In honour of “Bell Let’s Talk Day,” I wanted to talk about depression.
Sometimes, I think I mistake my depression for anxiety, or perhaps, I mistake my anxiety for depression. Regardless of what it’s called, sometimes, I get really low.
Despite all the things surrounding me, which are everything I ever dreamed of—a home I love, a devoted husband, two healthy children, my health—I get debilitatingly sad.
I don’t often talk about this, but being that this day is about having the conversation, I wanted to open up about an “unjustified,” deep sadness where all I want to do is cry—a feeling that can overcome me out of absolutely nowhere. I call it “unjustified” because there is no specific trigger for it.
If you ever feel this way, you’re not alone.
I am a positive person, I really do count my blessings. My main goal in life is to raise happy, healthy kids. That’s it. And so far, so good! Yet, I get sad.
Of course, being in lockdown doesn’t help; I’m sure most of us are feeling down, missing our old lives, our families, the sun. That’s winter in lockdown for anyone. At least for us here, in freezing Canada.
This is different. This can come on for me at a beach in the Bahamas with no such thing as a pandemic. In fact, it did. A sudden numbness that overcomes me followed by a dark cloud covering me—a deep sadness I can’t explain. Often, as fast as it comes on, it goes away. Sometimes, it lasts all day.
I have never been unable to get out of bed when I feel this way, and here’s where the stigma lies. Sometimes, a sad person can look like everyone else. I have always gone through my day smiling, as though everything is fine, even when I was crumbling inside.
So today, and every day, check on your friends. Even the ones who appear happy, as anxiety and sadness don’t have a mask. A sad person looks like everyone else.
If you are feeling low, talk to someone who understands—someone you can trust. If you don’t have that, I’m here—today and every day.