This is painfully true.

Sometimes saying I have a headache is simply easier than:

“You know what? I’m not OK. I feel so, so low and nothing is working. I hate myself. I feel stupid, nobody loves me, nobody understands and at this moment in time, it doesn’t feel like anything will ever get better. I feel guilty for feeling like this. I feel so alone.”

Why It’s Easier to Say I Have a ‘Headache’ Than Say I’m Depressed

I’m not a robot. I still experience happiness — but it’s fleeting. I’ll laugh hard over a joke or smile through an entire episode of my favorite show, but as soon as it’s over, I’ll snap right back to my sadness.

It’s like the happy moment never happened at all. Like it was wiped from my brain as soon as it ended.

It’s almost scary when I find others who describe exactly how I feel. When I was in the deepest part of my latest depressive episode, this is exactly how I felt. Especially the snapping back… Except it wasn’t really sadness, it was just nothingness. One second I’d be laughing at my dog being a weirdo, and then it would stop abruptly and I’d immediately be back to feeling nothing.

When You Don’t Have Enough Energy to Hate How Depression Makes You Feel

Just because it looks like I’m always doing well doesn’t mean I am.

I’ve developed a natural defence mechanism (not intentionally, it just happens) where I basically hide everything I truly feel. When it starts spilling out, that’s a good indicator that it’s really bad because probably only 5% of how I REALLY feel actually comes out to see the light of day. The other 95% is boiling inside me, building, creating stress out of nothing and causing so much anguish that I feel like I’m going to burst, but I never do. Instead, it leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms for release. Course when depression leads me to feeling nothing at all, that’s a whole different can of worms.

Having severe depression doesn’t mean I look severe.

Just because I don’t look depressed doesn’t mean I’m not. And just because I, and my life, don’t resemble the idea you have in your head about what “severe depression” must be, doesn’t change the reality of having it.

This is something my counsellor said to me a lot when I was in my deepest depressive state. My life looks good on paper, yet I’m still unhappy.

Pills don’t make me happy, period. No matter how happy I am, it is never because of the medication I take. Medication is a life vest, but I still have to do the swimming. Medication can not make you happy. It simply can’t.

That’s also not at all how antidepressants work. They don’t make you happy. They adjust how the chemicals in your brain work, to ease depressive symptoms and help get you back to, somewhat, “normal.” In truth, a lot of people say they make their emotions feel flat. They help to get you out of the pit of despair but that’s all they do. They can’t create happiness for you out of nothing. They just get you to the point where you’re able to find happiness on your own because when you’re trapped in the blackness of depression, happiness is nowhere to be seen. Not to mention, simply making you happy wouldn’t solve a thing.

19 Problems Only Happy People With Depression Understand

Around the time I kind of, unintentionally, stopped posting on here, this happened, and it hit me really hard. A lot harder than I expected.

What We’re Reminded of After Amy Bleuel’s Passing

Why Amy Bleuel’s Death Does Not Invalidate Her Message

When I first heard about Amy’s passing, wasn’t able to find the right words to express how I feel about it. I still haven’t. I probably never will.

I’m still in the middle of my own battle. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve lost count of how many times I came right up to the edge. The fact I’m still here is not a feat of strength, by any means. In all honesty, fear is the only thing that has prevented me from stepping off the edge and completely giving up on life. Fear is the reason I’m still here. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out of the things I used to dream about. Problem is, the longer I keep going, the further away those dreams seem to be, they feel less achievable than they used to be.

The fact that Amy wasn’t able to hold on, especially after all the work she’s done for the mental health community is absolutely heart breaking, especially as someone who has come so close myself. To be honest, I’m still having a difficult time even comprehending it, even though I didn’t know her. It certainly doesn’t invalidate her message. It’s more a reminder of the fact that this stuff, this pain, the struggle, it doesn’t just go away. Even when someone looks fine on the outside, it doesn’t mean they are.

Even though we may be mental health activists, even though we put our stories out there hoping to inspire other, even though we are comforted by being a part of a community where we share common struggles, we are still battling.

I don’t want to to be here.

I want it to end.

I don’t want to kill myself. I don’t really want to die. I just don’t want to exist.

I’m so sick of feeling like shit all the time. I hate feeling like a failure at life, like I’ve never accomplished anything.

Whenever I feel like I’m making progress, something happens that sets me back and feels like the world is crashing down around me.

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I just wanted to write a quick post because I can’t properly explain myself on Twitter. As much as I want to, I will more than likely not be staying up all night tonight.

I didn’t push my fundraising for One Brave Night this year as much as I did last year, mainly because the last couple weeks have been really difficult.

As I’ve written on here before, the past few months haven’t been easy. I’ve gone through what has been the most severe depressive episode I have ever experienced. It came on gradually, starting some time in May or June. I didn’t realize it was happening until sometime in July. I initially thought it was just a bit of a down period, which is totally normal, but it just kept getting worse, peaking in September.

While things have started getting better over the past few months, I’m still struggling, especially with my motivation and energy.

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You may not remember this. It was probably an insignificant interaction from your perspective, but I remember it like it was yesterday and I’ll probably never forget it. We no longer work together and because of the horrible place I was falling into, I was never able to properly thank you for what you did that day.

I don’t remember specifically what day, or month for that matter, this happened, I just remember that I was having a bad morning. I don’t remember all the details of what led up to this, but I am sure I cried heavily in the shower while getting ready for work.

