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In my Filipino side of my family is taboo to talk about feeling sad, so I learned to hide my depression from them and even from my self.
When my mom died my family dealt with it by going to church. We didn’t talk about our feelings. When I wasn’t able to shake off my sadness my family would say ‘You are not grateful for what you have.’
My family in America know that life in the Philippines could be much harder. So they choice to focus on getting past hardships and not falling down a rabbit hole of sadness. But that doesn’t make it any easier for me.
This past Christmas my family was sitting around watching some old home videos we dug out. At one point my mom comes into the picture. I wanted to cry so badly. I hadn’t hear her voice in over eight years. I could feel my whole family watching me–waiting to hear how I would react. I just left and sat in the bathroom.
If I could tell my family anything about depression, it would be that silence and denial could feel just as bad as being put down.