Not being able to get up to clean your room.
Not answering your phone when people try to find you, because you don’t want to have to come out.
The voice in your head that says, “I’ll never be good enough for them” about a crush, even when you know that certain somebody likes you back a lot, or maybe even loves you.
Having to go back home part-way through your plans with someone because you feel so consumed with your own emotions that you physically cannot be anywhere but your bed.
When you can go for days without leaving the confines of those few steps between kitchen and bedroom.
Feeling like you’re falling apart and being unable to ask for help.
Missing an appointment and being unable to schedule another one out of fear that the person you had an appointment with hates you for being a no-show.
Loving school and learning, but being unable to pull yourself out from underneath your covers, and hating yourself every day for it.
Wanting to tell the people around you what’s going on, but knowing the stigma around what you’re feeling will give them that hushed tone as they say, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
Sleeping for as long as you can, and as many days as you can, because you don’t want to face the world.
Sleeping as little as you can and staying awake constantly to the point of sleep deprivation so that you’re no longer able to think, which is consequently the easiest way to kill your thoughts completely.
Binge eating when you’re sad.
Starving yourself when you’re stressed out.
Being unable to move from your bed to do a simple task like brushing your teeth.
Crying for days on end.
Not crying for months and months, suddenly having a one minute breakdown because of something someone said, and then going back to not crying.
Overanalyzing every last thing someone says or texts to you, to the point of feeling crazy.
Asking someone if you’re crazy, and then immediately wanting to take it back because you feel so self-analyzing and what you said must have just made them think you were being anxious and stupid.
Thinking you’re strong for constantly staying quiet about your problems.
Realizing later that strength is being able to be open about your problems.
The black shadow in my life is always there, but that doesn’t mean I have to listen to or acknowledge it. The black shadow is just that: a shadow, and the sunlight will stream through again soon enough, if only I remember to open the window.