“Just because you don’t experience it doesn’t mean that it’s not a reality for someone else.”- Why Mental Illness Makes People Feel So Tired All The Time
Recently while in a couples session, our counselor asked each of us what depression felt like. My partner hadn’t tasted the bitterness of mental illness before, not until this past year at least when we were apart. He expressed that he had to keep himself busy from wake to sleep, otherwise his emotions would make him “sad.” When the counselor turned his attention to me, the first words that escaped my mouth were, “It feels like I’m being torn apart.” His head tilted, his eyes squinted, and he asked what I meant. Not in judgement, but for better understanding.
I explained that for me, my depression and anxiety were almost these presences that hid in the corners of my mind. It may seem counteractive giving them this power, but they honestly do feel like little dark versions of myself. And they are always hungry. I try not to feed them, but at times their hunger becomes too much and I end up satisfying their need to overwhelm, drag down, and hurt.
I explained that even when I am busy, at work or exercise, my mind doesn’t shut off like my partners or fully focus on the task at hand. The depression and anxiety don’t just close themselves in their tiny brain apartments and hibernate for the season. They only slide a little further into the shadows, waiting. And sometimes they like to peek their heads out for a surprise attack.
I explained that even when I seem like I am doing well for a few weeks or even months, that I am still struggling with my thoughts on a daily basis.
And it is exhausting.
Not only am I anemic, which makes me tired anyways, but I have to deal with my dysfunctional brain while trying to be functional.
Some days I come home completely out of it I barely make it out of the shower before I’m drooling on my pillow. Some days I’m so tired of interacting with people I fight going to the gym (which I do enjoy), because that means more socialization and expending energy that I honestly feel I don’t have.
I’m not tired because I’m lazy and don’t want to do anything. I do want to do things.
But, I have this opposing force that I am continuously pushing against to keep going. I only have two arms and two feet, and one body.
So yeah, you may have to be a little patient with me while I fight.
And I’ll try to be patient while you fight too.