Just smile more..


According to most, we all have a choice, we have a choice to be happy. If we choose to be happy, then we will be happy and if we do not, then chances are, we will be depressed. At least, that is what I hear every day from the people around me. Happiness is a choice and we all can make that choice.

Hold on a second. If happiness is a choice, then why am I not happy?

I will say that I lived a somewhat normal life. Although I was teased by some of the kids in school, I had a good amount of friends throughout the years. My parents loved me and I had a sister who would do anything for me. I was a happy and very healthy child who rarely had any problems with stress at all – at least from my knowledge. All that changed in Middle School, when my moods seemed to appear out of nowhere and the depression had kicked in. Of course, I rarely talked about it and faked my happiness throughout the years. Was it healthy, no but it got me through life. After all, it was the survival of the fittest. The weak would be picked on by the strong and that was something that I could not afford at all. It was also during this time that my excessive skin picking occurred, something that still continues to this day. As to the cause of my problems, one could easily blame one boy – oh I remember his name so well – who I had a crush on. Unfortunately, he did not feel the same for me. I was too plain for him, not pretty enough compared to most of the girls in Middle School. It was the first time in my life that I was told that I needed to wear more makeup because I was not “pretty enough”. Just imagine the emotional toll it took on me, the confidence it destroyed. I will admit, to this day I still do not see myself as pretty all because of the events in Middle School. I find it hard to.

In High School, I have very few friends and in college, I had harder any at all. I limited myself, preferring to stick to myself than to have myself be hurt by anyone else. Yet throughout my time with the people I have hung out with, I have expressed that I was not feeling the greatest due to my depression (which I would later find out would be part of bipolar). I would always get the same response that I would always get. I was too pretty to worry about such a thing and I needed to smile more.  To smile more. Yes, I needed to smile more. Why was everyone so obsessed with smiling more? What was up with people wanting me to be happy, thinking it would actually cause me to be happy in return? Did they not understand how things worked?

For those who never had a mental illness, let me explain something clearly to you, something that I hope that you will understand quite clearly. Mental illnesses are real illnesses and not figments of our imagination. We are not imagining them so please, believe us when we say we are suffering. Also, we simply cannot just become happy at a flip of a switch. That is not the way that our brain work. A lot of the illnesses have to deal with a chemical imbalance within our brain, making it nearly impossibly for us to just be happy in an instance. Sometimes, it take therapy and medicine in order to help us balance ourselves out. Oh and about the medicine, we are not weak for taking medicine so please, do not judge us for it. We are strong for admitting that we need some help, strong for admitting that yes, there is something that is wrong with us. There is nothing wrong with that. The last thing I wish for you to do is please, be supportive of us. Although we consider ourselves as a strong bunch of people, we still need support from others. After all, we are still only human, just like the rest of you.

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