Do you look forward to being awake?
I was scrolling through my Instagram feed today when I came across these words written by a teenager…
“I miss when I was, like, 12, and it would be the night before a big field trip or something and I couldn’t go to sleep because I was so excited. I miss being so into a book that I would stay up past my bedtime reading it. Everything seems so bland or something idk. I’m only 19 and everything is so tiring. I miss wanting to be awake…”
This stopped me in my tracks. I felt deeply for this stranger who’d lost the sense of wonder and excitement they’d enjoyed as a child. When exactly did they abandon it? Why is their life so bland and tiring at the age of 19? Where are the pressures coming from? Their studies? Their parents?
The last statement hit me the hardest. I miss wanting to be awake…
Life is hard, in different ways, for all of us. We don’t always want to be awake for responsibilities such as work, for example. We’d rather sleep and avoid it all.
But life is a mix of commitments and joyful moments that we both need and want to be awake for. That is, if we’re not feeling that everything is bland and joyless.
Depression is a reality for many people. More people wear masks than we’d ever know.
People with depression often don’t want to burden others, so they keep quiet. What would be the point in sharing the struggle anyway?
It takes a lot of courage to ask for help.
If you’re struggling with extreme sadness, know that there is help out there. Please track it down. If you can think of someone who might be, reach out and lend a listening ear. A moment of compassion will remind them they’re not alone – that there might be at least one good reason for staying awake.