About 3 years ago, my 7 year relationship fell apart.
I wasn't just hurt. I wasn't just sad. It pained me to wake up every morning. I lashed out. It was an awful time.
To cope, I sought professional help...but it wasn't enough. So I leaned on my closest friends. But eventually....they began to drop off and ignore me.
People told me: "snap out of it" or "don't worry about it". Saying that to a depressed person is like telling this to somebody with diabetes.
I realized that even if people wanted to help, they'd back away when the scariest symptoms appeared. Depression is contagious.
My friends told me "I need positivity" or "You have to get over it." when they pushed me away. But depression isn't just feeling sad.
Depression for me was hiding in bed for days, being unable to even take take a shower. Playing the words "there is no hope" repeatedly in my mind.
In my depression, I made other people feel bad. Which in turn made me feel worse. And more lonely. That's what makes depression so hard.
Eventually, I got through it. Through support and time, I overcame my disorder. But I learned some valuable lessons. I don't blame anyone who abandoned me. And I think those who supported me.
But the biggest lesson, is to not ignore those facing depression. It isn't your job to fix them. The best you can do is have empathy. And listen. And believe that they will overcome the disease.
Because that's what depression is. A disease. And together, by spreading awareness, we will help fight the disease together.