by: Jay Posey
No one ever told me depression felt so much like anger.
Not an explosive anger, or even a focused one. Just a low-intensity burn, always simmering beneath the surface. A pressure, like someone sitting on my chest.
Never interested in what I was doing, never looking forward to whatever would come afterwards. All I wanted to do was nothing. But even sitting alone in the dark, there was never any rest. It just felt like waiting … waiting for the next thing I was going to have to endure.
I had a good job. Making video games for a living, for crying out loud. A beautiful, loving wife. Two amazing kids. I had friends out there, out of work, or struggling in their marriages, or walking dangerously close to alcoholism. Friends fighting wars. What right did I have, of all people, to feel anything but gratitude every day of my life?
Get over it.
I don’t know how many days I told myself that. Too many. And I thought I was making it work. I didn’t think people were noticing. I could keep going. Keep going until I got over it. Keep going.
The fact is, I couldn’t get over it. Not on my own. I couldn’t even recognize that there was something wrong, something real that needed real healing. Not until a dear friend of the family asked my wife if I was okay.
“He just doesn’t seem like himself.”
It’s easy to lie to ourselves, to tell ourselves we’re okay, that no one notices, that we can make it if we just tough it out. It’s hard to ask for help. It’s hardest to admit there really is something wrong that we can’t fix on our own.
If you’re experiencing depression or anxiety, you are not alone.
I’m better. I’m better because I finally admitted I needed help. And people helped me understand that depression is real. A real thing that needs real healing. And now that I know what it looks like, I recognize it when it tries to come back.
It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to ask for help. And there is help.