Depression hides behind the girl with the smile. Behind her layers of make-up that she spent forever applying to hide her illness. It hides behind the clothes she dug out while crying, wishing she didn’t have to go out and face the world.
It hides behind the man with the pressed suit, the shined shoes and the coiffed hair. The one holding down his job, where his colleagues are unaware of his demons.
Depression hides behind regular showers, clean teeth and washed hair. It lurks in the mind of the most stable seeming person, a dark secret that they don’t want you to know.
Depression is not just found in chaos or in dirt, it is found in clean and tidy too. It makes fast friends with other disorders, dragging you still deeper into that black hole.
Depression has an evil way of sucking your will to live away, yet making you feel guilty for feeling that way, making you hide it from those who care for you, making you suffer in silence. Alone.
Depression is not something you can understand unless you have been there. It is not comparable to grief, or a bad day, or feeling blue. It is a feeling, deep in your soul, a weight that will not lift.
Do not be fooled by their smiles, not even by their laughter. That friend with the biggest grin could hide the darkest fears, the most evil illness. Do not assume that a cheery remark or a joke means they are cured. For some there will be no cure, for others that weight will finally lift and they will breathe easy again. But for so many the weight will become too much.
Do not, ever, underestimate that weight. Do not make light of it, for it is my friend. For all the pain it causes me, it is a part of me and, somehow, I must learn to accept its darkness, its weight. Find a way to keep going, even when it smothers me, when it drowns me in a sea of sorrow.
Depression hides behind this girl with the smile. Even now. Even while I feel joy, it lurks there. I can feel it, waiting to pounce.