I see those signs that say “Depression Hurts” almost everywhere. Every time I see one, I think: “How much does it hurt? Who does it hurt? Why does it hurt?” I think back to my very first relationship. I thought this person and I would be together forever. I was in 9th grade and in love. But my heart was broken when we broke up only 2.5 months later. I thought I would never find love, I thought that I would be alone for the rest of my life. I went to school numb on the inside, on weekends I didn’t want to get out of bed. I stopped eating and the things that I used to love to do I simply didn’t want to do anymore. I knew I was depressed. My friends would tell me to “snap out of it”, to just come and hang out with them, but the thought of being around others was simply overwhelming. But over time, it got better. I started to engage with others at school, hang out with my friends, get up on weekends again and eat food. With time I got over it. From that experience, I learned that I hurt my friends, because they didn’t know what to do with me, I hurt myself, because I knew I should get out of bed and hang out with others, I knew in my head that I am a good enough person to be with someone else, but my heart lead me to believe otherwise(or maybe it was the other way around), but I couldn’t and that hurt and depressed me more. That is a feeling that I would feel again and again as I got older, but always a little differently and always a little less.
So, now I imagine that every time I ask those questions when I see those signs, because there are people who have to feel what I felt their entire life. Imagine feeling like you are never able to accomplish your goals and dreams, imagine that people don’t want you to be around them, that you have nothing worthwhile to contribute. It’s not as easy as snapping out of it, it’s not as easy as choosing to not be depressed. It takes time. We’ve all been there, so why do we always tell others to “just don’t be depressed?”
By being nice to each other and by showing our classmates, coworkers, etc. that they matter, because they are people too, we can help prevent others from feeling like they are less. A simple smile, a friendly “Hi” can really make a difference.