It’s not just the stigma. There is a reason why people don’t come forward and talk about their life. There’s a reason why people suffer in silence and struggle on their own, never daring to tell anyone else what they think or feel, because God forbid someone else knew. And it’s not just the social stigma. The problems run deeper than the marks of shame.
There is a reason why people do not come forward or reveal their truths. There is a reason why people will undergo their own personal torment and endure their own anguish before ever revealing themselves to anyone else. It’s more than just the shame; it’s the fear of imperfection. This is the fear of outside rejection because who wants to love someone that is mentally ill or broken inside —and even if the illness is obvious, even if the depression is so clear to everyone else —even if others appear to understand, there is something so painfully lonely about the anguish because this runs much deeper than the question most people ask, which is “What’s wrong?” or “What can I do to help?” which no one gets how the questions themselves are painful because there doesn’t seem to be an answer to anything.
No one wants to be crazy; at least not this kind of crazy. The only crazy people want to be is crazy enough to dare or dance like no one else is watching, but even still, who cares if anyone sees, because we’re crazy enough to live and to love without regard for anyone else. There is a word for this, by the way. It’s called “Freedom!”
No one wants to come forward and tell the truth about themselves, about their irrational sadness, about their unexplained distress, or their unusual cheerlessness that comes around for no reason whatsoever.
There is no logic behind this. There is no logic behind depression—the logic becomes emotionalized; therefore, the logic becomes illogical and turned inward, this irrational ideas become painful
Do you want to know why people suffer from their own considerations in silence? Because they don’t want to let anyone else down; they don’t want to anyone else to know because of the inner sense of humiliation.
Besides, it is so painfully humbling and vulnerable to open up to someone. And if you do, then there’s the worry. Then there’s the wonder of what someone else thinks.
Do they understand? Or, could they understand?
Besides, how could anyone else possibly understand when the person feeling this way can’t even understand it?
It’s more than just a “What’s wrong?” question or, “What can I do to help?” it is more than the external helplessness of those that care, which hurts because you know there is nothing anyone else can do.
This is deeper because the answer is more than just one thing. Depression and anguish, insecurity, and anxiety is like a small little child, too afraid to let go, too afraid to be hurt again, to be socially or publicly shamed or rejected, too worried that someone will leave and never come back, afraid to be disliked and uninvited, unwelcomed, or worse, unwanted if anyone knew the truth. Depression is a child with no verbal ability to explain, so the child cries and throws tantrums or acts out in one form or another because the buildup of too many indescribable fears just pushes us over the edge.
Depression is the tiresomeness of rejection and letdown after letdown. This leads to the inability and to the unimportance of seeing or recognizing any of the previous milestones or successes. There is no such thing.
Do you want to know why people don’t come forward about this? It’s because it hurts. Even the beauty if someone’s acceptance if fearful and painful—it’s too pure for the touch and too raw for the hand to grasp. This is too much for an adult to comprehend, let alone a teenager or a child. And it stems from here too—childhood, I mean. This stems from past experience and an imbalance in our chemistry that never sits right. Medication helps (I guess) but still, medication does not always help or work.
Nothing makes sense. Nothing works out evenly. Life becomes clunky at best and nothing ever feels smooth.
And who wants to be with someone that feels this way? Who else could accept someone so painfully imperfect, especially when the person cannot, does not, and will not accept themselves?
Depression is the feeling of being forsaken, abandoned, alone, and uncovered or cold because of an internal rejection and a belief that nothing and no one can save the heart, the mind, or the soul.
There was a song written back in 86 by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg and then released on September 15 by Cyndi Lauper. The song is called True Colors.
I was just a kid back then. I was just about to turn 14 years-old. Music Television was still a pretty big thing back then.
One day, the video came on and I heard the lyrics of the song.
“You with the sad eyes, don’t be discouraged, oh I realize; it’s hard to take courage in a world full of people. You could lose sight of it all. The darkness inside you makes you feel so small.”
I remember hearing this. And I never said anything. In fact, I’m not even sure if I’ve ever mentioned this memory before now —but that was the first time I was able to see something I had in me. This was the first time I was able to hear a word that made sense of it. Beforehand, I felt wrong in my own body. I thought I was wrong for being who I was.
What a trip, right?
I was supposed to be a kid. Not depressed.
I knew about depression from a very young age but I never knew there were words to describe or define it.
The idea of anyone else understanding or caring was too far for me to see or understand. And I would never tell anybody.
I would never talk about it because then this was too real, but yet, at the same time, I just wished I could have been comfortable enough to let someone know. I wished I could have let someone in to hug me and tell me, “Don’t worry kid, everything is gonna be alright,” in a way that I could trust and believe. But the truth is I would have never believed in it. I would have doubted every step because this is what depression does.
This is why what I do is important to me. This is why I struggle when it comes to openly discussing me or my past, or to anyone else except you.
See, I’m fine here. I am in charge when I am writing in my loft. I am in charge when I write. And I get that. And I get why.
This is my outlet and I expose this because I know that somewhere is a kid or a person just like me that has no voice, which hurts, so I give them mine—even if it hurts me too, which is fine because pain makes sense to people with depression.
And see, that’s the thing. All we want is something that makes sense—so we can understand, so we can accept ourselves, and so we can heal or feel better.
I suppose this is why I said goodbye to the traditional ideas of publishing a long time ago. Because fuck’em.
To hell with the critics. To hell with the stigmas too. To hell with the rest of them because there are people like you and me, just trying to get through and maybe this might help.
Somewhere out there, hopefully is someone reading this and they’re shaking their head thinking to themselves, “I get it,” and they’re not feeling so alone, because after all, that’s what depression is—it’s an empty hole of lonesomeness, too dark to see until you learn how, but by then, the lights of hopefulness become too bright to take
This is why people struggle in silence because this is too big to tell anyone about, and besides, once you mention this, now it’s out there. Not it’s real. And to the person with depression, the idea that it’s out there is not just humiliating—it’s painful.