How to Fake Being a Happy Depressed Person

Open your eyes. If when the alarm went off, you could feel the weight of the world grow heavier on your shoulders, get up immediately, waiting any longer will mean missing the day. If you felt fine, sleep for an extra hour, or two.

You didn’t feel too great yesterday, so you left the party as soon as it started and disregarded everyone’s messages of concern. Go back, get the phone, and apologize. Sorry I left you at the party, I just felt like a shitty human being. No. Delete, don’t sound pathetic. Retype. Good morning guys, I’m sorry for bailing last night. Just had some bad sushi for lunch! Send. You’ll feel bad about lying but they don’t need to know. Trust me, they don’t.

Your stomach growls once, twice. You’re hungry. You don’t want to eat another warm, tasteless bowl of oatmeal, but that’s all your stomach can handle this early in the morning. Eat it. You’ll need your strength. Get that butt in the shower, stand under the water for unnecessarily long and ignore your roommate's questioning about your actions in there. It’s your business, not hers.

As you dress for the day, remember you’re supposed to be a happy normal teenager, not a depressed piece of shit. Skip the all black for today, and try something red. Or purple. Or blue. Just not the same black t-shirt you’ve been eyeing for three days straight.

You start to feel the drag. You’ve been feeling it for two weeks, but you were sure it was bad gas or indigestion. Depression’s an old friend, you left her in high school hanging with the emo girls who tweet ‘cut for Bieber’ on the back of the school bus, but somehow you’re not surprised when you find her standing at your front door, her arms wide open for a hug. She’s kind for stopping by, and you’re grateful for the visit. It gets lonely.

When you leave for school, grab her hand. Remember, she goes with you or she’ll cause problems at home. She can’t be left unattended, or she nags for attention. You can’t have that because then people will notice her. Don’t let them notice her.

Open your locker, but don’t let her go. You’re worried she’ll run off if you let go. She’s an annoyance, but you tend to miss her when she’s gone. Walk into class, hiding her in your jacket, so no one else can see her. She’s your little secret. If anyone else saw you hanging with her they’d call you pathetic and attention seeking.

Hey, she’d whisper.

Shut up, you’d whisper back.

The teacher just started his lesson and you really need to focus this time, but she doesn’t agree. She leans up to your ear and whispers impossible scenarios about unrelated shit in your ear. Try to block her out, quietly. Don’t be rude, though, she traveled all this way to see you. She just wants to talk. You give up halfway through and turn to her. You can’t focus with all her noise. She’s satisfied. Keep her happy, maybe she’ll leave quicker.

You leave class and run into your best friend. He asks you about the party last night and you force the corners of your lips to raise.

Oh yeah that, you laugh, I’ve been to better parties.

You could’ve gotten some action, he laughs.

Depression laughs too. She knows you haven’t gotten any since your first time since she keeps you busy, so you pump into your hand every other night. You’re sad but you still have needs. Your best friend doesn’t notice the vacant look in your eyes or the way you laughed just a little too hard at his corny joke. Good. Decline his offer for lunch, tell him you have to study, and then leave. You can’t stomach a burger, you barely finished your oatmeal.

Instead of going home, go see your grandmother. She’s been sick lately and she always asks you to come see her. Go. Sign in at the front desk. Smile at Rhonda, the receptionist. Go to her room on the second floor. Smile. Always remember to smile.

I’ve missed you. She’ll say.

I know. You’ll say. School’s been kicking my ass. Not a lie. I haven’t done much outside of studying and sleeping. Not a lie. I’ll visit more often. Lie. You know you won’t visit soon, but she likes to hear it. Make her happy, even if just for a little while.

You feel bad lying to her, but she can’t know the truth. After the first time, she regularly checks your wrists for fresh wounds; you cut your thighs now. Smile proudly when she praises you for being three months clean. She feeds you when she sees you, so you puke when you leave. She analyzes your smile; you smile a bit wider. Anything to avoid being figured out.

When you leave, you let out a breath of relief. Rush back home, with depression on your heels. You almost forgot about her, until she started to whisper in your ear on the way home. Don’t let her get to you, at least until you get home. When you reach your room, look her in the eye. Tell her how you hate her for existing. That she’s not welcome there. Make her feel bad for making you feel bad. Scream, yell, cry. Get her out of your head. And then, breathe.

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