When You Need to Be Productive but Depression Makes It Feel Impossible


Here I go again.

It’s another beautiful, sunny spring day in the 70s and I’ve locked myself inside. What’s even better? I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed until 2 p.m. When I finally did manage to pull myself up and get moving, the sheer physical force it had taken made me feel so void of energy that I didn’t make it past the couch.

I let my dogs out to pee, filled their water bowl, and poured myself a black coffee — but that’s all I could do. I need to clean my house in anticipation of my parents’ visit tomorrow. I need to do the dishes. I need to take a shower. But I can’t. Am I lazy? Some might say so. Undisciplined? I’ve heard that one before, too, but the reality of the situation is the people who say those things to me don’t get it. I want to explain it to them the best I can, for I want no one else to experience what I experience on a daily basis.

I’ve struggled with a potentially lethal cocktail of anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I am medicated, but it only serves to keep me functioning on a surface level. It keeps me able to go to work and do my job; to halfway maintain relationships. Sometimes, though, the demons are front and center. They usually come out when I have 10 minutes to sit and think. I think about everything — what I ate for lunch yesterday and how it may impact the rest of my life moving forward. I think about going to sleep tonight and how I hope I can actually fall asleep and not lie there awake and then suddenly my mind is wandering off to a million different places at 500 mph.

I find myself thinking about war and our political climate and the awful things humans are doing and saying to one another.

I think about all of the things I have to do at work tomorrow instead of just enjoying my day off.

I think about everyone I think hates me and what I can do to make them like me more.

I think about all of this and then some for hours upon hours until finally, my body tells me no more. It shuts down and I can’t move; can’t do anything productive because my energy and drive are zapped.

I want to blast music and put on my scrubbing gloves and get to work. I know my house needs it and I know today is the only day I can do it. I know it will make me feel better, but I absolutely cannot force myself. My body screams. My demons scream. The logical side of my brain is shut down by the exhausted side that only serves to spread more exhaustion.

Maybe in an hour, I’ll feel better. Maybe then I can do it. Here’s hoping.

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

Thinkstock photo via vladans


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


Related to Depression

Image of a woman brushing her hair

Katelyn Marie Todd Shares Facebook Post About Self-Care and Depression

Depression can manifest in different ways, depending on the person. On Saturday, Katelyn Marie Todd, a young woman living with depression, shared her experience living with mental illness in a poignant Facebook post thousands have related to. “I brushed my hair today. For the first time in 4 weeks,” Todd shared in her post. “It was matted and [...]
shadows in green light standing side by side

When Depression and Loneliness Always Walk by Your Side

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. My eyes blink open to the start of a new day, and they are standing at the foot of my bed. I walk to the kitchen to get myself [...]
Side profile photo of young blonde woman looking depressed

Why I Learned to Hide My Depression From Everyone

I was always the happy one — the affectionate one, the kind one, the bubbly one full of energy and life. I was always the one who made an effort to make someone else smile. I was, and I am, also the one with depression. From the outside, I always seemed to have it together. [...]
young woman standing at water's edge on top of fallen tree with autumn trees in distance and blue skies

Why I Feel Broken After a Friend Called Me 'Insane'

Someone called me “insane” — someone who I would call a friend. She called me insane because she thought I responded irrationally. She told me people thought I was insane. The fight was going fine until she called me insane. She ripped at my insides, and I felt my stomach drop. I felt a trigger [...]