Often, I’m not very good at talking to people. I’m even less good at talking about depression to people, and I’m absolutely useless at talking about depression to people when I’m actually depressed. Writing on here in a vague and overarching manner is all very well, but sometimes there are specific things I’d like to explain to specific people at specific times, and I’m just too scared or too tired or too embarrassed.
That joke you made about me the other day, where everyone including me laughed – usually I’m fine with things like that, but this time I was having a bad day and it set me off on a 24-hour thought spiral. I couldn’t stop wondering if you secretly meant it, or if you knew it would upset me and did it deliberately, or if you just hang out with me because I’m a source of amusement. All this is ridiculous, because we’re friends and I deliberately try not to behave like I’m depressed most of the time because often there’s nothing you can do and I don’t want to ruin the party, but if I’d been brave enough to say ‘ouch, that hurt’ at the time and you’d reassured me you didn’t mean it, that would have saved me some mental wear and tear.
None of this is your fault, and maybe if it hadn’t been your words or actions that set me off I would just have found something else to ruminate needlessly on, but I hate that my depression makes me resent you sometimes.
Also, when I apologise for being all flat and grumpy and you say I’ve actually been fine, I might have been fine on the outside, but inwardly I might have been angry or scared or hurt or sad or screaming about how unfair it is that you don’t understand how I’m feeling. The times I need to talk to people most are the times I feel least able to do anything for myself, least of all articulating my feelings. Sometimes I don’t feel anything really and when you ask how I am I just say ‘not bad’ because there isn’t a good word for ‘I don’t have any feelings right now; try again later’.
The only concession I make to being depressed in social situations is closing my eyes sometimes, or resting my head on the nearest flat surface. That’s as close as I can get to admitting things are getting too much at that particular moment, and for better or worse most people who know me have just accepted that as a weird thing I do which can safely be ignored. I’d like to be able to actually verbalise that I’m feeling overwhelmed or that I can’t cope, because expecting you to second-guess my totally erratic feelings is a bad plan. I don’t necessarily want advice, or sympathy, I just want to be able to say things.