October 21, 2016

She Smiles as she Cries: the Story of High-functioning Depression.

She smiles a big bright smile for the entire world to see—

Contagious with her small teeth, goofy laugh and bright eyes.

On the outside her life looks so put together,

Living the dreams that she has spoken of for years,

Manifested the “perfect” life for her soul.

But when she’s alone, she cries—

She cries for the strength to keep going.

She cries for the aching muscles and bones that never get a rest,

She cries for the money she isn’t making, regardless of the endless hours she puts in.

She cries for the emptiness in her heart,

She cries for the emptiness in her womb.

She smiles for the love her tribe gives her,

She smiles for the beautiful sunrises,

She smiles when Momma Moon’s rays beam into her bedroom, as she lays bathing in the moonlight.

She smiles for manifesting these beautiful dreams into reality,

She smiles because at the end of the day, she knows it will all be better.

She is your neighbor, your sister, your mother, your wife…

She strives to be perfect.

She makes sure everyone else is taken care of, before she takes care of herself.

She puts her needs to the side to make sure yours are met.

She hides behind that big bright smile,

But she is dealing, every day, with depression.

High-functioning depression—the debilitating mood disorder of depression that is suppressed just enough for one to carry out their daily responsibilities and duties.


Some signs to look for:

  1. Irritability is enhanced
  2. Being tough on oneself
  3. Work becomes a torturous grind
  4. Substance abuse
  5. Feeling as though they are wasting time
  6. Anxiety
  7. Letting go of things they once cared about (appearance, clean house, hobbies)

If you, or someone you know, feel like you are sinking into depression, please reach out for help. There is always someone, somewhere who would love to help you.

You matter. You are enough.


Author: Hannah Hutcheson
Photo: Unsplash
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina



Image: Uggboy/Flickr


You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Belinda Hendry Jun 7, 2019 5:30pm

This is my life in words

Kylie McSweeney Apr 1, 2019 2:20am

Amazing read, so heartfelt and honest. I can really relate. I too have written about depression, mental health.

Well done for being brave enough to share x

Leah Wallin Mar 31, 2019 8:41pm

Thank you so much for putting this into such perfectly descriptive words.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Hannah Hutcheson

Hannah Hutcheson is just a woman on a journey—with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair. She is melodically mellow minded with the creative curiosity of a young child. A little yin and a little yang, a nelipot who loves Mother Nature, yoga, live music, good friends, good conversation, good food, art, and a lover of laughter! Follow Hannah’s journey here or connect with her on Facebook.