I went public about my depression, plastering it on my social media and I will never remove it.

Back in April when I was at my lowest, I committed social suicide. I gave into the temptation to publicly cry out for help and I put a lengthy post on my social media about my feelings at the time. I feel ashamed that I submitted to such a selfish act and needlessly got people involved in my personal life. 

If someone really cares about you, they would pay enough attention to realise that something is ‘different’ about you. Let’s not say ‘wrong’ because depression affects 1/4 people and it is a natural occurrence, mostly out of our control. It is human to accept defeat or dark emotion that you have tried to suppress for too long. When we are feeling that loss of control, a degradation of self-worth and anti-social, for me, I felt it was obvious to see. One or two people have since told me that they thought something was wrong, that I was not behaving like myself. Although those people never thought to ask me simply how I was feeling; they never made the effort to ask.

That person that I was becoming now feels like my full identity: a depressed, reclusive, un-motivated, jealous and un-loved, invisible person. I am still trying to fight it, attempting to wear a smile on my face and live each day as it comes, find something to look forward to and occupy myself. But the truth is, in the still moments, when I get time to think, it comes back to me out of the darkness. Everyday occurrences trigger it. I do or think things that I am not proud of, that I don’t want to ever be a part of. However, this side is a part of me whether I like it or not. And no matter how much I can try to lie and appear like my old self, I will always have that side.

That side is out there for everyone to see on my social media. I refuse to take it down because that post represents perfectly the dark feeling I experience still every day. If somebody reads that and makes the decision to avoid me, then they really are not a friend and I do not need another narrow-minded, hurtful person in my life; I have suffered enough of them. The post was originally a cry for help, declaring my need for someone to be there, love me because I cannot live without it. I was on the brink of ending it all. And now, it remains a statement not only of my weakness of giving into the urge to call absolutely anyone for help, but also in the strength in admitting that I am not okay. I am not fine. I am dying on the inside and I need help. Everyone really should grow some balls to actually ask someone how they are feeling when someone appears to be changing, perhaps showing signs of depression or another illness. Asking someone ‘how are you feeling’ or something similar can change everything. It would have made a world of difference to me but nobody did. I was the one that had to tell everyone because for a month, nobody asked and I was on my own. Seriously, do not suffer in silence, ask for help, I would definitely recommend in a different way to making it public on social media though. And do not be afraid to ask someone how they are feeling, it is a really kind gesture and could change everything.

When I uploaded the post, I had a few people privately message me, then ask if everything was okay and half of them were honestly random people, people that I have never been close with, that I haven’t seen in a year and since then, they have never messaged me again. They haven’t bothered to check up on me. Instead, they only asked me how I was to make themselves feel better for doing something when really, they did more harm than good. After not speaking to them since what was said, it shows that they just felt guilty reading it and that honestly, makes me feel awful for expressing my depression on social media; I knew it would have that effect and I did it anyway.

For the people that I did know a little more, that I have spoken to or seen since, it really did not help me talking to them either. Indeed venting emotion can be uplifting in the moment, but really, it is unfair on the recipient when texting is not the place for discussing such feelings, face to face should be the way. If you are not willing to tell someone face to face your deep emotion, then they do not need to know. Only the very closest people need to know. That is a regret I cannot take back and now everybody knows. It is on my medical records, university records and everyone that knows me knows too. Depression really should be your private business that you disclose when you are comfortable. Though for me, I hate hiding things from people, I would rather be honest and now that everyone knows, while nothing has really changed and I am still alone, I do not have to worry about anyone finding out. This label written all over me saves me from having to hide. Now, I just invisibly hide in plain sight instead. Before and after what happened five months ago, I am still ignored, alone and lost.

So with the testament to my mental health emblazoned on my social profile, my life did not really change much because of it. I want you to feel more comfortable in the way you feel about depression, that it is acceptable to feel, it is normal. Do not suffer alone or in silence, tell at least one person that you trust. And do not take over their life with personal misery like I may have done a few times, just make them aware of your situation and tell them how you want to feel, help them accept you rather than leave them to react by themselves because most people have no clue how to react or deal with someone that is experiencing depression.

I do not feel like sharing the post on here because I wish to keep it only for the eyes of those that know me personally. They will never know me like anyone reading this blog, but I must now keep it there, where it belongs. And I also must get to sleep as it is 03.52 in the morning.

Much love from your friend,

Alex. 

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