I am an empty, hollow man going through the prescribed motions of the day. I do this to appease the people around me. Mostly my loved ones. I do it because I dread the question that most people feel compelled to ask.
“How are you doing?”
I go through the motions because I'm tired of hating myself and letting down everyone around me. That's how I'm doing. But I'll lie and say everything's fine. That's what it's like to be depressed.
I'm not bummed out or disappointed about something in particular. I'm fundamentally sad for no reason at all. I try so hard to pantomime smiles just so no one will ask the question. That's what it's like to be depressed.
I wouldn't get out of bed some mornings if I didn't have a family to take care of. I probably wouldn't even wake up. That's what it's like to be depressed.
I'm thankful and grateful to have a supportive and patient wife. I understand that I'm blessed to have four healthy children. I want nothing but the best for them. I want them to be happy and joyful. That's why I constantly think they would be so much better off without me. That's what it's liked to be depressed.
I love to read and I love to write. They are the few hobbies I have left, if you want to call them that. But the gray fog that hangs over my head and colors my world makes me not even want to do that. That's what it's like to be depressed.
I'm driven mad by the guilt inside of me. I should be better than this. I should be a man. I should be the man my family needs. But I'm paralyzed by a thousand invisible shackles. Ghosts in my head constantly whisper all my failures and faults on an endless soundtrack of guilt and disappointment. That's what it's like to be depressed.
I look with envy and desire at the happiness of others. Their joy brings me down because, deep down in the core of my being, I know I don't deserve such happiness. That's what it's like to be depressed.
I am an ineffectual nothing. I go numb to shield myself and keep the tiniest flame still flickering. Sometimes I pray for God to just take me away from this earth so everyone can be relieved of the burden of my existence. That's what it's like to be depressed.
And, yet, here I am.