This is what depression looks like…

One of the best articles I’ve read in a long time [via Huffington Post ].

I want you to picture a person with depression. Are you seeing the dark bedroom, filthy sweatpants, empty eyes, poor health and general lack of prosperity?

You know what I see when I picture depression? A blonde, blue-eyed teenage girl. She gets awesome grades, loves to paint, go to football games, drink Starbucks, Instagram and giggle with her friends. She can quote Harry Potter, obsesses over makeup tutorials and cannot wait for college. She looks back at me every morning in the mirror.

The worst part of a depressive episode is when someone asks questions like “Why?” “What happened?” or “Was someone mean to you?” Sometimes, there is an antecedent, but more often than not, depression just hits you. It feels like riding a bike, and in the blink of an eye, you’re trying to pedal through quicksand with no tires. Moreover, it is almost impossible to explain, so trying to answer these questions makes you feel like even more of a failure. It can be frustrating as a friend or family member to read this — advice is much easier to give when there is a definitive issue at hand. The best thing you can do when you are trying to help someone with depression is to simply be there.

Read the rest of the article here.

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On being selfish.

Having a mental illness and wanting to focus on recovery/ healing makes me feel so…selfish.

I feel bad canceling commitments, saying “no”, and staying away from people I used to be close to.

But what other choice do I have?

For the first time in my life, I need to focus on me. My healing. My future. I need to make choices that won’t lead to extra stressors..because for my bipolar brain, these extra stressors may lead to depression or hypomania.

I have to say no to helping others because I need to help myself first. I have to stay away from those that bring me down, regardless of how “close” we used to be. I simply cannot go out and drink all night anymore. I simply cannot go dancing till 4 a.m. I need to get good sleep, eat right and exercise.

I have to disappoint and possibly hurt people in order to get better. And that terrifies me.  But I’m also at a point where my mental health means more. I know I can never fully “recover”, but I can get pretty damn close.

I’m worth it.