What You Need to Know

I need you to know something.

When I’m depressed, I’m not myself. Or maybe I am myself…it’s hard to imagine ever being happy.

When I’m depressed, I don’t mean what I say. If I’m upset or angry with you, I don’t mean to be. However, it means I’m not getting what I need to in that moment; I should have told you what I needed instead of taking it out on you. I’ll work on my communication.

When I’m depressed, I do mean what I say when I thank you for being there or how grateful I am for having you. I know I’m hard to handle and I’m emotionally draining, and I appreciate the fact you don’t turn away. Sometimes it’s hard for me to express this while other times I may over-express myself. I’m sorry. I’m just trying to show/tell you how much I appreciate you. If I get to be too much, gently let me know. I’ll understand.

When I’m depressed, I need support and comfort, not sympathy or anger. I know when I self-harm it’s not good for me, but sometimes that’s the only way I know how to relieve what I’m feeling. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. Seeing sympathy in your eyes only hurts me more. I need empathy, and I’ll be more than happy to practice empathy with you. It’s incredibly rewarding, and sometimes I just need to understand that you understand or want to try understanding. If you yell at me or try to tell me the “things I need to know,” it will make things worse.

When I’m depressed, I might cry. Ok, I will cry. When I do, please give me a hug or respect my wishes to be alone. Please don’t yell at me for crying. Crying is relieving, and I’m simply letting the things I’ve pent up out. I try hard not to cry in front of people or in public places. I might be embarrassed for crying in front of you, so please understand if I respectfully leave.

When I’m depressed, I isolate myself from people. Sometimes, I just need my own space. Sitting by the lake at Rocky Gap or just drawing will help. Don’t be offended or angry if I don’t want to talk with you or meet up with you. I’m learning how to communicate how I feel, so please take my excuses for my awkwardness of telling you I need space. Sometimes I isolate myself for days. Please reach out when I do. Sometimes I feel like no one cares, so I stop reaching out. This will worsen the depression. I know that, but sometimes my head is so good at telling me no one cares.

When I’m depressed, I may reach out to you. I’m learning how to continue seeking support from my friends. If it’s too much for you, please gently tell me so. If you’re busy, I’ll understand. As an introvert, I tend to enjoy being alone. However, sometimes that’s the worse thing for me. So, I’ll ask if you want to go out sometimes or if we can talk on the phone. I’m really asking for your time to help me forget my depression or I’m seeking help. I just don’t know how to ask straight-forward.

When I’m depressed, I may get lost in my head a lot and forget to listen to you if you’re talking to me. Or I just might forget everything you tell me. I’m sorry. Sometimes, my head can be louder than someone talking to me. Be patient with me. I want to hear what you have to say.

When I’m depressed, the smallest things can send me either over the edge or to cloud nine. I am not being dramatic. I’m simply not in the place to handle the smallest disappointment or bad news. I need time to calm myself down and to think rationally. Emotions tend to kick in faster than rationality. If I’m over-excited about something small, don’t put me down for being happy. Be happy for me in finding something to be happy over. In a dark world, even the smallest star can make me smile.

When I’m depressed, I may not be able to control my emotions. I’m going to be an emotional roller coaster. I know it is hard to be supportive when I’m going from happy to angry to depressed. I know I’m hard to keep up with. I just want you to know I am trying hard to control myself and calm down. I know you’re there if I need you, but I may feel like I’m too much of a burden on people… so I won’t ask for help. But please know I am trying.

When I’m depressed, I may self-harm. You may notice bruises on my knuckles or a bandage covering the cuts on my wrist. I know it looks bad, but I don’t have to explain. If I want to talk about it, I will. I’m not comfortable talking to a lot of people about my problems. If I open up to you, please know I trust you enough to be open with you. I need you to respect my trust. Don’t tell me how stupid I am for hurting myself or threaten to have me committed. I suffer that every day with my family. Please don’t add to it. I work through it in therapy. Unless you’re my therapist, you have no opinion in what I do to myself.

When I’m depressed, don’t mistake my smiles for happiness. I force a smile on my face every day.. at work, when I was in class, when I see you. Sometimes, my smile with be genuine. There are five people who instantly make me smile by being with them. However, I may be fighting a war inside my head. I smile so you don’t know there’s something wrong. I hold back the tears until after we separate. I can be ok sitting with you, but it can drastically change after I leave you. Please don’t tell me I was just happy because I wasn’t.

When I’m happy, I can see things more clear. I can think rationally about my problems. The smallest thing doesn’t feel world-ending for me. I can be more supportive of those suffering from mental health issues or other problems. I feel like I can conquer the world, and I’m certain I’ll try. I can express myself more clearly. I have enough energy I can run for 12 plus hours a day without slowing down. These are the moments I live for. These are the moments I strive to have, and these are the moments I don’t take for granted. These are the moments that are so few and far between. Sit with me in my happiness because this is what I earned by suffering.

4 thoughts on “What You Need to Know”

  1. You know the worth of happy days and I wish you lots of happy days. You wrote a fantasic, very personal text. Very informativ for people who can not relate how it feels like beeing regulary depressed. Good to know how to behave and how to value situations.
    But as you have learned to value happy days, the person who loves you will appreciate the happy days together, and she/he will also be proud to be a more sensitive, more attentive person as before.

    • Thank you! It’s one of my simpler attempts at explaining my depression. I wish that was true. I find I lose people as my depression gets worse. It makes me value the few who stay.

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