Depression and the battle to fake happiness

By Wendy Min Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/31 19:13:42

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

It is normal to feel down and they say there is no other way to go, but up when you hit rock bottom howsoever long you stay in a dismal state. Although I look much better than a month ago, I am still recovering. Yes, I smile and laugh and seemingly look fine but what people don't see is that I have my moments when I wish to see and talk to no one.

The unexpected passing of a most beloved grandfather made 2018 painful. Seeing him battling cancer and not being able to help pushed me further down a well of darkness. It also transformed me back to my junior high years when I was so fearful of life itself. I began to question life, what it is and what the point of living is when you have to leave and suffer through the pain.

I have always been vocal about pain and all that is negative during my much younger years. Now, I struggle on my own and stay in silence since society has always been focusing on success, positivity and happiness. Never mind what is behind this mask, as long as you smile and seem happy, you are normal and all is okay.

Get on with life and carry on so you can see my depression smile. It is fake and faked. I'm stuck between wanting to genuinely speak to someone about it and refraining from saying anything since I rather have silence over a fake response.

No one talks about the other side as if it were a taboo or worse - a sign of weakness and a way to seek attention. Strangely, there are so many people who suffer in silence - dying to have their voices heard without being judged or being told to "just simply get over it."

Depression has no face because society lacks understanding of its true appearance. Individuals suffer and are crushed both internally and externally.

We wish to reach out to anyone despite being ignored amid this mad rush and chaotic fast pace we call modern life. However, even when receiving the kind attention and support from those who care, the thought of not being able to pull through and letting everything go frightens me.

I've had friends who decided enough is enough. Like those video clips showing people calmly planning their fall in scenic spots, their final minutes reminded me of my own friend who left in the same manner. For them, at that particular moment, it becomes clear that leaving the world is much easier than waking up to another tomorrow.

Despite their cheerfulness and having certain things in the right place in their lives, their sudden departure has often left me in a state of questioning about how we should and shouldn't approach this important yet little understood topic. 

Speaking about myself now, I am not the only one feeling this way. There are many who struggle and suffer on their own. We all readjust ourselves so that the world does not see our other side and hopefully we can all try to find a way to pull through.

My misery has certainly died down compared to the initial few weeks, yet it lingers. They say that time heals everything and I have used this before to console my friends but I know that this dark cloud will always hang over me.

The author is a freelance writer. She was born in China, raised in Australia, educated in China, Australia and France.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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