Mind Yer Heid is an independent, nonprofit mental health magazine, publishing personal, professional and hybrid stories of mental health.

Open letter: to the friends who don’t understand my depression

I am sorry. I am sorry I am not the friend you deserve sometimes. I am sorry I go weeks without answering your calls or calling you back. I am sorry I disappear from all forms of social media and become uncontactable. I am sorry this frustrates you and makes you annoyed. I am sorry my apologies and explanation that I’ve been out of contact because of my head space don’t sit well with you.

I am sorry I have to write this, but you need to understand.

The truth is, when I get so low like that, I physically can’t respond or talk to you. To anyone. My brain is so fuzzy and clouded that I can barely remember to eat, drink or bathe. My body feels like lead, and my stomach is in constant knots from anxiety and tension. I am exhausted yet can’t sleep because my mind doesn’t switch off. It’s like being stuck in a really shitty Groundhog Day.

I can’t even tell you when I will feel like this or for how long it will last because I don’t even know myself. Yes, I am on medication that helps. But no medication helps me when it gets bad.

When you tell me I never say I am good and happy when you ask me how I am, please know it’s because I don’t want to burden you further with my problems or the dark side of my depression. This is another reason why messages and calls go unanswered.

Yes, I try meditation. Yes, I try to be mindful. Yes, I listen to Eckhart Tolle and other motivational things. Yes, I try to lie down alone in a dark room. But please understand that when I do this, it’s because I do not have the mental, physical, or emotional strength to do anything else.

I try really hard and I fight every single day to keep my head above water, particularly at the moment. I don’t want people to see this side of me, which is why I don’t let anyone know when I’m in so deep I feel like I can’t breathe. Maybe this is where I’ve gone wrong. To the outside world I am always happy and making jokes. But inside I feel like I’m dying and a fraud.

So please try to understand. Please don’t berate me or ignore me. This makes me feel worse.

Please understand. And just be there when I come out of it. Because it isn’t personal. And it isn’t intentional. It is my life with depression and anxiety. And I am dealing with it the best way I know how.

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