I Would Smile To Hide My Depression From Others And Even Myself

Just because someone is smiling doesn’t mean they are happy or okay—it’s how I was able to hide my depression from my loved ones.

At school I was getting bullied constantly. Every time someone said something horrible and upsetting to me I would try not to show them how much hurt they were causing me. I didn’t want to look hurt because I knew that they would carry on laughing and it would probably get worse.

I felt suicidal and just wanted it to stop. I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I remember wanting to tell adults I trusted what was going on and feeling terrified because I knew if the bullies found out something even worse was going to happen. For a long time, I just smiled and tried to look cheerful.

I did tell some teachers what was going on, but many didn’t believe me. I was even told everyone gets bullied and that I should feel sorry for the people bullying me. A few teachers tried to help but couldn’t.

So I smiled—and was almost able to trick myself into believing everything was fine.

 

Depression Is Invisible

A smile has the power to hide our saddest and most painful feelings, thoughts and emotions from the outside world. To others nothing seemed wrong, but inside I was filled with a mix of emotions going 100 miles an hour. A smile can be like a shield you use to protect yourself from painful situations. I used to smile and try to look happy, when in reality I was in a dark and scary place that I didn’t know how to get out of.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is just because someone looks happy to you doesn’t mean they are.

We are all fighting things others can’t see or don’t know about. For me a smile was my way of trying to cope with things the best way I could.

Bryony Moss

Bryony is a Kinde Champion and UK-based writer using her voice to help others living with disability and mental health. Follow her on Instagram and Defeating Disability.