The trouble with the closet is that you have to lie ALL the time. I lie about my day, I lie about why I stopped drinking, I lie about my weight, my social life, my job, my plans.
And the trouble with lying is that it hurts. It makes me feel ashamed. Because lying is something you do when you’re scared to admit something, when you’re ashamed to face it. It makes me feel alone. You know why? Because it makes me more alone. I’m more isolated because people don’t understand, because they can’t understand because I’m lying to them.
Shame and isolation – just what the doctor ordered!
Even my therapist believes that depression is something personal – something to disclose only to close friends and family. I want badly to disagree. I want to rage at the injustice, the silliness. If it were epilepsy, if it were cystic fibrosis or cancer, not only could I tell mere acquaintances, but they might sign a petition about the NIH. My family might organize a fundraiser or participate in a walk-a-thon.
Do you hear what I mean? People might support me. If my disease were different.
As it is I’m advised – by every single person – to keep it quiet.
As it is I’m left lying, using a pseudonym to share my thoughts.
As it is I’m getting tired.
The thing is, guys, that I’m not ashamed. The truth is that I’m not alone.
It’s tricky because you really do run the risk of being stigmatized, being called lazy or irresponsible, incompetent, unreliable. The thing is it’s probably not a good idea to come out as depressed in most workplaces, to most acquaintances. Eugh.
I just want to say that if you feel like it’s wrong, you’re right. And you have no reason to be ashamed. And you are not alone.