Why Beating Yourself Up Is Exhausting

The title above seems rather obvious, but for those of us struggling with mental illness, it is a cruel reality. This week, the stressors of my life, good and bad, are taking their toll. I could give you an itemized list, but then I’d stress about which really needed to be written down and shared and which seem ridiculous. I will summarize it by saying my kids and I are leaving our school in two and a half weeks, and I have to change therapists because of crappy insurance. And I don’t want to (insert full-blown temper tantrum here).

When things get overwhelming, rather than dealing with the reality, my depression and anxiety try to convince me that these issues are insurmountable, scary and probably my fault. I must not deserve to have a good therapist. I am scarring my children by switching their schools. I shouldn’t be leaving my job. I am pathetic and broken. And so I eat. And then I get mad at myself for eating (usually ice cream). And now I hate the way every piece of clothing looks on me. And I am a bad role model for my children… (I’ll stop here, but suffice to say it keeps going and going).

As you can imagine this is not healthy (understatement) and it is exhausting. I have learned skills to combat my thinking. Sometimes they work. Sometimes I am too tired to wholeheartedly try them. I know I need to, and my mind fights me during these times — and often wins. That is where I am today. Then I question my desire to even get better if it is so much work.

At this point, as much as I love my family and friends, they can’t win. Let me explain – I want them to reach out, but I have no idea what they can do. And what makes it worse is I think they are taking pity on me and only interacting with me because they are scared I am not well. I want to talk, and I really don’t want to talk. At these times, the words people have stupidly said to me (or I’ve imagined them saying) that can all be reduced to, “Are you possibly doing this for attention?” or “Mental health is not a chronic illness” come rushing to the forefront of my mind. I have to constantly remind myself this is not the attention I crave – that comes from so many other areas of my life – and this attention is miserable and not fun.

So at least for today – I’ll write. And when my kids get home I will smile, make a snack and talk with them (mask coming on). And then I’ll drag my ass to my group tonight and probably spend a good deal of time crying. Tomorrow morning I am hoping I will wake up with a different outlook, but for today, which has depleted most of my energy, I am going to give myself permission to rest.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via gpointstudio

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

A woman standing in falling snow.

The Vicious Cycle of Chronic Pain and Depression

There once was a chicken. And also an egg. And nobody seemed to know which arrived first. Today, the mystery has yet to be solved. For many folks with chronic pain, including myself, it seems we are trapped inside our own chicken and egg enigma with real-life consequences. Those consequences are the devastating, debilitating and [...]
A medicine bottle toppled over

What They Didn't Tell Me About Starting Medication for Depression

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication. What didn’t they tell me? Sorry, but quite a lot actually. She told me about trembling, dry mouth, weight loss and the lack of energy. “Lack” should be in capitals spread across the page. Like it’s the main part of the article. The [...]
woman standing in front of stormy sea and stormy sky

Why My Depression Is Like a Power Outage

This week, we had a power outage. There are around 20 other houses along our road, all of which had a power outage too. It was a storm that bought it on, however the rest of the village had power. In trying to keep my brain occupied with the lack of light, warmth and things [...]
young woman in public space listening to music on earphones

4 Songs in My Depression Recovery Playlist

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about songs that help me through depression. While I still love these songs, I’m tired of wallowing in the fact I’m depressed. Subconsciously I changed my playlist to more inspirational upbeat songs. Since I shared my previous songs with you all, I wanted to share the [...]