“Don’t worry about walking a mile in my shoes, just try a day thinking inside my head.” – Unknown
If we could walk in each others shoes we would live a life not our own, we would see different experiences, know people we may never have met, feel things we haven’t, and may never feel again. But we all know that to walk in someone else’s shoes is but a dream. It is not possible, and to wish to be in someone else’s shoes is not to live for ourselves. There is little point hoping we can be someone else, to live their experiences, we need to take our own lives for what they are, we need to find ways despite depression to retrieve our own happiness, embrace it and enhance it through our own recovery from depression.
Like walking in another’s shoes, we can’t think inside each other’s heads, and if we could I wouldn’t recommend a day thinking inside my head. If it was possible however, I would want my critics, bullies and those who have discriminated against me to think a day inside my head as a depressive. I wish they could see what it is like to live with severe depression, negative self-talk, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and emotional thoughts that can absolutely cripple you, take away your will to live, shroud your present and future in darkness, you can’t find a way to be well, don’t have the health to work, play, and maintain a lifestyle to support your family and yourself. If it was possible for people to think inside my head I would hope to increase the awareness and education of depression, a real experience of it in my darkest days.
Neither walking in my shoes or thinking inside my head are possible, but what is possible is providing education and awareness to society on what it is to live with severe depression. Through our stories we breakdown stigma and allow those around us, friends, family and colleagues, to in some way walk in our shoes, and think inside our heads, understand, learn, and recognise what it is to have, live and survive with depression. What we experience, what we feel, and how each day is a struggle, with a life filled with strong emotions, negative self-talk, exhaustion, affects of medications and other treatments, and dealing with the the daily onslaught of living with depression is what our society should know about. The more that we all can do to make society aware of depression the easier it will be for us to find equality, an anti-bullying environment, and a society where it isn’t toboo to recognise depression, and assist those suffering.