Dad, Please Know That My Depression is Not "Just a Funk"

Depression is a hard thing to comprehend, especially when you’re not going through it yourself, but Dad, I need you to know this isn’t “just a funk.” It breaks my heart that you don’t completely understand what I’m going through, but I also sort of expected it.

I’m in a really dark place right now. There are times I spend the whole day curled up in bed, too emotionally exhausted to get myself to do anything productive. And I want to talk to you about it, but how do I explain emotional exhaustion to someone who’s never experienced it for themselves? So instead, all I can say is that I’m really struggling, dad.

Some days I can’t even get myself out of bed at all, I just don’t feel to have a reason. Depression has infected almost every ounce of my life to the point where I can’t control it, it’s like a poison in my system that I can’t flush out. My mind convinces me that no one cares about me. My body tells me I don’t need to eat. My heart tells me I’ll be safe if I just stay inside my house and my head.

But the thing is, I don’t feel this way every single day. I do have good days and I know that’s where it gets confusing to you because you’ve seen just how happy I’m capable of being. You’ve seen me on those good days and you believe that woman to be all your daughter is and believe me, I do too. I want to be that woman who surprises you with burgers and shakes and eats with you in front of the TV, the woman who can’t stop laughing at your silly jokes and has so much to tell you. I want nothing more than to be the daughter who makes you smile the brightest, the one you’re proud to brag to other people about how good I’m doing. But dad, it’s not that simple.

Those ‘good days’ come once in a blue moon when my depression isn’t completely and entirely suffocating me.

Because when my depression sets in, that girl you love so dearly disappears and you don’t understand why, but that’s not your fault. You don’t get that I can’t just dig deep inside and pull her back out. You don’t get how one day I can be laughing and be all talkative and the next I can barely fake a smile. But see dad, that’s what depression is.

Depression is being so consumed by sadness and feeling defeated that I can’t even remember what if felt like to be happy and the worst part is, it makes me feel like I’ll never be happy ever again. It’s a really lonely feeling, one that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and I hope to god you never experience even an ounce of what I’m going through.

See dad, that’s why when you get to see me sort of “down” I need you to stop telling me I’m just “in a funk.” Depression isn’t something I can just snap out of, there’s no amount of milkshakes or bouquets of flowers that’ll just “pull me out of it.”  

I know you don’t mean to belittle my mental illness, but that’s what it feels like. I feel empty and exhausted all the time and it feels like you’re just chalking it up to a bad day and hoping tomorrow will be better. And while that’s an understandable way to react, the odds that tomorrow will magically be better are slim to none. 

I need help dad, I need medication and someone to talk to on my worst days. I need to know you love me unconditionally, but most of all I need you to be my reason to pull through. What I don’t need to hear is that my depression is “just a funk.”

My goal since I was young was to make you proud of me and right now, I know I’m disappointing you. I know I’m not making your days any better when you hear the melancholy tone of my voice over the phone and you see me walk through a room with my head hung low. But dad, I pray every day that my depression won’t last forever, I will get through this eventually.

I’ll be the woman you always knew I’d be, it’s just going to take me a little longer to get there. I’m going to get help, I’m going to fight this battle and come out on top no matter how long it takes. But until I get there, I need you to try to understand this isn’t just a “funk” this is a mental illness. This is my depression and I need you to help me battle it.

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