The opposite of depression

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”
– Andrew Solomon

The mind plays its tricks on me. I cannot pull myself together while my head is pulling apart from me.

You don’t feel well? But you seemed fine to me.

That’s what I thought so, too.

See, I was so ready to face the new day and repair any damages from the past. I have outlined every single thing I was going to do today so I can regain control of my life.

Granted, I slept late and woke up late – so my morning agenda has been deleted. But it was no reason to recreate the rest of the day as the tasks were not necessarily connected. Five minutes ago didn’t matter; I just had to keep going.


I was ready. Or so I thought.

Worries and anxiety kept pushing into my mind. I kept pushing back. Or, at least, I tried.

I felt lethargic. Active thoughts stopped mid-air. I was lost. Numb. In my head, I kept pushing and pushing. I pushed myself to wake up and brush lethargy off of me.

And then I fell down.

Nothing was working. Where was my rational thinking? This is important for me. I can’t just let go of my responsibilities.

I should be motivated to keep going, right? Because I know it’s important and I love doing my job. There was no reason for me to stay frozen.

And yet it keeps happening.

I was afraid. Still am. For others, lethargy equals laziness. Feeling unmotivated to do something equals irresponsibility. They think that it’s simply a matter of changing your mindset. That’s not entirely true. A depressed person cannot simply snap their fingers and feel better.

When someone has an asthma attack, you don’t tell them to ‘just breathe’. Similarly, you don’t tell a depressed person to ‘just get over it’.

Sure, the mind is a powerful tool. And our thinking can definitely help alleviate depression symptoms. But it’s a lifelong process. Even those who have overcome major depressive episodes cannot “just get over it” in a snap when they suddenly fall down the dark path again.

I wish the Patronus Charm is real to ward off the Dementors. But when all your energy is being sapped out of you, it’s close to impossible to yell Expecto Patronum! against the Dementors.

You’re just left there stuck where you are. Stuck worrying about the things you have to do, but not being able to do them.

You seemed fine.

A happy face. Perchance not fake. But also not deep to the core.

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