You can choose to be happy…

For all my mental illness people out there, especially my depression friends. Have you ever been told, “You can just choose to be happy. It’s easy.”? I have many times. Guess what? You can’t, not with a mental illness anyway.

I still remember when I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder I was still in OTA school. My friend since grade school had recently killed herself and I was still trying to figure my life out. We were doing our psych class and our teacher said if us or anyone we knew with a disorder would want to come share that would be great. Well me being me I guess I started from the very beginning to be open about everything.

I opened up to my class about it all. My suicide thoughts and half attempts. My notes I had, the feelings I felt and didn’t feel. How difficult it was for me to tell my dad, the man who raised me the past 20 years that I wanted to kill myself and I wanted to go to the doctor. How he cried when I was telling the doctor how horrible life was for me. How he stood by my side even if he didn’t fully understand yet what was happening to me, all the medicine changes already in the short time I was diagnosed. I told it all.

After this we watched a video of someone who had depression and how he wasn’t happy you know those basic educational videos on that stuff. After I had just said my story and we watched this video, a classmate went and said “They can just choose to be happy. That’s easy.”. Welp, you can bet my ass was answering that comment before anyone had the chance. I turned around looked her in the face and flat out said, “if I could choose to be happy I would in a heart beat. It’s not easy to wake and yourself, self you’re going to be happy today.” It doesn’t work that way.

Looking back now I realize that comment was made probably out of being uneducated in the topic or being naive. Either way it wasn’t cool and it shouldn’t have been said. If your friend or loved one is suffering from depression please I beg you don’t tell them they can choose to be happy. Yeah they can smile and laugh but 9 times out of 10 they are probably faking it. I’ve gotten very good at it the past 6 and a half years.

Get educated and be proactive!!

Peace and love my people!

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