It is real, it is raw, and it hurts. I’m happy and in a good place, and yet—

It’s always here. It’s hidden in the backdrop of my mind’s stage play, waiting for a quiet scene so that it can pop its head out and remind everyone it’s still here. 

Don’t feel sorry for me. Many other people have it and suffer much worse than I. Feel sorry for those without the ability to help themselves. Feel sorry for those who don’t have a name for what’s happening to them. Feel sorry for those who, in the midst of a depressive episode, believe that depression is all there is and take action for relief. Feel sorry for those who don’t have depression and don’t care to understand what it’s like for those that do.

It’s always there. Reminding me that life is temporary, that life is pointless. Making my own meaning is all I do, but all that does is keep depression at arm’s length instead of in my face.

And don’t get me started on how depression interacts with chronic illness. They’re best friends who just encourage each other to be bigger, bolder, louder. I keep them separated as often as possible; like troublemakers in class, they need to be forced to sit at opposite ends of the room. But sometimes they find each other, and wreak havoc.