A year later a good friend gets ill, walks to the top a building and jumps off. The difference between him and me was that I could speak about my condition; he couldn't, and so he took his life. It was that moment that catalyzed me into wanting to give back to all of those people suffering in silence out there.
For many years, I, like lots of others, used alcohol as my socially acceptable method for feeling better. The problem was, the aftereffects were unimaginably worse than the temporary high. When I cut out excessive boozing, things got better. A lot better. And that's no surprise, considering what the research suggests about drinking and depression.
I write when I'm inspired and publish only when I'm ready. I don't read comment forums and I block communication from harassing strangers. I connect with at least one close friend per day, preferably in person. I sing constantly, loudly, and usually only for myself (or dogs). I'm doing the best that I can and trying to greet each new day with wonder and gratitude.
I feel like by saying "I'm hurting" in front of family, friends, and more than a few strangers that it's admitting I can't hack it. That I'm less than people who aren't suffering from major depression. It doesn't matter that intellectually I know that's a crock of shit, emotionally I can't help but feel there's something lacking in me.