Sometimes those of us who are physically and/or mentally ill don't show any symptoms to the public eye. Sometimes we are the students who are in the top of our class, the artists who have their work displayed, or the athletes who score the most points.

I have high-functioning depression and various chronic conditions. What does that mean? It means that no matter how rough of a rough patch I may be going through, I generally act like everything is fine. I perform very well in school, almost always having all As. I appear to have many friends, and am very involved in various clubs. However, despite my facade, I battle depression internally as any other depressed person.

What the public doesn't see, and wouldn't know of if I wasn't to share, is that even the most simple of tasks aren't so simple for a lot of us.

Waking up is an obstacle I dread each and every day. By all means, I am grateful for each and every day life allows me to wake another day. I just wish I awoke with mental and physical energy to indulge in each of every days' endeavors. How nice it would be to wake up well rested, full of energy, and ready to conquer the day. We all have so much to offer the world. Imagine if we had no "off" days... What amazing things could come of us sooner than later?

Wishing aside, I've learned that "off" days are essential. I have a greater appreciation for average days than most people. I strive for productive days, and when those days present themselves I complete as much work as I possibly can.

I myself never quite understood how I always maintain high grades and write so transparently, until I considered the fact that maybe that's how my brain copes? I take the talents that my illnesses have little to no control over, such as my intelligence and transparency, and flourish in those areas.

Control... Yeah, anyone with mental/physical illnesses know that it seems as if we don't have control over much. I used to seek control over my life in unhealthy ways unknowingly, such as restricting my food intake, holding in my emotions regarding my illnesses in order to keep everyone else calm, and dated people to fill my voids of loneliness rather than being in healthy relationships. Now, I know I only feel worse with an irregular diet so I make sure to eat three meals a day, write out my emotions and seek help when I need it, and don't associate myself with anyone but those with good intentions.

So yes, I desperately hope that I remain high-functioning, but I refuse to ignore my illnesses. I hope that anyone who knows me, knows that they can entrust me with absolutely anything. May we be a coalition that brings recognition upon the dark battles our bright personalities appear to disguise. Join me.