“i’ll be okay.”

“I’ll be okay,” I say in response to your checking in on me, coupled with pursed lips and a slow inhale. I force a smile and you buy it. We’re in the clear, nobody knows I’m having a depressive episode right now.

“Oh, haha, okay. Feel free to talk to me if anything comes up! I’m always here to listen if you need!” I receive an enthusiastic response but shrug off.

I know you care, and I appreciate it; I do. But unless you’re suffering from depression as well, it’s likely you’ll take my response as it is, that I’m okay, and not probe further. Truth is, when I say “I’ll be okay,” I really mean “No.. My chest hurts, there is a dark hue clouding my vision, I want to lie on the floor and cradle back and forth, and if I’m being honest, I kind of want to die. But I don’t want to scare you with my problems so I shall not talk about them.”

But really, the conversations to be had with others are ones I’ve already had in my head for weeks over. Talking to others about it just reminds me my problems are there. Besides, I know they can’t help solve them; so really, telling them does nothing. The truth about having depression is you’ll always feel alone, like you’ve nobody to talk to, like the world hates you and you should just die. There can be somebody right in front of you, listening to your sob stories but they still can’t feel any further away. And you repeat your stories so many times you eventually get worn out and stop telling them altogether.

Nevertheless, somewhere deep inside, I truly believe I’ll be okay one day.

Because i’ve been obedient; my doctor says if I eat my pills daily and do the breathing exercises my psychologist teaches me and attend my counseling sessions, I’ll be able to manage my emotions better and feel less depressed. And if I choose to adopt the correct techniques, the dark clouds will be blown away and the sun will shine once again. And that if I just never give up, I will feel normal again one day. I admit it’s hard to convince yourself when everything you’ve tried so far doesn’t seem to be working. But maybe I’m doing them wrong, so I will try and try again until I feel okay.

Because I’m strong; fighting against my demons is hard. The voices in my head drone on and on, attempting to convince me to give in; futile, but annoying. I shut them out but they still find ways to seep through the cracks, stick their heads out and shout into the void every opportunity they get. I hate living like this, so I furiously tape up any crannies from which I fear the monsters can escape from. But it’s tiring; it’s exhausting to constantly patch holes up only to have more form, deeper and darker. It takes so much within me to continue holding on, and shovel more and more soil to fill up the pits, so much that I don’t have energy to do much else. But I believe if I keep going, mountains will appear where the holes once were, and I can stand on the peak, proudly shouting that I have conquered.

Because I have people around me who care, support, encourage and assure me so. I have a support system filled with friends who love me and want to see me get better. And for them, I continue pushing. For them, I eat, sleep, exercise, breathe and laugh. They hold my hand & guide me through the dark cave in the direction of the light. They shine the torch in my face so the bats and spiders know to stay away. They light campfires & I can finally stop shivering as I feel warm and safe. One day I will get out of the cave, and everyone will be standing there applauding me, and there will be streamers, balloons, loud music and the biggest cake. And we will all have a good time drinking, laughing and having fun.

So thanks for asking but the truth is I’m not really fine, and that’s alright, because I’ll be okay. Eventually I will get better and I’ll be okay. That’s a promise to myself and you; and I will die before I let myself falter.

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