It's so easy to be fooled by the appearance of happiness, especially when we are bombarded with it every single day on social media. Falling victim to perceived happiness is something that I know I am guilty of.
I can't speak for others, I can only speak for myself.
The ability to smile and take a "pretty picture" is about 1 minute of my day. That leaves about 1439 other minutes that a social media platform does not see and sometimes those moments can be quite dark. I specifically recall being in the midst of COVID when the World was at a standstill and there had been days, literally days, I went without taking a shower or changing my clothes. I actively avoided catching my reflection in the mirror and when I did, I didn't recognize who I saw. I despised her.
While the graphic above is specific to Domestic Violence, something that I am extremely fortunate enough to never experience, its message was still applicable to me and I am sure many others: our best looks different every single day and will continue to evolve as our life circumstances evolve.
I don't have an immediate, cure-all answer for depression. Mine is usually in waves and typically never lasts longer than a day. Even though that seems so minimal, getting through that day can be unbearable.
So what do I do?
The actions I take can differ depending on how bad it is. Sometimes I actively force myself to do things that I know I normally love to do: call friends/family, bake, clean, read, and some days I let myself wallow. Is the latter healthy? No. But I am a firm believer that sometimes you just need to listen to what feels right even if it is not perceived as the most beneficial. The key is recognizing when it is happening for too long and getting to a point where it is negatively impacting your life.
If you experience that impact, there are so many avenues that are available. I had gotten to a point where I knew I needed professional help during COVID. So I got it. Because I wanted to live.
It was the best I could do at a time that was one of my lowest points. My best can look different everyday, as can yours.
Acknowledge that and know you're not alone, no matter how things may appear.