When it seems like you only put one foot in front of the other, not to progress but to find a better place to weep. That’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

It’s not predictable, often the darkness appears when you least expect it. It could be in the middle of a smile or halfway through enjoying the good company of a friend that you feel the sudden rush of despair.

You might just brush it off as PMS, but the truth is that you are in denial.

“No, I am ok, I am not depressed,” repeating this mantra with the hopes that hearing it all the time will somehow alter your mindset, but, you can’t speak to your brain to change your heart.

Yes, that’s what it feels like, your heat aching in deafening silence.

I have tried seeking help, but I find myself freezing. The move forward seems unconceivable, as if stepping into the unknown would cause me to lose myself further. And I have lost myself; I hope that it’s not my mind too.

My family history is ridden with bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. My mother has suffered with bi-polar disorder for many years, only, we didn’t know it at the time.

The diagnosis only came later in life, when her episodes seemed that of a crazy person.

By that time it was too late. The psychological damage on her children has already been done.

There are moments when the fear of being like my mother cripples me, when it makes it hard to breath and brings about an engulfing sorrow that’s not easy to describe.

If that feeling could manifest into something, it would be like a tidal wave, as rough as the sea is in winter, pulling your defenceless body down in its violent sweep.

Before you know it, you are drowning.

My friends don’t know I feel like this, my family has no inkling either. To them, I am just being moody.

“Snap out of it” they say like a chorus of demons sent to torment me.

If I could be un-sad, I would be.

But, even this is a lie. The pain has become part of me; I feed off it, find pleasure in the darkness. Perhaps I have been in it for so long.

Either way, as daybreak brightens up the morning, I put on my war paint. Mascara, eye pencil, blush and lipstick to accompany the fake smile I plaster on my face as my only defence between me and my darkness.

Now I know how the Joker in Batman must feel: trapped behind the insanity of a scar-faced smile.

The only difference?

He knows who and what he is.

I’m fine.

I’m not depressed.

*Click here for the 5 telltale signs of depression. Remember, depression is not a weakness, it's a psychological condition.

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