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there is a photo of me that i really love. my makeup looks perfectly done (except the smudges in the lipstick where i went just outside the lines of my lips) and my hair is styled just-so, the hairspray and weight from dry shampoo and sea salt spray and volumizing root pump amplifying it. i wear a knowing smile and my favorite necklace, and it’s my facebook picture right now since i feel pretty in it and people seem to like it, as indicated by number of “friends” who have clicked that little thumbs up button. my hair is sufficiently blonde and my nose ring is front and center, just the way i like it.
it’s so funny that even though I choose this image to represent who i am and how i feel, there are things about it and things I remember about the day it was taken so clearly that no one could even begin to see at this first glance.
it was the first pretty weather day, so after i signed off of work for the day, i did my makeup and hair, thinking that i would drive in to town, uber around for awhile, and meet up with some friends for some drinking on a patio. (I vividly remember sending these texts. “COME DRINK WITH ME ON A PATIO! I WANT NACHOS AND MARGS!”) i had a selfie photoshoot in the landing area outside my bedroom door, uploaded my favorite to Facebook (i knew it was a great picture, so I posted it to get a reaction from one person in particular), and headed out. no one could join me, so I had nachos alone as the sun went down and the chill set in on the patio of one of my favorite Nashville restaurants.
then, as soon as i got back in my car, something snapped in my brain. why had I just had dinner alone? i felt so pretty and confident – why wasn’t i enough for my ex, or some new boy, or anyone? all of the things that run through your mind when you’re depressed, no matter how good you know you have it. this is how depression and anxiety work: they take things that you love and turn you into someone you can’t even recognize.
I spent the entirety of the next four hours driving around Nashville and bawling my eyes out. i didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew going home wasn’t it. I tried to go shopping for an office chair, but I couldn’t even get out of the car. i tried to take myself for some treat yo self frozen yogurt, but the place my GPS took me to had recently closed.
i finally took myself home that night, exhausted from the frustration and the tears, and slept hard. I just think it’s important to say that even when things look pretty on the outside, depression and anxiety are hard, and it’s impossible to tell where they are hiding.