The Face of Depression

youdontlookdepressed-mmuffin.png

I’ve had a really sucky few days, as I just mentioned in my last post. Nothing new has happened. I haven’t been triggered by some terrible event or random comment or anything like that, but it’s been hard.

I don’t really know why. May was a difficult month, sure, but by the end of it I was starting to feel a lot better. Beginning of June was the same. I had actually been happy for once. Legitimately wake-up-in-the-morning-wanting-to-sing happy. It was great. Coming from someone who thought about suicide multiple times a day to actually being okay, well, let’s just say that I wasn’t taking any of those times for granted.

But things slipped up. Not as bad as before perhaps, but they started getting trashy again. I “relapsed” if you will. And the only reason this matters at all (despite how it makes me feel, of course), is that absolutely no one knows. My mom, who lives in extremely close vicinity to me, even mentioned to today about how she thought I had been feeling a lot better the past few days. When I told her otherwise, she was legitimately surprised.

Here’s the thing guys: this is me and other people suffering (or have suffered) from depression.

I know I can’t be unbiased about my own appearance – no one can – but on the surface, I think I look relatively put together. I’ve done my makeup, dressed well, and seem somewhat alright looking. If I went out anywhere like this, no one would have any idea whatsoever what was going on with me. And, not to mention how great everyone else looks in this selection of photos. (Guys, Owen Wilson is really good looking. Don’t judge me when we all know it’s true).

This is how a depressed person is supposed to look:

I guess what I’m trying to say is that appearances are deceptive. We as human beings naturally look at the outside to determine what’s on the inside of a person. Of course – that’s all we can see, right? Which is completely fair, but also downright flawed. Whether we’ll admit to it or not, we all have our preferences, stereotypes, and prejudices that determine the impression we get from someone based solely on their appearance. Take teenagers, for example. I see a flock of them huddled together, and I automatically think they’re annoying. For absolutely no other reason than for the fact that they’re young. I haven’t met them, haven’t spoken to them, and have probably only watched them for five seconds. But still, annoying.

So when you see someone like me compared to someone in those depressed images above, you wouldn’t really think that I was in the exact same place as them. And, to take that a step further, if I told you how awfully I was doing, you would be a lot less likely to believe me than you would them.

You simply have no idea, and appearances are beyond deceptive. Just because someone looks happy, smiles a lot, is well dressed, seemingly successful, or whatever else you want to throw in there – doesn’t mean that’s really what’s going on for them.

So I guess my point is simply this: take each person as they come. What pain looks on one person looks completely different on another. We all wear things differently, and I think we as people need to be spending less time concentrating on what we choose to clothe ourselves in, and a whole lot more time worrying about what’s really going on underneath.

Sermon over.

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