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My ability to fake happiness is beginning to shock me. It is almost automatic: a quick smile, a laugh and polite nod to seem interested in conversation. I don’t know if calling it a coping mechanism is appropriate as I know how to cope with my unhappiness. I think it’s the world that doesn’t get my sadness.

I have recently stopped sharing my thoughts and emotions with a lot of people. I have come to the realisation that people think I’m simply negative and love the attention of playing victim. I have seen how my cries for help have been ignored by those I care for by them labelling it tamper tantrums. So now I do what is discouraged by my psychologist, I sit with the emotion long enough for it to disappear again into my soul. To vanish long enough to curb the need to slit my wrists or drown my conscious in medication.

I have been told not to use my depression as a crutch, but it seems to be the only thing that remains constant in my life. A companion, that although bad, is always loyal. Over the years I have seen how I have invested time into relationships that have nurtured others and not myself. I have seen how I have grown distant, seeing how my ability to communicate has faded from a well structured essay to a string of words that have no real meaning. I have given up on myself just as many have given up on me. I have seen how loving without being loved in return can live you empty and feeling worthless.

So as I write this post, at 1 am I’m reminded why the choice of death seems so attractive to those that suffer from depression. An escape from the world that calls you weak and needy, when all you have been is strong all along. Trying to rationalise how your feelings are always second best to those of your peers. Figuring out how what you feel makes you weak and indicates a lack of personal development. And coming to the conclusion that maybe all those negative thoughts you have about yourself are real.

Those around me say depression is not a disease but a choice of mindset. I’m stuck with a daily struggle of choosing to live when all I want to do is die.

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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com