By Alexa Code
Alexa Code of Wesleyan University
You can come to school. Everyone is sad.
Your red lips, cracked from the wind hitting your face, exposing your drops of cold air.
But all I could ever see was the gray of your face, like an old china doll, with slightly different shades as you moved outwards from your nose.
Your lips were nothing but a straight line.
I plead to be smiling, genuinely, but when people tell me a joke no expression can deteriorate the straight line. When people ask me if I am okay, my eyes find power and my mouth finds attraction up above, but I know I am not.
I know people care, but my brain can’t wrap itself around the concept comfortably. It spits it out and I can’t understand why other people can care for me, even though I know I care for others. I don’t know if I see other people as human, merely companions whom I can communicate with.
I promise I try to understand everything, but gibberish seems to enter my mind when I hear your English words, and nothing can be understood.
Everyone says they understand, there’s that word again, understand. But our DNA is different, my memory is different. Their 5 year old self was in bed sleeping while mine was crying. You can’t say you understand when understanding for yourself and for others is different. I don’t understand your happiness but I know you are happy.
This was last year.
My want to recover was so strong but felt impossible. I kept trying to explain to people why I couldn’t believe them instead of trying to actually believe them.
I knew them, their words were genuine, their gestures were sincere.
I have learned to smile genuinely.
I have learned to believe their actions.
I have learned to live, and live happily, full of love and support and desire.
I am not ashamed of my thoughts, I am not ashamed of my illness, and you shouldn’t be either.
Bringing in other people, exposing them to everything I have thought lifted a weight off my shoulders.
I learned to trust people, and honestly found the most genuine and amazing friends. They knew I couldn’t overcome this alone and they forced me to see that too and pretty soon I was figuring out how to live, successfully, happily even though the stigma is that I shouldn’t.
If you leave with anything I want it to be this: the stigma around depression or any mental illness isn’t what you should listen to because it doesn’t explain anything accurately. Listen to your own body, if you’re struggling alone, find help. There are people who want to help you, you don’t need to go on alone.