This blog post is dedicated, with love, to a friend.
"She doesn't look depressed to me, you should see her when she goes out, she's all made up, perfect hair, looking all together."
Those very words were uttered to me when I was speaking to someone about a friend who I know is depressed. I know she is depressed because she told me, because she felt she could tell me and I wouldn't recoil in shock, knowing that I wouldn't judge or throw a watery smile at her whilst craning my neck to find my escape route. As if a friend looking for an escape route is what she needs at the moment, like she even knows what she wants.
All she knows is how she feels and that's a personal thing, she wants to be feel happy, safe, loved and confident but she's not feeling any of that. She's feeling anxious, wretched, worthless, judged and that's so unfair of anyone. I know because I have struggled with depression and I have put my hand up, and my make up on and thrown on a smile.
No amount of slap can hide depression, a snazzy top or a jazzy pair of shoes doesn't make the depression any less than it is, a dazzling smile might mask the feelings of dread and despair, the razzle dazzle of engaging conversation may well be an act, a coping mechanism. The show must go on.
Look around you and you'll see people who are getting through the day as best they can, they're putting one foot in front of the other, they may well have make up on and be wearing their best dazzling clothes, they might have shaved or have smart hair, their shoes are clean and their nails are tidy.
Depression isn't something that can be judged on how someone looks, it shouldn't be judged full stop.
Next time you see someone who looks like they've got their shit together, just spare a thought. Things aren't always what they seem.