We all have this habit of greeting someone and asking them how they are, expecting them to reciprocate with; “I’m fine”. Whenever someone calls us and says hello, the automatic response always is; “I’m okay, and you?” Ever wondered what would happen if you greeted someone and their response would be; “No! I’m not okay”, would be able to deal with the conversation after that, or does it make you squirm when you realize they are actually not okay and in your head you feel like you were just being formal and not ready for the “Pandora’s box” that’s just been opened? Of course none of us wants to open up or be a burden to anyone, but sometimes we all need to understand, that hiding behind a smile, putting on a facade will only drain us and it really is okay not to be okay. Depression is an illness just like any other. It doesn’t make you weak, or make it less important, it’s a dark cloud that seems to hang over us that many people around us don’t seem to see the storm going on inside you. Below are a few signs to look out for to help anyone going through depression by being there for him/her.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me”
Everything around them seems to be going great from the outside. Good jobs, a good partner, a good life as it were, but there’s a certain sadness about them. A feeling of emptiness, frustration of trying to figure out why they can’t be happy, why they can’t be content with the few silver linings life has to offer. Rather than trying to point it all out to them, sometimes just being there, not saying anything, helps rather than making them feel guilty for not being content with what they have.
“Feeling so alone surrounded by people”
Being among friends, all of them laughing, chatting, enjoying every moment of it, but you sit there wondering why you feel so alone. Why you can’t seem to enjoy their company, why they can’t see through your mask. Why you don’t want to be a burden to them by ruining the moment and saying you need them to unveil the sad mask you have on. When you are that friend who is able to see the tears in their eyes, be there for them. Help them understand that it’s okay to be alone together.
“I couldn’t be bothered anymore”
The nonchalant attitude they have when it comes to work, life and people around them. Things that used to bring them so much joy, the eagerness they had to finish a chapter of a gripping novel, the concerts they loved attending, the hours spent on Pinterest trying to finish those DIY projects that keep piling up. They are not enthusiastic about work anymore. Always making excuses not to attend a certain party/wedding/ baby shower/. Craving for some alone time and always looking forward to being alone. Couldn’t be bothered with replying that one text message that used to get them all excited like a 16 year old teenager anymore. It’s okay not to be bothered anymore, just don’t let it get the best of you and miss out on the little things that used to bring you so much, like hearing your favorite song on radio or catching the sunrise by the beach.
All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never really notice how broken you really are. We put on a façade so effortlessly that hardly anyone notices what’s going on. You seem to be the life of the party; you act like everything is fine. Your social media pages look like your life is so together and exciting. Deep down, you wish someone would see past it, would reach out to you and assure you that it’s okay not to be fine. Every night when you remove the mask and be yourself, the pillows are there to help soak the dark storm away. That glint of sadness in your eyes, the despair in your voice, if only someone really listened because you don’t know how to open up and tell them you’re not fine. They don’t catch it on time, and you keep on with the charade reasoning you will be fine with time.
“No one cares anymore”
Usually when you reach this point, it seems like the end. When in your head, you feel like no one cares about what you’re going through anymore. Like you are so worthless and insignificant to your family and friends that the world would be better off without you in it. The dark cloud hovering above you seems to be your only companion. It’s sad that when one reaches this point, they feel like the only way out is to find peace, to end it all. Mark Twain once said; every one is a moon and has a side which he never shows anyone. We hardly show anyone our hurting side; we would rather suffer in silence. Yet we always forget, we all have gone through dark times, some are fortunate enough to get past it, some are not. Some days are better, some days are worse, but no matter what you’re going through always remember; it’s okay not to be okay! Reach out to someone, hold on, pray, cry, laugh and embrace every emotion, don’t hide them from everyone, look for that one person, don’t let go of them and always let them know when you’re not okay!