Yesterday after walking my dog and having rolled out of bed still exhausted at a very un-Christian hour, I noted something to myself.

Becuase my adorable dog needs walking, I am required to go out ‘in public’ soon after I arise. It can be quite charming to follow my dog’s little butt around as he hounds along for something to eat. Just seeing his enthusiastic waddle can go a long way to towards cheering me up. But I was in a pretty deep valley yesterday.

Just before I leave my house, I steel myself for the walk. I’m quite afraid someone will see the look on my face (I have no idea what that look is) and realize how sad and fucked up I am.

If my face is in any way an expression of how I’m feeling, well, then, I’m sunk. I can’t imagine a person looking at me and not recognizing that I’m pretty much in the depths of despair. What will happen If a neighbour sees my face? Will they ask how I’m doing with that familiar look of alarm and concern in their own face? I hate lying so I if this dreaded interaction does happen, I usually mumble “not the greatest” and then quickly, ” how are you?” in a clear voice. Best to change the subject to them as soon as possible.

I do have codes for my closest friends to try to let them know I’m in a particularly dark mood.

“Not feeling well at the moment.”
“Pretty low right now.”
” A little fucked up here now.”

I rarely admit that I might just be this way for the entire day and quite possibly again tomorrow and the day after that. Friends need a sense of hope so I never predict anything. This way they feel that they can help me out of my funk and they do provide tremendous relief for a time. They need to feel useful and I need not to be worrying that they are worrying about me. That’s very embarrassing – to be worried about.

So I noted yesterday after my walk that I had my head down most of the time I was outdoors. That I had escaped through the back door and into the alley with my dog to reduce the chances of running into someone who knew me .I did everything to avoid showing my face to the world. It was vital that people not know that I’m depressed. I don’t want to interact with them .I don’t want to burden them. I don’t want to worry them. Most of all I am ashamed.

I was a little cheered up after me and the dog scurried around the hood for a couple minutes and in that frame of mind I was actually able to make this note to myself .You’d be surprised how much you forget when you’re depressed.

Today I was out of bed at a less shameful hour and in a better mood than yesterday. But I still snuck out the back door and I still made sure that when I did lift my head I had erased any tell-tale signs of depression from my face – whatever they might be.

I don’t know if I’m concealing my depression or my shame, but you’re not likely to see my real face if you pass me walking my dog.

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One Comment on “GIVING GOOD FACE”

  1. Craig Says:

    Depression sux. BT, DT, hate every minute of it.


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