You know the scenes in the Bugs Bunny cartoons where a character would run off a cliff and keep running in mid-air for a second before falling? That’s how depression left me feeling. After I fell, I didn’t know if I was actually real. I didn’t know if I was still alive. I wanted be dreaming in some strange afterlife. Time kept warping itself, even when doctors told me the medication was working and I was doing just fine.

No one would believe me when I told them I was depressed. They always told me I acted happy and seemed perfectly fine. I guess I felt a lot of pressure to keep up the demeanor or facade. When I would admit to people I self-harmed, they would demand I show them because the cuts weren’t up and down my arms, they were on my hips. I would refuse because I didn’t want to strip in front of a stranger to prove I was sick enough. Just because a scar fades doesn’t mean it isn’t there. People who aren’t affected by mental illnesses want it to be in their face so they have proof but at the same time they don’t want to see it. They don’t want to see the negative symptoms.

There are plenty of days I can convince everyone, including myself, that I’m fine. There are other days I look in the mirror disappointed that I didn’t wake up someone else. In the end, you have to live with yourself. No matter where you move to, what color you dye your hair, or who you date, you are still yourself. You can’t run away from yourself.