The Despair Behind The Smile

Every day it happens, we see someone smile at us, and we think “They must have a good life” but too often, we may be missing the despair behind the smile. Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington suffered from something that ultimately caused him to take his own life, but to look at him, you would think he had it made. Same with Chris Cornell. Robin Williams. The list could go on, but it doesn’t stop with the celebrities, these are the people we see most often because the news covers their deaths or struggles.

There are people we come in contact with every single day, who seem to be happy on the outside, but the suffering they experience inside is what we are missing. The smile might make you think they have a perfect life. The smile might make you think they don’t have a care in the world. The smile might make you think they don’t have hard times. The smile is not always telling the truth. There are days my smile isn’t always telling you the truth about what I’m feeling.

What you don’t see are the days I sit in my chair feeling lonely.  What you don’t see are the moments I hide in my room crying because I feel like I don’t have control. What my smile doesn’t tell you is there are times I feel like I can’t breathe when the anxiety makes me feel like I am suffocating. Even though there is nothing that triggered the anxiety attack. My smile doesn’t show you the moments I don’t feel like I am enough, the moments I don’t like myself, the moments I look in the mirror and feel like a failure. My smile doesn’t always tell the whole story; it doesn’t say that I deal with those kinds of feelings. Because a smile means everything is perfect, right?

And that’s the case with so many others in the world. Depression, Anxiety, Panic aren’t always seen by the world, which makes them so much more damaging to the person who experiences them. How can you fix what you can’t see? That’s why it’s important that we make the time to check on those who are around us, it may save a life. To understand more about how people who suffer from depression feel, watch this interview Chester Bennington did awhile back :


There are so many individuals who are afraid to talk about anxiety and depression because it makes them feel like they are not in control, it makes them feel like a failure to admit they suffer from things like that. For me, I am fortunate because I have a wonderful family and friends who I can open up to, so I don’t keep everything inside all the time like so many others who deal with anxiety (or depression) do. I also have a huge faith in God, that gets me through so many moments in life. That’s why it’s so important not to just look at someone and think “Man they have it made” because all the money, all the things, all the fame don’t fill the deep dark hole of someone who suffers internally.

Don’t always think the smile tells the whole truth because we truly don’t always know the despair behind the smile. Take time to check in on those you know, that could make all the difference at that moment for that person. There is always something we can be doing. Mental Health Awarness is key, take time today to check on someone, and let’s quit making mental health have such a stigma. Because until we do, we will continue saying goodbye to people who should and could still be living.

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Hi! I'm Toni. I am a happily married, christian, momma of 3 living on Florida's sunny Gulf Coast. I am a lifestyle blogger and Seint Arist. I started blogging when my last child was born as a way to share my love of all things travel, cooking, beauty, recipes, and more. Now pull up a chair, grab a glass of sweet tea and let's get to know each other. I truly hope you enjoy getting A Daily Dose of Toni!


  1. 1

    Yes to what you said! And that video is pretty spot on. Like Chester said in the video, a lot of the demons are internal. I think they’re Satan’s lies. We tend to beat up on ourselves and believe that we’re no good. I struggle with depression. I take pills and also saw a counselor for a while. I became extremely angry, full of rage, and had major feelings of feeling worthless. It wasn’t until a couple of co-workers brought it up to me in a non-criticizing way that I finally broke down and realized I needed professional help. I really feel that them reaching out to me may have helped save my life from going down an even darker path.

    • 2

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so glad you had people who were able to guide you in a way that was conducive to what you were going through and to help you get the help you needed!