1. Being depressed and having depression are very different. Specifically, the difference between "My boss yelled at me at work today, ugh" and "My brain is an imbalanced chemical cocktail poorly mixed by a bartender-in-training."
2. And when I try to explain that to you, you might get mad at me because it seems like I'm minimizing your feelings. I'm not trying to, though, I swear. It sucks that you had a bad day at work.
3. Do not suggest that it's because I "don't exercise enough," or "don't think positively," or "don't drink green juice," or whatever the hell you think might be the cause of my depression. A goddamn spiritual pep talk about why a legit mental condition I have is basically my fault because I don't bow and murmur "Namaste" to the mouse that lives under my fridge in the winter every night before bed is not gonna get you laid.
4. You have one (1) free pass to make that mistake early in our relationship, but that's it. If you continue to insist that the answer to my lifelong genetic mental disorder is SoulCycle, don't let the door hit you on the way out, k?
5. There may or may not be times when you just...might not get laid for awhile. If I'm in a bad place, for instance, my energy levels and sex drive will be low. In the winter, for instance, there will be very little sex unless you're cool with me just lying in the fetal position and doing it in the harsh glow of a therapy lamp. NBD.
6. But when you do, I'll be super into it. Not only does it mean I have the energy to do it, but that boost of seratonin and oxytocin will put me in an even better one.
7. I can't always explain why I feel how I feel, so talking through the feelings like a normal couple might is sometimes twice as frustrating. It's not like "Oh! I feel sad because XYZ happened. Mystery solved!" It's more like, "I basically feel awful about everything right now no matter what I do, and there's no external cause that's causing it, therefore, let me sleep."
8. Being on medication is how I am able to function. It doesn't work for everyone, but it does for lots of people.
9. And being on said medication doesn't mean I'm throwing-mystery-meat-at-the-wall, giving-the-State-of-the-Union-Address-to-a-chair "crazy." 7 out of 10 Americans take prescription drugs, and I am one of them, and let's all juuuust chilllllll.
10. It also doesn't mean I'm "numb." I'm sorry, is Zach Braff a medical professional or an authority on anything at all besides maybe getting away with rich-person Kickstarting his shitty indie movies? No.
11. Depression isn't ~**~rOmAnTiC~*~*~* or glamorous or an indicator of True Artistic Genius the way some (dumb) movies and/or books will suggest it is. It's more like... not cleaning your apartment for a month, not doing laundry for two, never washing my hair until bats start nesting in it, and crying a lot.
11. If I am trying various medications, I might seem weird for a couple weeks, but it's just a phase until I find the right one. It's sort of a combination of dating and playing Russian Roulette with my brain juice. Yay.
12.You don't have to read my mind - you just have to take cues. If I tell you to hug me, hug me. If I ask you to please go get me an iced coffee and a tuna melt and don't yell at me for eating in bed, please do that, if you're not busy. Is that okay?
13. If you stick with me through the low points, I'll be the best and most loyal girlfriend you've ever had. Straight-up, I swear. I'll be like the golden retriever of girlfriends.
14. But you should still feel as lucky - (#blessed), if you will - to have me as I do to have you. If you make me feel like a complete self-indulgent drag that's barely worth putting up with, my first move once I'm feeling up to it will be to dump your ass and find someone who knows I'm more than worthwhile.
By Anna Breslaw
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