Trigger Warning: The following content may be sensitive material to those suffering with depression.
Depression is like a gray cloud looming over your head. It follows you wherever you go, and even though on the outside the facade of looking OK persists, your mind is still fighting.
Depression is sometimes staying in your bed for hours, underneath the protection of your covers. Snoozing one alarm after another or setting none at all. Because what does it matter if you get up or stay in bed all day?
Depression is thoughts of sleep and not wanting to wake up. It's thoughts of dying and death and who would come to your funeral if you died and what does your own life mean, anyway? These thoughts swarm in your mind, sometimes deeply hidden in caves of negativity.
Depression is a reminder of failure. All the BS you put yourself through. The pain you caused yourself and others. The regret and agony. It's tears upon tears upon tears, on the edge of your bed, on the floor, in the shower.
Sometimes it's a voice screaming in your head. An overwhelming emptiness fills the gaping holes in your body, but the voice never leaves. Not fully. You want to shout and cry out and hope someone listens. But instead you scream at yourself, in the safety of your own mind. Where danger lurks in the corners and unexpectedly visits just as you feel a surge of hope.
Depression is losing control of yourself. It's forgetting when was the last time you washed your hair; when was the last time you showered; when was the last time you ate; when was the last time you slept less than 12 or 14 hours; when was the last time insomnia didn't keep you awake in the middle of the night; when was the last time you left the house; when was the last time you opened the curtains or the windows, and let the light in?
It's a countless cycle of a multitude of emotions. It's never just sadness. It's never just feeling upset over something. Even the most trivial of things can set it off. Itching at your skin, tugging at the insides of your mind.
You don't want to remember when it all started, but the thought of when it will all end resurfaces time and time again.
Yes, it's always easier to tell someone you're "OK." Because you're never sure who you can trust with the inner workings of your mind. Because once you try to explain even a piece of the puzzle, the thunderstorm of emotions crawls back into your skin. And you can't let it out. There is no door, freeing all these thoughts away.
But sometimes it doesn't feel like a reminder of burdens weighing heavy on your heart. Sometimes you can believe in your progress, and believe you really are doing better than "OK," a little better than yesterday. Better than last week, last month, last year. And you'll keep getting better, because you must continue living, even when the storm pulls you back down.