Depression is tiring.
One wouldn’t think that with the general impression of a depressed person being someone who lays around all the time, not doing anything. The fight is internal, hence the “invisible illness” designation.
For example, I don’t want to leave the house most of the time. Going out of my room can be a struggle. There are days that I’ll just stay on or near my bed. taking care of myself is a monumental task that is just too much for me to handle. I won’t eat, won’t drink; just existing and thinking.
That’s what other people see, but in my head there’s a battle going on. I have to convince myself that staying alive is a good idea. I have to convince myself that I deserve happiness and that things are going to be fine. I have to remember that I’m important to others and that I am loved. All the while, my brain is assuring me that I am unworthy; that I’m wretched and incapable of functioning like a normal person. Many days, my brain wins and I’m stuck in the endless sadness cycle.
The same battle is always going on, even on days when I seem okay. The days when I can smile and laugh at my family’s silly jokes. Days where I can go to work without a problem. Days when I seem like an amazing person to be around. My brain is still telling me that I suck and am a waste of space and stardust. I can fight it off, but its difficult.
Medication helps. It gets me out the door many days. Once I’m out, however, I’m on my own. I have to manage my mood in order to be a functional member of society. I can have several good days in a row, but the shadow of a down spell is always looming. At any moment, the pendulum could swing and I’ll be a sad sack again.
I can feel when it happens. Stopping it is impossible and it feels awful.
Being back on a daytime schedule has only reminded me that I have to stay strong. There are people who depend on me to be a force for good in their lives. They need to know that things are going to be okay, one way or another.
So I wake up every day and keep having the fight. Not for my sake, but for theirs. I’m lucky enough to have that in my life.
It’s my reason to keep going.