How do you tell your friends you’re depressed?

I don’t know. As someone who has been dealing with depressive episodes since I was 6 years old you might expect a better answer out of me. But it’s still very hard. It’s hard to be vulnerable about emotions and limitations. It’s hard to admit when mental and physical health get the upper hand on living daily life. It’s hard for me, personally, to not believe I can magically get enough energy to catch up on everything‚Ķ tomorrow; if I feel better (which I might).

I often do feel better the next day. 

Not always though. There are times when I don’t feel better the day after, or the one after that. Before I realize it, I’m not where I’m scheduled, laundry needs to be done, all the dishes are dirty, the fridge is empty, and there’s this thing I said I’d go to tonight on the other side of town. All at once I understand the reality I am putting myself back into. You see, I don’t always notice that I’ve left healthy wellness. After all, cancelling plans and deciding to have a movie night is self-care, too. Bathbombs, journalling, and being active are great self-care.

Healthy boundaries are also a form of self-care. As it turns out I don’t need to establish a barrier, what I need is to remove an unhealthy one. Too often I distance myself and my problems from my support system.

That’s why I need to lean on those around me. I’m trying to be present with those around me. When they ask me what’s going on with me I need to take the time to think about my answer. These people are asking because they care. I can trust them to listen to my struggles no matter how catastrophic or minute they may be. I am still learning to be honest about my mental health to those around me. I often feel fine up until I can’t bear to do the tasks of my daily life. So with my friends I want to be more honest. More honest than I usually am with myself.

I’m okay, and things are hard: I’ve been depressed lately for no particular reason and I don’t know when I’ll feel better. Don’t worry too much. I will feel better soon and I’m safe.

POST SCRIPT NOTE:
Sometimes depression is an indicator of suicidal ideation, especially depression followed by a sudden euphoria. If you are worried someone around you may hurt themselves please ask them if they are considering suicide. 11ofus.ca lists signs of suicidal ideation and guides you through the conversation. You can also contact the Alberta mental health helpline at 8773032642 for support.