being pathetic and weak and at not being able to take opportunities on offer. Sometimes I get annoyed with myself for not being able to pull myself up and out of the mire. And I do not share.
Sometimes I go on the patronising website for others like me and I try to offer help. I tell them that depression lies and takes over and that they shouldn’t believe that everyone hates them and that no one cares because it isn’t true. And I believe everyone hates me and that no one cares because it’s been three days, four days, a week since anyone sent a message and said hi. Depression lies to everyone but to me it tells the truth.
Sometimes I go on the website and I suggest that a fellow sufferer shares their feelings with someone close to them – is there a friend or a family member you trust? But I keep quiet and on the rare occasions that I do blurt it out, there is only regret and shame and fear of further isolation and being pushed away.
Depression is a disease, I tell them. Just like any other disease. Would you blame yourself if you had cancer or a cold? When your tonsils burn red do you think what did I do wrong?
And I think what did I do wrong?