We’re Never Alone, Even When We Want to Be … And That Might Be Okay.

I was going to write a post the other day about how much happy people irritate me. I was at work in the lunch area, and the raucous peals of laughter were just infuriatingly obnoxious. I wanted to scream, to tell everyone to shut the hell up, to stop being so miserably joyful.

I think, in retrospect, that might have been a little unfair.

People have a right to be happy, and indeed—I should know—outward smiles don’t necessarily reflect inward. Those who seem the happiest can be the saddest of us all.

Others … deserve their happiness.

Sometimes I wish I deserved it, too.

But it’s kind of like an emotional migraine—when you’re feeling miserable, when you’re really, seriously depressed, laughter just makes you want to die. It grates on your ears, drives nails through your temples, and, at times, makes you feel sick to your stomach. Such annoying! So ignorance!

I’ve been more depressed than usual for the past few days, despite meticulously taking my medication, and it’s brought me to the point where I’m having difficulty functioning, even at work. Work is usually an emotional refuge for me, a place where I can switch off and coast with the happiness of the people that surround me (because, for the most part, we laugh and joke and have fun). But recently I haven’t been able to even do that. This black cloud has become pervasive in every facet of my life, dragging me down and leaving me wanting to simply sleep the days away.

And the contrast between my state of mind and that of the people around me is like looking at the sun through a thick black blanket—you know it’s bright, but you just can’t make out what, to everyone else, is so warm and invigorating. All you see is a dark, bland landscape of despair. The bursts of joy are garish, neon flashes, blinding and distracting.

I can’t help that this state of being leaves me annoyed and irritated by others’ happiness, but they can’t help that I feel this way, either. It isn’t their fault. They deserve their happiness.

Sometimes I wish I deserved it, too.

Of course, this, like all else in the world, will pass, and soon I’ll be rushing through manuscripts and burning the midnight oil to finish a new story, because that’s how bipolar works; like a rubber ducky in a deep, black ocean, what goes down must come up. And then go down again.

And I’ll weather it like I always have, and if it gets too difficult I know I have the support of my family to stop me from going too far (I haven’t been suicidal in over two years, now). But it doesn’t make it any easier to make it through the next few days or weeks of misery and dull despair, the doldrums of depression eating away at my soul.

Still … I wonder sometimes what it must be like to have energy, to be happy, to wake up invigorated and ready to face the day. To be honest, it sounds kind of exhausting. But to each their own, I suppose, and my own is a life of heady highs and dreadful lows, and whilst the medication helps level it out, nothing will take it away completely.

If you suffer from depression, what gets you through the day? What keeps you from curling into a ball under the covers to wait out the day in miserable peace? (Maybe nothing.) And if you know someone who suffers, understand: they might not want your happiness, you liveliness, your joi-de-vivre; but they may still want your company, because feeling alone is a hallmark of depression, and one of the worst feelings in the world.

We’re never alone.

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