I freaking hate being all doom and gloom. With depression, it’s easy to be all doom and gloom. But despite my doom and gloom, I like to think that I’m a pretty cheerful guy. Quiet, but cheerful.

I like to think about the good things in life, and to be perfectly honest, it makes my day to make someone else’s day. Literally, I can’t think of any better feeling than making someone say, “Man, I don’t have to worry about [insert-the-blank] anymore!” 

Great feeling. Really, it is.

Comedy films are another fantastic tool that keeps me positive. They make me laugh. Good ones make me laugh hard. The best ones make me laugh until I am hurting and crying uncontrollably. Yes, there are times where I am ridiculously happy, and sometimes, it’s just for a little while. It’s still nice, though.

But unfortunately, with depression, those happy feelings are all too fragile. They can be smashed and run through a mental meat-grinder, shredded to pieces and into something unrecognizable. For instance, I’m coming up from a pretty bad two-week low that was preceded by a rather lengthy normal-yet-still-rather-messy period. It was ultimately the result of making a huge no-no in my field (which was also coincidentally the result of circumstances surrounding my medication).

I was told I was incompetent, and when your mind is already constantly telling you that you’re incompetent – boom. It’s like there’s this instant mood-killer that leaves you in a pit of emotional despair, gasping for anything that will make you feel somewhat decent about yourself.

Then there are times – fueled by the frustration of dropping from such a delightful high to a sudden low – where I’m the most irritable person on the planet. Unfortunately, I’m never irritable out in public. I’m only irritable with people I’m close to, and that’s really, really stupid. Let’s be honest: they don’t deserve it.

I rant, and I rave, and I curse like a sailor. It’s something I’m working on.

On a side note, I’m getting better about the whole “only in private” thing, though. I flipped someone off while driving the other day. I never flip people off while driving. I know that Christ himself would not flip someone off while driving, and while I cannot say I am proud of my actions, I will say it’s a bit of an improvement to only offending the people I care about the most. Now I only have to worry about keeping myself from flipping off fellow motorists.

All in all, I have my own Jekyll and Hyde (along with a very sad man in between). It sucks. But there’s one thing that I do like about it.

Through my Jekyll and Hyde, I’ve finally come to terms that depression is merely a condition. It’s not your personality or who you are. It’s incredibly possible to say “when I’m depressed” as if it’s only a part of your life. It’s also possible to say “when I’m feeling normal”.

I’m quite aware there are people who are depressed 99% of the time. But again, it’s only a status, a condition, a phase – it’s not who you are. Think about that 1%.

Personally, I believe your happiest self is your true self, so if you’re riding on the depression train, consider the last time you were truly happy. I’m more than willing to bet that’s who you are. That’s your identity. Don’t believe the internal lies.

After all, Dr. Jekyll was Dr. Jekyll before Hyde ever even existed.

Image Credit: epSos .de

* Note: Yeah, I know the photo has nothing to do with the post. I think I’m just on this weird beach kick as of late. Forgive me.