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This Close to Happy (by Daphne Merkin)

Similar to the main character in the story, I met depression quite early in my life. It was unplanned, although my mother realized it at the onset of its development and blamed herself for not protecting me enough. She suggested seeking a psychiatrist but I persisted that it'll go away. Stubborn as I always am, for quite a while, it's gone. I made myself busy and was left with no more energy to feel depressed or hear those voices that call me back to depression. It was merely running away from it.

The stigma surrounding depression is never a pleasant one. Society was not as forgiving last time - I don't think even now they do. People who are not depressed are not able to understand that feeling of extreme emptiness - unfillable by anything from this world, or another world. Society finds these sufferers unbelieveably ungrateful with the life they've been blessed with. But it has nothing to do with that. It's just there, it doesn't want to leave, our past insecurities are meant to feed and raise it to be a monster. We didn't intentionally do it, it just..appears.

I'm not actually sure if I'm completely done with depression, if you'd ask. It fancies visiting me from time to time - pretty hard to ward off. It was as if it's attracted to me and I was fairly attracted to it, in a way we both couldn't really describe. It would appear unexpectedly timely - seems to serve as a reminder when I'm on cloud nine where everything was going right, or when everything was not going according to plan. It would accompany me and pull me from further harm inflicted by people around me. Left alone, it pulls me further till I found myself lost and alone.

Daphne brilliantly depicts every single ounce of emotion which stirs during those moments, what contributes to it, how did the main character deals with it - all the effort to recognize the build-up and to take preventive measure before it buries its claws deep into the flesh of the thoughts. Not only it helps non-sufferers understand how people with depression feel, it helps real sufferers rationalize their 'condition' and handle it before it handles them.

I'll say that you need to know what you are fighting and Daphne, through her story, makes that easier for anybody to understand.


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