Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

Why An ‘Okay’ Day Isn’t Always What It Seems For Someone With Depression

Yesterday was an ‘okay’ day. I got up, I showered, I made breakfast, I ate some of it, and got to work… you know, the normal things. In the evening, I went out for a movie with friends, thinking I was ‘okay.’ But I wasn’t; not really. As I sat there in the dark cinema hall, all I could think about was ‘what am I doing here?’, ‘why am I here?’, ‘I just want this day to be over,’ and similar such thoughts. But I did what was expected of me – I smiled, I laughed, I may even have gotten a bit teary-eyed in a couple of places, I chatted with my friends. When the end credits rolled, there was easy banter in the group about what was good about the movie, what was bad, why it was such a cliché, so on and so forth, and one of my friends turned to me and asked me for my opinion.

Suggested read: 5 simple truths and tips about dating someone with depression

I stared mutely at him for a few seconds because my mind was a complete blank. I managed to tell him something vague to show my ‘participation’ in the conversation – again, what was expected of me. Now, when I think back to that moment after the movie ended, I honestly don’t know what I really think about the movie. I was there, I watched the 157-minute saga, I laughed, I cried – yet, I don’t think I was truly there.

depressed woman_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Turned out yesterday wasn’t exactly the ‘okay’ day I thought it was. Turned out that I had checked out mentally while I was ‘pretending to be okay,’ and watch a movie. Turned out it’s exhausting to pretend that you’re okay, even when you positively, utterly, definitely know that you are not.

That exhaustion caught up with me when I reached home. It was this overwhelming feeling of something “heavy.” It’s a feeling that sits in the space between my lungs, ticking and tocking and pulsing in my veins into infinity. It feeds on thoughts and feelings and emotions, and all three were in abundance last night. They had a feast worthy of the princes.

I was dog tired, yet I just couldn’t sleep. I tried reading, my one solace against everything the world throws at me, but it failed me. Eventually, at around 3:30 AM, when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, I fell asleep with tears leaking out of my eyes.

depressed woman_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

This is me, on most days. Thinking I am ‘okay,’ only to get emotionally whacked because I’m not. Not really. I stare into the mirror, and some days I don’t recognize the figure staring back at me. She seems put together, self-possessed, serene, ready to tackle the work day with energy that I know isn’t really there. But the truth lies in my eyes. They are lackluster, seem lost, filled with an undefined pain, and ready to start the waterworks at the drop of a hat – heck, at the drop of a pin! Anything and everything can set me off – an ad on Facebook, a picture post on another FB page, a harmless video on YouTube, or even my mum calling to check on me.

Suggested read: Women in power show more signs of depression than men, says Science

To see me, you wouldn’t believe that my insides are constantly churning as if it’s one of those huge cement mixers that is always spinning and revolving. I can’t seem to focus on one task, flitting between one to another, as if I’m a drunk butterfly, instead of a person who holds a fairly responsible job, that she needs to do a good job of, to justify her paycheck. There are a million and a half to-do lists waiting for me to tick off, research to do, articles to write, and work to be finished. There is no time for feelings. Or emotions. Or too-deep thoughts, for that matter. Or I won’t get the job done. I need to shove them to the end of the working day, so that I can deal with them on my own time, not during ‘working hours.’ Because, you see, feelings do not pay the bills, do not help me save money to take that trip to Europe that I’ve been planning since last February; feelings won’t help me get that promotion I’ve been eyeing for over a year now.

But feelings are feelings, they are intangible, and creep up on me when I least expect them to. I can’t seem to control my thoughts, or feelings, or emotions. And the days where I reside in an emotional state where I am functioning as a normal human being are less, and the days where I wake up and think why did I even bother are more. I feel crippled emotionally.

sad woman_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

There are days when I don’t feel like enough. There are days when I want to float away on a cloud to some faraway place where no one knows me. There are days when I question my very existence and purpose on this planet. There are days when I would rather lie in bed all day, or rather that I hadn’t woken up at all. Even on such days, there are certain expectations from me that I cannot fail to live up to. I am expected to work, smile, chat, laugh, write, be.

For an outsider, my life would look near-perfect. I am single, independent, strong (for the most part), naïve (incredibly so in certain circumstances), and seemingly happy. I have a good educational background, I love my work (I really do), and I don’t have any responsibilities other than to myself. I don’t have any dependents who rely on me or my income. I lead a relatively free life, without having to answer to anybody. I project a persona that is, for the most part, likeable (or so I’ve been told by my friends and peers). So why am I the way I am, admitting to having thought of not waking up in the morning at all? That it would be such a relief not to have to ‘grin and bear it’? That it’s better to ‘fake it till you make it’ rather than confess how I feel exactly?

Because voicing it might break something inside of me. Because ‘faking it till I make it’ is not emotionally healthy. Because depression doesn’t care if I’m ‘seemingly happy.’ Because I’m not; definitely not.

sad woman_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

There have been times where I have snuck into the office bathroom in the middle of the day to have a hearty cry, just to get the overwhelming feeling out – even just a little bit. It’s nowhere near enough because I’m trying to hold onto a huge ball of frustration, anxiety, fear, confusion, and swirling thoughts (which are not good for the most part) till I can be by myself and release them all without judgment or censure or disdain.

Suggested read: How to beat depression? By eating turmeric, says Science!

Some days, I don’t want to have to grin and bear it. And I don’t. There are times when I feel on the edge, all ready to fall, only to be yanked back by a stray thought, an errant memory, an unruly dream. There are times when I don’t want to have to talk, or smile, or be there for someone. There are times when I just want to be left alone, to deal with my pain on my own. There are times when I just want to lie there on my bed, not getting up at all, for the whole day. There are times when I don’t feel whole at all, as if pieces of me – important ones – are floating around me, if only I had the strength to catch them. There are times when things don’t seem to fit neatly into a box. There are times when I feel like a square peg trying to fit myself into a round hole.

I feel like I have been adrift on a sea of emotions, without anything to hold on to. You might say that I don’t have anything to be depressed about – heck, I even tell myself that. But I can’t very well give myself a stern talking-to and get out of it, can I? How do I get out of this constantly spinning wormhole that seems to suck me in – a little by little every day?

What do I do? What do I do?

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Why An 'Okay' Day Isn't Always What It Seems For Someone With Depression
Because ‘faking it till I make it’ is not emotionally healthy. Because depression doesn’t care if I’m ‘seemingly happy.’ Because I’m not; definitely not.
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg