I have depression. But unless you follow me on social media, you’d have no idea.
I get up every morning to get ready for work. I seem fine, but underneath I’m dying inside. I wake up and get in the shower. Yes, I shower every day. Depression doesn’t stop me from showering and taking care of my hygiene, so most people think I couldn’t possibly have depression. I comb my hair, I go to work, I come home. I eat, I sleep, I love “normally” as if nothing was wrong.
I was always told by my family and society that showing your feelings in public places is weak and unprofessional. I guess it’s true, because just a few weeks ago, I had an anxiety attack at work. I had been sexually assaulted the night before. I didn’t want to call in from work, and I wouldn’t have been able to anyway because I was scheduled to open. I work at a coffee shop, and I had the attack right as the morning rush came in. As my acting manager told me to take all the the time I needed, even if we got busy, I sat in the back room trying to catch my breath. The rush was half over when my feelings of guilt overwhelmed my anxiety. I gathered myself as well as I could, dried my tears and silently went out to the floor and worked the rest of the rush.
Afterwards, being as exhausted as someone could be after an anxiety attack, my acting manager called me into the back and told me the words I’ll never forget: “Ya know we’re here for you, but you kinda sabotaged us back there.” Sabotaged? That broke me, and it still bugs me every day. That’s why I don’t show my feeling in public. That’s why I hide behind a smile, and that’s why I live every day with depression and anxiety as a “normal” person.
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