You Should Be Happy

I’ve been struggling with depression/borderline bipolar disorder for years. At first, I understood at least a little why I was depressed. Sophomore year of high school was rough because my mother was really sick. That and other things are what caused me to spiral into depression.

However, last year when I was in my sophomore year of college, I fell into depression again. This time was different because I had no clue why. I kept telling myself I couldn’t be depressed; everything was going right in my life. Okay, not everything, but you get what I mean. In fact, I even had people tell me that. I had no reason to be depressed so I couldn’t be. Like it was a privilege to be depressed and you had to have a valid reason for it. I had great friends, a great relationship, was on good terms with my parents, and was doing great in school, so obviously I should be happy.

One of the most important things I realized during that period of my life was that you don’t need anything to be depressed about to be depressed. Sometimes you just aren’t happy. I was stressed and I think that made it worse because then I stressed about being depressed. And I felt guilty.

There were times I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Times when I would spend hours staring at a word document trying to type an essay due the next day. I wasn’t used to being so physically affected by depression. I couldn’t function anymore.

After I spent a week visiting my partner and ended up crying almost every night, I realized that I needed help. In an older blog post, I talked about how I’m not good at asking for help. I didn’t want to get help the first time I was depressed because I thought I had to put others first. This time, I didn’t want to get help because I thought I could handle it on my own. Then, I realized that if didn’t do something about this, I wasn’t going to make it through that year of college.

So I went to therapy and eventually was put on an antidepressant that was specifically meant to not spike me up into a bipolar manic mood. And, I know medication doesn’t work for everyone, but in terms of my depression, the medicine helped a lot. It took time, but I’m thankful I decided to try it.

Fast forward to now. Once again, I’m in a situation where my brain thinks logically I have no reason to be depressed. You’re in Spain of all places! Why should you be depressed when you’re having the time of your life? Of course, this mood swing had to happen right around midterms. Yet, this time, I can accept it more. I can recognize what’s happening even if I’m not sure of the cause, or even if there is a cause.

Basically, what I want to remind myself and others is that depression isn’t simple. Most of the time, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Don’t feel like you have to justify why you are depressed. Don’t think you should be guilty for feeling depressed if you don’t think you have a reason to be. Instead of worrying about why or if it’s okay, work towards feeling a little better if you can. Take some time for yourself, accept your depressed self as much as you accept you other selves.

Why am I not happy right now? No clue, but I’m not. And that’s okay. Don’t try to tell me it’s not.

*Photo from mystressofdarkness13 on Shmoop

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