I come from a long line of funny people. Growing up, almost everything was communicated through humor, whether it was important or not. My siblings and I learned to relate to each other through jokes, a mixed bag through the years. Humor became my best defense — if I can still make fun of what’s happening, still see the silly parts of everyday life, how bad could I?really?be?
I’ve also had depression my whole life. I often think no one really likes me, I’m terrible and I’d be better off dead. On a good day, these thoughts appear and then fade without much effort. On a bad day, it keeps up for hours and hours. It overwhelms my brain and clouds my ability to think about anything else. But I always know how to laugh.
Depressed people lie about their depression and funny depressed people lie twice as much. There are days when I probably shouldn’t go into work or to social occasions, but I don’t feel like I have a choice. I’ve spent hours crying discretely in semi-public places. Mostly, I try to ignore it — if it’s all in my head, I can make it stop and pretend it’s not real. I’ll lie in bed fully clothed and stare at the wall until it’s time to get up and go meet some friends for a drink, at which point I step right into entertainer mode and sometimes stay that way for a few hours. When I feel the cracks starting to show, when the truth seems too close, I wave goodbye to everyone and climb into my car to cry all the way home.?