It is greasy, stringy hair and skipped showers and last night’s pajamas three days in.
It is the inability to leave your bed for any discernible reason. It is the effort it takes to make yourself a bowl of cereal; put on a new pair of sweatpants; remove yourself from the hollow that has become your bed and make your way into a bathtub, hot water scalding and your mind exhausted from the exertion; pay attention to anything going on around you.
It is watching yourself spiral into that dark hole, feeling yourself sink lower and lower into nothingness, and feeling helpless to do a damned thing about it.
It is glassy-eyed stares and hazy thoughts and interacting with the world from inside a cold, dense cloud. It is walks to class with your eyes glued to the pavement, if you go to class at all. It is avoiding social interaction at all costs, because just the thought of saying hello makes it hard to breathe.
It is dirty. It is cold. It is sad. It is lonely. It is emptiness.
It is the sink piled high with unwashed dishes, weeks old, and an abundance of garbage bags shoved into the ever-filling corner. It is the unmade bed dotted with beaten pillows and twisted sheets that have been torn from the bedframe due to frantic tossing and turning during restless nights. It is the desk strewn with scattered papers and lost pens. It is your room smelling stale and looking like a silent bomb exploded within its small four walls. It is darkness even during the day.
It is being hit by wave after wave of oncoming sea, inhaling sharp salt water with each punch, every deep swallow filling your throat with bubbles and sea foam, rubbing you raw and leaving you gasping for air. It is not being able to walk out of the ocean because in some ways it feels safer than what lies beyond.
It is the bright blue light from your phone at four in the morning, mindlessly scrolling through app after app, retaining nothing, gaining nothing, when even sleep feels like climbing a mountain.
It is crushing. It is fear. It is numb. It is being in the eye of storm, surrounded by chaos on all sides and feeling strangely calm as the world disintegrates around you.
It is not romantic. It does not make you beautifully tragic. It is not something that someone else can save you from, no matter how hard they try. And believe me, they will try. They will try to lift you out of your own mind, reach underneath your arms, grasp ahold and pull with all their might. They will pour themselves into you just to try and give you enough life to float above the sea that chases you. But it does not take kindly to the kind. It does not leave any man behind. It will drown them too.
It is that voice inside your head telling you that you are not good enough; that you are a failure; that you are the cause of your own undoing; that your existence on this earth does not make one iota of a difference. It is not knowing how to make that voice go away, it’s sweet nothings slithering under your skin and making a home in your heart.
But it is wrong.
Never let it convince you otherwise.