The Frustration of Slowly Recovering From Depression

I still have to remind myself that only a few months ago I was spending my days in bed, miserable.

So much has changed since then, since keeping steadfast with therapy and changing my medication. I’ve even started venturing more seriously into The Outside World, with classes and volunteering.

But I find the need for energy in The Outside World is much greater than the amount I have now — what was enough when I was in my bed certainly isn’t enough now that I must interact with others, engage, work. Interacting, mostly, has been difficult. It leaves me anxious and drained very easily, and so I often feel very isolated because I’m not interacting as much as I need to, for lack of energy. It was different when I was accustomed, even comfortable, in lonesomeness. Now I have enough energy to (sorely) miss my friends but not enough energy to keep in regular touch with them, as I’d like. I just feel too depleted.

That’s the thing, though — as soon as I reached this intermediate state of healing, I began to yearn for a whole, full life, lived in full capacity, when just months ago I was practically in hibernation. I’m finding The Outside World very taxing, and I don’t want to. I want to feel as if I’ve been participating in it forever. But… I haven’t. And it shows in how much I’m struggling to adjust to Real Life, even if it feels ridiculous I still have to take so many steps at baby pace, for my own sake, since emotionally I feel so much better. But mentally, energetically, motivationally, I’m still fairly the same.

A big part of me already wants to go live life at full throttle and is disappointed and immensely frustrated when I can’t — when I feel literally unable, when I see baby steps is still what’s needed and required. But I want to be proud of my life already. I’m extremely impatient for things to start getting good — and they are, but slowly. And a big part of me wants good now, fast, abundantly, and it hurts when I don’t get to have it. That I have to wait, and take the proper steps to everything, and can’t be on the other side of healing just yet — that I still have to pace myself and not take a “step bigger than my leg.”

Basically, at the merest sight of some improvement, I wanted to be completely OK again, and I’m not — I can’t yet be — and that frustrates me. I want to be completely OK again, and I’m still not. I’ve got an engine roaring to go inside me, but the car is still missing parts — it can’t go at full speed yet. I want to race already, I want to race now, but I can’t.

I’ve gotta wait — for the car fixing to be complete. (If it’ll ever be “complete.”) But I can’t be racing just yet… and that’s really frustrating to a (seemingly) healthy engine.

Follow this journey on The Self Express.

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

Photo by Eddy Lackmann, via Unsplash

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

Related to Depression

woman writing in journal in bed

How a David Bowie Journal Helped Me Cope With Anxiety and Depression

On Christmas morning 2016, I opened one of my gifts and revealed the David Bowie journal I had been coveting. A simple black cover with white text proclaimed a famous Bowie quote: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” Originally, I had thought it was just a [...]
woman and man embracing and comforting at viewing point in nature

What to Say and What Not to Say to Help Your Loved One With a Mental Illness

I’ve come to realize my honesty seems to provide comfort to people who may be living with mental illness and its associated complications. Up to this point, however, I haven’t fully engaged with a group of people who are so essential to the recovery and wellness of people who are mentally ill: the loved ones [...]
young woman lying in bush with small red leaves wearing red sweater

These Are the 'Perks' of My Depression

Generally speaking, mental illness is not something people are thrilled to identify with or experience. I can’t say I’m often jazzed about chronic fatigue, self-doubt and the emotional imbalance that accompany my illness. Things I could live without, am I right? However, a life without depression would not be life as I know it. Despite [...]
young woman lying on bed writing in notebook

Can Writing Down 3 Things You Did Well Help With Depression?

You know what’s a pain in the ass? When you’re depressed, believe something could help you feel better, but don’t have the energy to do it. It’s… well, depressing. When I was in treatment, I picked up the habit of doing a nightly inventory. The spiritual director of the treatment center suggested it. He said [...]