She smiles brightly and loudly for everyone to see. She is a rainbow in a human form. A ray of sunshine on a cloudy morning. Her eyes shine with the brightest colors. Her smile is contagious and radiates positivity. She is the reason we have hope. She is the person that gets everyone going.
But her reality is much different than what she appears to be. Everything is much more complicated when she’s alone. When she finally isolates herself from the loud, chaotic world and stays all alone with her thoughts.
In those moments, she is not the person you think she is. The smiles and the hopes that she shares with the world are gone. They are simply a mask to help her cope with her struggles. Once she comes home, those masks fall off. And all she is left with is her insecurities and fears that make her skin crawl.
They are her only faithful companions that have never left her side.
And so, she cries. She cries as loudly as she can to hush those terrible thoughts in her mind. She cries because she doesn’t know how to help herself. She cries to find that strength inside her soul that will eventually help her continue her journey. She cries because no matter how happy she pretends to be, her soul is decomposing. She cries for not being strong enough to overcome everything that is bothering her. She cries out of fear that she will never ever find her happiness. She cries for that emptiness inside her chest that freezes her heart.
But only on her own.
Before the whole wide world, she smiles.
She smiles because she doesn’t want the world to know how much that pain inside of her is weighing her down. She smiles because she wants to be surrounded with the same smiles each and every day. She smiles because there is a little voice inside of her which tells her that there is hope. She smiles because she doesn’t want to miss out on life. She smiles because she regardless of her struggle, there are people who constantly remind her how loved she is.
She hides behind her smile, but that doesn’t mean that she neglects the pain in her heart. She is aware that fighting depression takes time. So, she is doing it one step at a time. She suffers a great deal, but she is not giving up. Those smiles that might not always be real are simply her ways of handling the pressure.
The truth is, high-functioning depression is real. Just because it’s not always out there in the open for everyone to see, doesn’t mean that it does not exist. There are thousands and maybe millions of people who suppress this mood disorder on a daily basis while trying to carry out their day-to-day duties. They don’t always want you to know. Some of them prefer to keep that to themselves and figure things out on their own.
But, if you feel this way, I want you to know that you shouldn’t be embarrassed to share it with someone. You shouldn’t feel afraid of being judged. You are who you are. Depressive or not, you shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself.