I’m really surprised at how much people compare their struggles to someone else’s without knowing the full story.
The other day I was sitting in a waiting room, a few minutes before seeing my psychiatrist. There were three other people in the waiting room and soon a name was called and two people stood up and left. It appeared as though one of them was the “patient” and the other person with them was there for moral support.
As soon as they’d left the waiting room, the remaining woman leaned over and said, “You know, I really feel sorry for people like that.” She looked at me, clearly expecting a response. I just smiled a little and kept reading. I couldn’t focus though, thinking about what that woman had just said to me.
Well, I’m a patient as well – what a surprise – and whenever I finally open up to someone about my thoughts and conditions, they seem to pity me and offer condolences as if I’m some kind of messed up kid who doesn’t know how to keep it together. Yes, there are times where my eyes just won’t stop getting teary, but everyone’s experienced this feeling as well. A feeling where you feel something deep inside but there are simply no words to describe your overwhelming thoughts and emotions.
For me, depression has always been an insidious evil, a cancer within, and rather like my intermittent head aches — both conditions arrived at about the same time, with roughly the same effect.
It’s a feeling of drowning while everyone else around you is breathing.
Because sometimes people do actually feel that way. Sometimes your life feels like it’s caving in on you. Sometimes people really do feel like they don’t want to exist, like they want to just curl up in a ball, and go into that place between life and death. Saying “I don’t want to exist” isn’t equivalent to “I want to go die”. It’s saying “I wish that, for the time being, I could go somewhere and no have to feel”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for those of you who have given a condescending look at people who struggle with depression, here’s my message to you: If you don’t know how it feels to feel this way, then you have no place to judge anyone who does.