This is a short piece I wrote today, thinking about how we often expect people with depression and other psychiatric disabilities to justify their experiences. We ask them “why”, expecting that they’ll have an answer. Who would expect a good answer to “why do you have cancer” or “why hasn’t your torn meniscus stopped hurting”?
I hope that when you read this, you’ll hear it in the voice of someone you know who struggles with depression. These words are mine, but the thoughts belong to many.
“If you ask me why I’m sometimes depressed”
by Hollis Easter
If you ask me why I’m sometimes depressed, I will ask you why you’re sometimes tired.
If you ask me where my depression comes from, I will ask you where your hunger comes from.
If you ask me why I haven’t learned to just be happy yet, I will ask you why you haven’t learned never to need the bathroom anymore.
If you ask me why I’m being snarky, I will ask you why you think I shouldn’t be snarky about fielding constant exhausting questions about things my body does without my control.
And if you ask me why I’m not just over it already, I will ask you why you haven’t learned compassion yet. What more important lesson is there?
In the end, the deeds of men are as footsteps upon the sand—we will leave no lasting mark. Sometimes, the way we make our journey together matters more than where we go. Let’s walk with kindness.