There is a commercial for a drug that mentions the masks that folks like us who suffer from depression wear to appear that things are alright with them. I got so tired of hearing people ask, “What’s wrong,? That I eventually stopped replying. I shook my head and ignored the question.
That isn’t the subject of this post, however. Depression masks many things that others can enjoy and participate. I came to think of it a cloud of smog. It takes away beauty. I have always loved nature and went out to enjoy the sites. The trees, mountains, lakes, birds, and sunsets attracted me but appeared dull and lifeless unlike I imagined. My eyesight isn’t excellent, but that did not dimish color and natural wonderment. Depression did. The disease is not merely chemicals and synapses and mood. It has an element of traumatic psychological impact.
I remember being awakened by the tweets of some baby birds who lived in a nest built on the air conditioner in the window near me. I said, “Those birds are too happy for me.” It left a sore spot on me for years. A happy sound was bothersome to me in depression. It’s a thick smog that drowns the happiness of birds.
That smog covers your relationships. My son saw too much sadness in me. On his fifth birthday, he made a wish and blew out the candles on his cake. He ran over to me and said, “Mommy, do you know what I wished? I wished that you were not sick.”
I lost physical custody of that precious little boy when he was two. My illness was intolerable to my husband who asked for a divorce. I was too sick to care for myself. Depression masked my privilege of raising my son.
You have a story of the mask of depression. You have hurts that others can not see or imagine. Your illness is smog over your pleasure.
The only way to defeat that dreadful mask is to reach out for an understanding of your illness and look for ways to bolster the beauty that is all around us.
Take that walk through the forest once more. Look for the reds, the greens, and the purples. Listen intently to the songs of the birds and the rushing waterfall. Enjoy the sunlight and the soft rains because they are not part of your depression. Healing can come through the inside. Don’t fret when you miss something that has past. It is inside the deepest smog that we can no longer see. As hard as the trauma was for you to endure, you survived. Survive this day, too. If your tears are falling, count them, and maybe there will be fewer tomorrow. Everything that we try is a victory. We might not see it or feel it today, but you are looking for solutions.
I’m proud of you! Be proud of yourself.