Mask Your Depression By Telling Everyone You’re A Hibernating Bear
We all know that the most effective way to deal with crippling depression is through talk therapy, behavioral adaptation, and medication. Of course, we also know that you haven’t been doing those things, because it’s 2018 and medical insurance companies largely believe brains don’t count. Nevertheless, if you want your family, friends, and coworkers to avoid noticing how severely depressed you are, something has to be done. Which is why, this winter, you need to convince everyone you’re actually just a hibernating bear. Here’s how.
1. Build Your Den
The first thing any depressed person/hibernating bear needs to do is pick the correct spot to curl up and stay extremely motionless for four to five months. You obviously won’t be working during your hibernation, so your apartment is out (because you will no longer be able to afford it). Luckily, caves are actually quite plentiful in the suburban environment. If you live in a more urban local, a large sewer pipe will do equally well.
Be sure to pile your chosen den with all the comforts you’ll need over the long winter: blankets, pillows, socks…that’s probably it. Honestly, you’re too depressed to make more of an effort than that, so let’s just stick to basics.
2. Store Fat For The Winter
One common trait of depressed people is “eating their feelings,” but luckily, as a bear, this is totally acceptable. You’re going to want to bulk up as much as possible; some bears put on upwards of 30 lbs per week before hibernating. So go ahead, wallow in your marshmallows as you reflect on how you’re 36 years old and still can’t figure out what to write down under “occupation.”
One major bonus is that your prep period coincides with the holidays, so you have an easy excuse to eat those 16 deviled egg halves at your office pre-pre-Christmas shindig. Sit back and shove cranberry pie into your maw as you watch the man who dumped you for being “too romantic” dance with his 22-year-old fiancé. Look—there’s a bowl of candy canes. EAT THEM ALL. Any bear would do the same. Feel free to growl at anyone who approaches your plate. Rest assured in the knowledge that, as your stomach begins to stretch your seasonal sweaters, you’re not actually treating your depression, but you ARE eating every piece of yule cake you see, and that’s important.
3. Explain Your Absence
The hardest part of hiding your depression by pretending to be a hibernating bear is convincing other people that you are a hibernating bear. Obviously, this is not going to work on your mother, so just tell her you’re going to Cabo for the winter (you know she doesn’t really love you, anyway). But your boss will need an explanation if you want to get back to your job come April.
One option is to simply sit your boss down and tell him you now identify as a bear, and as such, will be requiring your mandated hibernation leave. When he claims there is no such law, and that you are appropriating terminology used for a very real and very marginalized group of actual people, simply utter the words, “Do I need to get HR involved?” and he should clam up like a chowder. If this is unsuccessful, you’ll need to get a little more drastic. Go into work with a faux-fur throw wrapped around you, and respond to all commentary by roaring loudly. If there’s a water fountain, stand in front of it and attempt to catch salmon in your mouth for added verisimilitude. They may not believe you’re a bear, but they’ll likely be too afraid to bring it up.
Now that you have successfully prepared for the winter, you’re ready to enter your den and sleep for the next four to five months. Allow all those feelings of total apathy, nihilism, and nothingness to sweep over you as you lay flat on the floor of your cave, and breathe shallow breaths for a long, long time. Becoming a hibernating bear may not be as effective a treatment for depression as therapy, but it gets you out of Valentine’s Day, and that might be enough.