Sometimes, my depression looks like me standing in the kitchen, drinking iced tea, with one earbud in and no pants, half listening to my roommate talk about her day and wondering if 10:39 pm is too early for me to go to bed. Not to sleep, just to be there.
Anyone who knows me, knows I thrive once the sun goes down, and I don't usually fall asleep until 3 am.
But, there are many days where I sit and stare at the clock, watching the minutes pass, waiting for an acceptable time for me to retreat to my room for the night without causing alarm.
My roommate would be the first to notice, as she usually is. She's right by all the action, or lack thereof. She's usually nice enough not to approach me about it until I've skipped class and work for three days and haven't left my bed, except to walk my dog.
Then, there's a gentle knock on my door and she says she wants to know if I want food, which really translates to, "I'm worried." It's become a thing between us of unspoken questions posed as regular ones.
Like, "did you walk him?" means "have you left your bed at all today?" Or "would you like a sandwich?" means "when was the last time you ate?" It's only when I see a pint of non-dairy Cherry Garcia ice cream sitting in the freezer that I know she's worried and doesn't know what else to do.
Buying my favorite ice cream and silently putting it in the freezer is her last attempt to try to pull me out of darkness before getting outside help. I don't know if she knows that I recognize her kindness, and I'm just too much of a bitch to tell her how much I appreciate her. And I do.
Regardless of all the time I spend in it, my bed has become one of my least favorite places to be. It's just a nest for my depression and anxiety to lay in and grow. I used to fight it. I used to go to the gym or the library or a local coffeeshop, anywhere to get out the house.
But then there would be days where I open my eyes, and I didn't move at all. Maybe, I'll scroll through social media, but usually, I just lay there, drifting in and out of sleep until it gives me a headache.
Soon, I had more and more of these days.
I used to justify it by saying I had to get all the sleep I could because at night, I couldn't sleep without the help of alcohol or weed. But, this was just an excuse so those around me wouldn't be alarmed. They're still alarmed, they just don't say anything.
I don't know if depression is something that ever goes away. Maybe it stays with you, but you learn to cope with it, learn to handle it.
I am better than I was yesterday and even better than I was three years ago. I smile. I laugh. I have a support system I never would've thought I could have or even deserved. And though there are still plenty of days where I can't leave my bed, it's less days than before, and it'll be even less days in the future.