The world never refuses to celebrate anything and so it celebrates a week in the name of mental health awareness. As awkward as it may sound, very few of us actually understand the term and fewer know what to do when they come across someone who is depressed or mentally ill.
While most of us think depression to be synonymous with sadness, it definitely isn’t just that. Depression is not just a feeling of sadness, it is much more than that. It is the feeling of exhaustion even after hours of sleep, it is the void and vacuum that you feel deep inside your heart, it is the ocean of tears in your eyes, it is a lot more than mere words can explain.
People fail to realise how you can be all happy one moment and completely gloomy and broken the very next minute. You never know when your heart may beat to its best or cause tremendous pain, just to leave you in a state of chaos.
What most people fail to understand is that a person with depression needs extraordinary strength and energy even to perform the most normal and natural tasks like waking up in the morning, dressing up, walking to the nearby bus station and going back to sleep in the night.
As horrible as it may sound, knowing that you have slipped into the darkness of depression makes the situation scarier as you always fear the return of your dull phase. You can’t make commitments as simple as a movie plan with friends or dinner date with your beloved because you never know what hell the next minute may bring to your life.
Amidst all this, you still smile, dress up and put all your energy into giving your best to your work and the very few relations that you manage to keep in your life in spite of all odds. You still look your best, give your best and hope for the best because you cannot afford to look weak in front of the world that you want to win.
But those petty arguments and scuffles that you unintentionally invite because of your sensitivity occupy most of your time and thoughts. This is because anything negative will always weigh more in your life than happy moments. People may think that you are a pessimistic person who cannot even hold their own self together but only you know how hard it is to look beyond those dark clouds to find a sliver of sunlight.
You see people walking in when you are all smiles and walking out when they get bored of your frequent crying and sobbing. You see people telling you that you are not the only one but depression is one lethal drop of poison and you don’t need a pot full of it to feel its deadly effect on you.
You may have absolutely no social life because you fear you lack the energy that a new relationship requires. you may have absolutely no one to talk to when you need it the most and the worst part is even sleep will betray you when you need.
After months or perhaps years of depending on anti-depressants and pills that promise happiness, you will one day realise that your body has stopped responding to them. This day will be no different than several other days and you will wonder if ever you will be able to come out of this gloomy phase that seems to have captured your life for eternity and beyond.
While almost everyone will ask you to not talk about your depression, you will occasionally stop to wonder if you should be ashamed of something that defines you the best. You may feel there is nothing about depression to be proud of but let me tell you that you should be one proud person because you haven’t quit despite the hundreds of suicidal thoughts that have crossed your mind.
You should be proud because you hold your broken pieces so beautifully that they look like a piece of art. You should be proud because you put all your efforts into living a normal life and yet make it look effortless and elegant to the world. You have everything to be proud of because you have embraced the real you, despite the thorns that come attached to it.
You are the real firefly because you are guided by your own light in the eternal dark.