Why do passers by feel it is within the realm of polite society to comment on my mental status? Telling me to smile seems akin to asking a random woman when she's due. There's simply too much emotional payload to be editorializing like that. When it comes right down to it, popping out of the blue to tell Anonymous Flat Affect Girl "Cheer up, it's not that bad" is statistically more dangerous. Let's face it, pregnancy is generally easier for the lay person to diagnose than mental illness.
Still, that's no excuse. Look, I've been on (at least) an SSRI anti-depressant for most of the past 8 years. This is emotional botox. The stuff is still going on somewhere inside, but I am frozen on there surface. I don't spontaneously smile at all and I rarely laugh. I can rarely cry anymore- only when I'm exhausted, angry and hopeless. In other words, only over nothing, over myself. I certainly can't cry over books or movies anymore. Worse still, I struggle to mourn family and friends who have died over these years. It's like needing to yawn for ages without ever managing to get the oxygen to satisfy it.
I have flattened out so much that one moron actually diagnosed me with schizophrenia on the basis of all my negative symptoms. But the truth is that between the drugs and the depression, I no longer have any interests nor can I sustain anyone else's interest. I've also slowed down and pulled back from society quite a bit, so it's pretty unlikely that I would ever manage this entire comeback in a timely manner in real life. So I'm posting it here, for nobody to see it.
Don't fucking tell me to smile. Especially in line at the food pantry.