This darkness consumes you. The ache in your chest continues. Your head is
throbbing from overthinking. You feel as if you’re drowning. You want to scream for help, but you can’t speak. You want to run from it all, but you’re stuck. Stuck in these motions. Motions that continue, and continue.
You cannot escape. You’re in this routine of darkness, and despair. Yet, no one knows it.
You place a smile on your face. You force a laugh, and talk about how much fun you had last night. When in reality, it’s painful to smile. The laugh you just gave doesn’t even sound like your laugh, and honestly you haven’t heard your true laugh in months. And last night you sat in a dark room, alone.
A dark room has now become comforting. Comforting because you can be yourself. You can be sad. You can cry. You don’t have to pretend that you’re okay. You don’t have to pretend that this isn’t consuming you. You don’t have to put on a smile. You walk into your room and the performance is over. The curtain closes, and you’re now free to be what the depression has made you.
The depression has made you hate life. It has made you forget that there’s this whole world out there. It’s made you forget that there’s a light at the end of this dark tunnel. It’s told you lie after lie. Told you that you are worthless. Told you that no one cares about this and you’re in this alone.
It told you, No you don’t need to get out of bed today. There’s no point. No, don’t eat that much food because you’ll gain weight and with each pound you become more and more insignificant to this world. The numbers on the scale define you. Don’t go to class either today. You need to stay here. You need to stay in this room, alone. You don’t need to take your worthless self out into society because society doesn’t want you. Just sit here in silence, and feel the pain.
No one sees the pain you feel on the inside. They only see the performance you give. The performance that you’re happy, and life is amazing. They see the lie, while you feel the truth. The truth aches. It hurts, and it cuts deep. Each forced smile, and line of “I’m okay” you use just adds more salt to the wound.
“I’m okay” has become a staple sentence for you. You throw this sentence around so much that you start to think that maybe how you feel is okay. Maybe this is normal. Everyone sits in a dark room. Everyone has a bad relationship with food. Everyone loses interest in things they once loved. Everyone feels helpless. Everyone feels empty.
Everyone does, right?
Not everyone feels this way, but more people feel this way than society admits.
Society has placed a stigma on mental health. People with mental illnesses are weird, crazy, pathetic, loners, helpless, and unworthy.
Society has embedded these things into our minds that asking for help make us weak. Or that if we tell someone about this darkness, then we’re attention seekers.
That’s exactly why I sat in a dark room for months. That’s why I faked a smile and a laugh for a very long time. That’s why I am still fighting to be me.
No one knows the real me. No one knows because I haven’t been myself in years. People think they see me but they see the mask that I have worn for years to cover the lie. The lie that I’m fine. The lie that I’m happy. The lie that depression isn’t something I face, or have faced. I’m better, yes. But I still have to fight every day.
Society has created a stigma and I want that stigma to be erased.
Suicide would no longer look like an answer.
Dark rooms would no longer feel like home.
Our hearts would no longer retain our burdens.
Closed doors would no longer be the keeper of our tears.
Secrets would no longer be what we described our life as.
Living life would look like the answer.
Bright rooms would be inviting.
Our hearts would be full of love and laughter.
Tears would not be hidden.
Mental Health would no longer need to be a secret.