I'm "Troubled"

The depression belongs to all of us. I think of the family down the road whose mother was having a baby and they went around the neighborhood saying, “We’re pregnant.” I want to go around the neighborhood saying, “We’re depressed.” If my mum can’t get out of bed in the morning, all of us feel the same. Her silence has become ours, and it’s eating us alive.
— Melina Marchetta, Saving Francesca

Lately, I’ve been described as being “troubled”. Am I?

This was a very close friend. One of the people that I thought was a part of my support system. One of those people that I thought I could trust until I heard that he had told his sister that I was “troubled”.

What does that even mean? To me, for some reason, it makes me sound horrible. Like there is something seriously wrong with me. It gives me a generic label, and it doesn’t even begin to describe who I actually am. It doesn’t label me as a person who has endured what I have. It makes it sound so simple.

I’m not “troubled” and I’m definitely not a person who can be labeled so easily. I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety.

Am I troubled because I have to mentally prepare myself for something that he considers to be an easy task? No, that doesn’t make me troubled.

Am I troubled because my anxiety may run wild when I am put into a situation that makes me uncomfortable? No, I’m not troubled because of that.

So why am I “troubled”?

I thought about it for a long time. My mind dwelled on it and my depression ran wild with it.

I finally realized why I may be “troubled”. It’s simply because he doesn’t know what I’ve been through. I can tell him everything, but he can’t understand it. He didn’t feel the pain that I felt. He doesn’t know what it was like for me to try to get up after being knocked down only to be knocked down again. He can’t feel what I felt when I cried myself to sleep as a little kid asking myself “why?” over and over until I was too exhausted to think anymore. He didn’t know how I felt when I woke up every morning hating myself before the day even started. He didn’t know what I felt when I told myself over and over that I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone.

Everyone has a different experience in life and yet here we are trying to put such simple labels on everyone else.

I refuse to accept that label for myself. I’m not troubled. I’m a strong person who has endured a horrible past. The fact that I can go through what I went through and come out on the other side with compassion and caring for everyone, even those who have wronged me, makes me a strong individual. It makes me so much more than troubled.

My challenge for you today is to ignore the labels. Ignore what other’s have said. They have no clue who you are. You know you best. Your true self knows you, not the depression and not the anxiety, but who you are deep down.