What My Depression Looks Like


It’s in-app purchases and compulsive online shopping for shirts with sarcastic catchphrases on them that I basically already own. It’s wandering the aisles of Sephora for nothing but somehow leaving with two new highlighters, a set of false lashes, the shade “Oui!” from the LipStories collection that I know I’ll never wear. It’s in risking overdrafting my account to buy a succulent I know I’ll probably kill. It’s sitting at the bottom of the third glass of wine I didn’t need but said, “Fuck it,” and ordered anyway.

It’s hidden behind lols and lmaos and hahas and little, otherwise innocuous messages that no one will detect as an “I’m sad today” but really mean “I’m really sad today.” It’s in not setting my alarm because if I fuck up and wake up late, who cares…but then being annoyed when my internal clock that rings RIGHT AT 7 AM SHARP goes off anyway.

It’s doing my hair and my makeup and putting on a clean sweatshirt…but still feeling completely ambivalent about myself. It’s laying in bed 3 days later in the same sweatshirt that I never took off and a pair of leggings I haven’t washed since February and wondering if I look like a hoarder. It’s pulling beanie after beanie after beanie over my unwashed hair and loling about how I just omg HATE washing my hair…but really I just can’t find the motivation to give a fuck about myself. And then I remember that a girl I wrote on a website with once-upon-a-time-ago named Lindsey once told me to give a fuck about myself and wash my hair and I wonder if she’s ever been depressed and if she has, why she would ever say that to another person.

But maybe I’m just really good at making sure you would never know what being depressed looks like. So that’s why she said it, because how would she ever have known.

It’s still going to yoga, going to my dermatologist, seeing my physical therapist, seeing my ACTUAL therapist, but then immediately going home to rewatch the episode of Parks and Rec where they pull off the banquet even though Leslie was fighting imaginary bird flu under the covers before 8 PM. And then falling asleep at 10 PM only to wake up at 1 AM unable to drift back off. It’s never talking about depression unless I’m making a jab, unless I’m making a joke, unless I’m making a VERY BIG DRAMATIC POINT to talk about depression.

And then, somehow, it’s joking about depression. And about #metoo. And about addiction. And about the things that really fuck me up and freak me out and make me feel like crawling back into bed to watch that same Parks and Rec episode yet again. Usually behind closed doors, usually just to friends. But in making said crass joke, it’s a deflection. It’s saying, “LOOK OVER THERE AT THIS VERY, VERY, VERY SHOCKING THING INSTEAD OF AT ME!!!!”

It’s sending the depression meme and then clicking back to the game I don’t know why I downloaded in the first place. And then spending $1.99 on it for some un-fucking-known reason because I don’t know…maybe I’m searching for meaning?

But maybe there isn’t any meaning in this at all.

And maybe that’s why it’s so hard to spot.