I have depression but I AM happy
The deal with living with depression, and being open about it, is this: I AM NOT ALWAYS DEPRESSED! I am not a negative person all the time. Most of the time I am stable and happy – or at least in a good mood. I love my life. I have an amazing daughter. I have a great little house. I have a passion – writing – and I have been blessed with a long, successful career doing it. I have friends. I have my health. I look in the mirror and I like what I see. I would not want to be anyone else.
This is how I feel most days. I don’t stand out because on these days, I am healthy and normal. But some days my ILLNESS flares and I am depressed. I reach out for help. I write and talk about it, because that is what I have been told to do. It works. But I need to be very careful. Today I realize that when I am just feeling down, or upset or I say something stupid or negative, there are people who will chalk that up to my depression even though they do not know me: “What do you expect? Have you read what she writes? She is so focused on her depression. Of course she is a negative person.”
Who wants to be around negative energy – whether it is caused by my depression, a bad day or a just an off-hand, stupid negative comment? Bad days and negative comments happen to everyone – whether they have depression or not. But those of us with depression must understand that some people have had enough of our negativity – whether we are actively in a depression or we are just having a bad day.
They just don’t want any more of our negativity in their lives. It is just the way it is. We could belly-laugh from here to kingdom-come but we cannot take back the negative vibes that we have thrown out and they have caught. I am not going to let this stifle my right to have a bad day or say or do something I wish I hadn’t. I am human and I will make mistakes – just like people who do not have depression.
Today I will respect everyone’s tipping point. Negativity is negativity – whether it is depression induced or not. I do not like it any more than they do. I will let them find joy in their lives just as I am finding mine.
So, excuse me. I have to go play with my dog at the park, then do a little swinging on the swing-set. I am feeling pretty darn good today.
Stapleton, C. (2009). I have depression but I AM happy. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 9, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/depression/2009/06/i-have-depression-but-i-am-happy/