Don't worry - I'll be all right. And so will you. 

Trying to remember how it feels to be happy when you're depressed is a bit like trying to remember the password to a profile you set up years ago. It's your profile, so you should be able to remember the password, right? You set it up. It’s yours. You should know how to log back into your own bloody profile.⁣

You decide to try the very first password you ever created, the one that brings back memories of playing games with your brother and sister on the family computer back in 2001. It was a happy time. It must be the right password!⁣

Huh. Maybe not. Two attempts remaining.⁣

Okay, so you try the one you used in 2007, when the internet was expanding every day with new places to explore and identities to discover. You found communities of people just like you who still liked cartoons as teens and loved drawing and writing as much as you did. For the first time since starting secondary school, you felt like yourself again. You were happy.⁣

Ah. One attempt remaining.⁣

In 2012, you went to university and found a group of people who loved singing as much as you did. After years of nerves, you suddenly became a shower singer, a dancing-in-the-kitchen singer, an auditioning-for-musicals, performing-on-stage, leading-an-a-cappella-group singer. For the first time, you felt genuinely good at something other than school. You became confident. You became the happiest you'd ever been. Right?⁣

Please try again later.⁣

When I'm at my lowest, I can't connect to these feelings. I'll have no memory of how it felt to sing on stage and love it, to play a game and enjoy it, to smile and mean it. The memories feel false, as if someone else experienced them. I'll be locked out of myself as if nothing outside my mental illness ever existed, and never will. And it’s so, so frustrating.⁣

Then, out of the blue, the fog lifts. I reconnect. The password comes to me from nowhere and I'm myself again. Now, I’ve locked myself out my brain more times than I'll ever know, but y’know what? I've also managed to get back in every single time - and you can, too. I promise. 

Mared Jones is a writer and goblin whose hobbies include dissociating, luring cats into her garden, misplacing her tea, and writing about herself in the third person.


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