I have issues with being asked how I am. This is largely because I don't like to lie but I don't have any reasons at all to complain, *really*. Any complaint I have would be the very definition of 'first world problems, FFS'. I've never been good at just saying " fine, and you?".
Sometimes (very very rarely, these days), I'll have lunch with someone and I'll be direct. "I'm ok," I'll say. Then I'll be more honest, and take whatever step I can force myself to towards asking for help (an appeal which is universally ignored) - "I've been struggling", I'll say, "Been having issues with solitude", I'll say, "Feeling alone, can't really get myself to engage."
"I'm struggling lately," I'll say, and the person across from me will nod and move on to the next topic.
The fact is, calling depression a 'struggle' is in my experience at best a misrepresentation. Depression isn't a struggle for me - that implies a great deal more energy and violence than exists when I've 'gone dark'. I don't struggle with depression because I don't have the impetus to do so. Depression is, for me, like suffocation without the light-headed feeling. It's a bone-deep apathy that leaves me without the ability to function in any meaningful way. I can get up and take my daughter to school, but if I didn't have that to do I would simply stay in bed and sleep. I can't even call it a desire to do nothing because that again provides too much credit - it's a lack of desire for anything at all. Like I trip over some sort of mental, emotional and physical pause button. It is a seductive thing, that blankness, because it is effortless to maintain. Coming out of that static state takes an effort but it is an effort in slow-motion, like trying to make sense of a keyhole when drunk. The concentration required is all out of proportion to what's needed.
As I grow older, that state of apathy grows more powerful, because I have gained the financial and personal resources support my being on pause for months at a time. Once, the facts of necessity would have forced me to get up, to go to work, move on a daily basis. Instead, I am able to just stop for months at a time.
Clearly this isn't healthy. The way out is obvious, too. Take the step. Reach out. Make a change. But all of those things are out of reach when you're (not, really) living on pause.
Circumstance will break me free shortly; I have to go back to work in the next couple of weeks. But the fact is that my support structure is only me, and while I interact with people when I work it's not anything past superficial, and I hate the work I do so I will, absolutely, stop doing it as soon as I can.
It's only a matter of time until I press 'pause' again, and every time I don't know whether or not it's the last.
It's not a struggle, but it feels like one.