As I walked the short distance from my car to our office building, I was dreading going to work. I wanted more than to call in sick and go home and cry. Not for any particular reason. My body just wanted to cry.

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The socially acceptable thing to say right now is “Happy New Year,” but I can’t say it and feel like I mean it.

My depression is still actively numbing my emotions and causing anhedonia. It doesn’t matter how many things I try to do that normally cause me pleasure or joy. I’m still lacking motivation for literally everything, unable to follow a normal sleep schedule, easily overwhelmed, and I have no energy.

Scrolling through Facebook yesterday was stressful, seeing all these positive posts of peoples’ wishes for 2017, and all I could think was, how the hell are you people so excited for the new year? I honestly couldn’t care less.

I’m not a big fan of the holidays to begin with. Probably because there’s so much pressure to be positive, happy and hopeful, and I’ve never really been able to feel the “appropriate” feelings about the holidays. That certainly contributes to my general displeasure with Christmas and New Years, however that’s not really what the problem was this year.

Even spending the evening on Christmas day with several members of my family from my dad’s side, with all the goofing around and games and everything, I was unable to truly feel the emotions that fit the situation. I was able to laugh, as a result of my body’s reflex to some of the things that were going on, but I really didn’t feel it. I just wanted to go alone into a quiet room and lie on the floor alone.

In a way, that’s kind of how it actually felt. You know when there’s stuff going on in a house, but you’re in another room with the door closed and you can only hear the voices and laughs muffled through the door or the vent in the room, but you can’t really make out what’s being said, the context of the laughter. It’s sort of like you’re numbed to what’s going on elsewhere in the house. That’s exactly how I felt, even though I was in fact in the room with everyone the entire time, sometimes only inches away from the laughter, yet I couldn’t feel that joy that everyone else was experiencing.

Anyways, I guess I’m really only writing because I feel like I need to acknowledge the holidays, but I can only be honest about how I’m feeling. I can’t write positive things when I can’t feel them. I’m not trying to be negative, I’m simply incapable of feeling positive right now.

I found this article very interesting because this is something I seem to be struggling with a lot. My depression is still ongoing, but I had a few months where it did lift, before it came back more severe, and I was still tired. Less tired than I had been and far less tired than I am now, but this side of it did seem to linger. I thought it was simply the medication making me tired, but part of me wondered, and still wonders, how much was actually my body causing it and not the medication.

There is no reason I should wake up every morning feeling miserably tired. There is no reason I should regularly find myself so tired at work that I’m fighting my eyelids closing. There is no reason I should have to down cups of coffee to stay aware enough to make it through the day.

This is how I feel every single day. This past week, before Christmas, I had one day that was particularly bad, I almost asked to go home. And I’m on reduced workload and hours right now. But this one day, my brain and body were falling asleep every few minutes, for a split second, until my head started to fall and I’d wake up right away. One of thos times, it actually happened while I was in the middle of typing a sentence. When I woke, I looked at my computer screen and just before where my cursor was sitting, I had apparently typed, “tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt”. I realized my finger was now resting lightly on the T key. I do have the vague memory of lifting my finger slightly as I woke. Based on how many Ts were on the screen, I couldn’t have been out for more than a second. I kind of laughed, but I was still so out of it, I didn’t fully process what happened until a few hours later. It feels almost like a dream now.

I feel less intelligent than I used to be because I always feel as if I’m barely awake.

That is something I have definitely been struggling to remind myself is not true.

What It Feels Like to Have ‘Chronic Depression Fatigue’
By Olivia James, Contributor, The Mighty

“It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling  —  that really hollowed out feeling. That’s what dementors are.”  — J.K Rowling.

I’d heard the dementor comparison sometime last year and I’d kind of forgotten about it. It really is the perfect description of depression. It sucks out all the happiness and joy from you until all you can feel is darkness, sadness, anger and negativity. As you get deeper and deeper into depression, even those negative feelings begin to disappear. You begin to feel numb. Occasionally, anger and frustration will come out, until they become too intense and somehow you end up feeling numb again.

I Don’t Fit the Stereotype of a Depressed Person
By Madeline Riddle, Contributor, The Mighty

Side note… It’s been a few weeks since I wrote this post, where I thought I was starting to get better. Turns out I spoke too soon. That’s kind of why I haven’t been writing much. I’m still struggling quite a bit.

This post started out as a comment in response to this video, but as usual, more thoughts came out as I began writing, and I decided to just let myself keep writing. This is not edited. I am not going to edit it, unless I notice typos unintentionally, which I totally do all the time. First of all, I just don’t have the mental energy to edit (let’s face it, I almost never do – very few of my posts here are actually edited), but it kind of came as my thoughts flowed, and I sort of want to keep it that way. Maybe I’ll change my mind later and go back through it, but for now, I’m posting it as is.

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When I say I have depression, it does not mean I occasionally feel the emotion of being “depressed”; it means I have a mental illness. I have depression.

I feel numb, like there is nothing else around me but darkness and bitter cold.

When I say I have depression, it means on a daily basis my head is poisoned with thoughts of suicide and self-destruction. I want to talk about it, but events in my past have lead me to thinking that no one wants to hear it. I believe I am unimportant and a “burden” to this world.

I’m Not ‘Feeling Depressed,’ I Have Depression
By Brianna Yorke, Contributor, The Mighty