My depression is always here.

My depression is ever-present. It’s always there in my life – some days are good, other days are bad, most days I simply exist. I’ll go weeks feeling fine, not quite up to par with everyone else in my life but definitely productive in my own way. Then my depression will start to creep back and soon, I’ll be weighed down by a heavy fog.

Depression chips away at who I am and there are days in which I really feel like I’m slowly decaying away. The good days make me feel like I’m an actual human – I clean, cook, go for walks. These are the days in which I can go about life and feel like an actual person. My depression is still with me on these days but it’s a thing I can carry, a monster that’s just sitting in the corner. It’s there but not in the way.

But then there are the bad days, the ones in which my depression weighs me down. These are the days where getting out of bed and getting out of the house is an achievement. My depression during this time is a heavy fog and I can’t see more than a couple feet in front of me. Sometimes, I can feel when the bad days are coming. I can see the heavy fog rolling in and there are moments of frantic productivity so I can get what I need to get done before the bad days come.

I decided a long time ago to be, at least in some ways, depressed out loud. Talking about my own depression into the void that is the internet has its benefits. For one, I’ve become more comfortable with how I’m actually doing. I’m more honest with myself and I’ve gotten better at taking care of myself. But I also do it because I never had someone be brutally honest about mental health when I was growing up. Having someone be open about what depression is and what it looks like in teenagers would have made a significant difference in my life.

That didn’t happen for me though but I’ve come to terms with that for the most part.

While I do feel like, for the most part, I’m making strides, I also realize that depression is never going to go away. It’s always going to be present in my life and sometimes, that’s a daunting and exhausting thought. I think about all the parties I missed, all the invites I never responded to, all the memories I never created or can never really remember because of my depression.

I sometimes come across as apathetic and honestly, there are long stretches of moments where I am. But that apathy comes from feeling hallow, emptied out by something I have no control over. And I hate those stretches. I hate feeling nothing, almost as much as I hate feeling too much. I tend to live in that binary – too many intense feelings followed closely by no feelings whatsoever.

One day, I hope to be in a better place, one where I feel a bit more alive. Writing about all this helps but I know I still have a long road ahead of me.