My alarm went off at 6am today. I had set it at that time because I was going to go to class. As soon as I woke up I could feel the dread, the pain, aching through my bones. I stayed in bed, under the covers, all warm and comfortable. Time passed. I couldn’t get myself to get out of bed. I tried convincing myself it was just the high cortisol levels coursing through my veins; to no avail.

I didn’t go to class.

Instead, I got out of bed and tried to study. Every day I have to force myself to get out of bed, and today was no exception. It takes so much effort to want to move a single muscle, let alone getting ready to go out. If I could spend every day in bed in my pajamas, that would be perfect.

After studying a bit I remembered that today was a friend’s birthday party. Originally, I was convinced I was going, but then depression drilled into my brain and said: “I don’t want to go anymore. I don’t want to leave my house.”

But I forced myself to go. Leaving the comfort of my home is something that I have to work hard at. It was difficult wanting to get ready, put on makeup, and getting dressed, but finally I did it. And I went to my friend’s birthday party.

I guess you could say I enjoyed it a bit. Just a bit. It didn’t help that a huge part of the conversation was about med school and tests, and the same old tired discussions about what you could do to pump up your résumé, or what research so-and-so was interested in. But at least I went out. I got out of bed. I got ready. And I went out of the house, out of my comfort zone. 

Still, one of the things that really bothers me is having to smile in spite of all the pain. Nobody would guess I’m the depressed medical student after seeing me smile. I’m good at faking it. Yet, there’s moments when the pain seeps through and I can’t help but lose touch with everything around me. I close myself inside my own bubble. That’s when my friends start asking “Is everything all right?”. And that’s when I snap back to reality and twitch my facial muscles into what can be construed as a smile, and a big one at that.

If only they knew that behind my smile, is a world of pain and darkness.


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