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Acting? Or Celebration?

eggs-390213_1280It’s the season of graduations and weddings and opportunities for celebrating.  I was at a graduation party just last Friday and everyone was in fine fettle – laughing, sharing stories, and just celebrating life.  There were present at least two individuals who have for the longest time been dealing with depression.  In fact, both of them were in one of their darkest times.  And yet, there were jokes and shared stories and the two were the life of the party.

That is perhaps the hardest part of depression for people who love someone who is depressed.  They have to understand and accept that the people they live with are very adept at putting on a good face for the public –  being the life of the party.  And oftentimes that is difficult to reconcile with the morose, sleeping-most-of the-day-away individual that inhabits the house.

And of course this happy behavior leads to all the individuals who point out that your loved one is so much better and dismiss that anything could be wrong.  “Depressed?  Are you kidding?”

When this happens to me – with a husband who has been depressed for a good long time – I’ve taken to just enjoying the moment, to taking pleasure in seeing these depressed individuals having a good time in their own way and to  letting the words of those who don’t see behind the scenes roll off my back.   In AA I was often told that it was important in recovery to “act as If” so that one could get used to a new way of behavior.  Who knows, maybe depressed individuals do this acting subconsciously so that they can practice what it is like to feel good.

Whatever the reason, the behavior of being okay for others but not those closest to you  is frustrating and welcoming at the same time.  Just another crazy aspect of this hardly understood illness.

– Bernadette

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