"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Depression" is a term that I try to use loosely. In today's society, the concept of depression holds so many different connotations. There are crazy stigmas and ideas attached to the word itself, so using it in everyday conversation is risky. You can be in the middle of a deep conversation with someone, and say "I struggle with occasional depression," and 3 out of 5 times that person is going to think "Yeah, right. Drama queen," or "This person is crazy. Buh-bye." Maybe I'm being a little negative here, but as someone who observes people and their actions more than usual, it is what I have noticed.
The reason this becomes a problem in life, is because SO MANY individuals out there battle some type of depressive tendencies. It's no secret that life can get you down, and sometimes, we just don't have the courage, or even the want, to fight and pull ourselves back into place on solid ground. Everyone handles this differently. Contrary to popular belief, depression doesn't always mean that a person is doubting their life, or wearing all black, or causing themselves bodily harm. In many circumstances, depression is just a sense of overwhelming sadness. It's the type of feeling that makes you want to sit alone in your room, and listen to sad music, and question where you are and where you are going.
Personally, I have dealt with this for the past few years now. When I graduated high school and started college, stress became very prominent in my life. Not only was I worried about taking and passing a full load of classes, I was also constantly worrying about getting enough hours at work to pay my bills, and I was stuck in a relationship that was unfulfilling. Over those years, other upsetting things would pop in and out of my life as well. These things are so small in comparison to what some people go through, but as a "perfectionist" at heart, they weighed heavy on me. I spent a great deal of time alone. I didn't feel like what I was doing was important. I forgot to rely on God. I was depressed.
Since college ended, things have improved greatly. I fought back, and I began to strengthen my faith. I made necessary changes to life. I pulled myself out of my room and went on adventures with my friends. I realized how dear the people in my life are. I opened my eyes to see that life is too stunning to waste in a fog of sorrow...especially when you are sorrowful for things that you simply cannot control.
Do I still deal with depression? Of course. A couple of days out of every month, I feel like I have a giant grey cloud looming over my head. It usually begins with something like a terrible day at work, or a fight with someone I love. As an overthinker, I will dwell on that thing until it makes everything seem negative. Depending on what it is, it may take a few days for me to stop. However, the difference in now and the way I used to be is this: I know that God is always going to bring me through and reveal his purpose. All things will eventually make sense. Even if you're a non-believer, I would say it's safe to bet that there is always a reason to keep fighting.
Do you struggle with depression? Does someone close to you struggle with depression? Don't let yourself take it too lightly. While it is definitely okay to feel sorrow in life, it is not okay to feel it so much that everything around you is impacted negatively. Remember this...your life is too full of opportunity and potential happiness to accept the false idea that you don't deserve to be joyful and at peace. Tell yourself this every single day, particularly the days in which the black clouds are present. Tell your loved ones this too. If we don't believe that, we will waste entirely too much sunshine by sitting alone in our rooms.