Please Stop Asking Me If I’m Tired
“You look tired.”
“Are you feeling OK?”
“I’m worried about you…”
Screams from their mouth into my soul. Trying fruitlessly to reach a place in my brain that’s long since built a brick wall of defense against offered help.
“You’re being a psycho.”
“This isn’t the you I know.”
Those ones though, those words penetrate deep into my body. They wrap a vine so intricately around my brain that slowly crawls down my spine, invading my entire being. So now it’s everywhere, it’s all I know, it’s all I think, it’s all I can believe I am anymore.
That’s living with anxiety and depression. And I know many people can relate, many people go through the same struggles I do every day. But no one copes the same, no one has the same triggers and, sometimes, there’s no right thing to say. But I’m sick of hiding behind my depression by lying and agreeing that, “Yes, I must not have slept well last night,” or, “I’m just feeling a little sick,” just because it’s less abrasive to others than admitting I struggle with mental illness.
Anxiety can be a disorder, and depression is its validation. And they may be dormant for some periods of time, but they will sneak up on you in your most vulnerable moments. There is no miracle cure. If my anxiety tells me nobody will ever love me, my depression is right there by its side telling me of course they won’t, I’m not worthy of love.
So this story is for those who look at me, a young woman who appears to have so much to be happy about, and can’t understand why I’m not. I get where you’re coming from. My struggles aren’t visible to you, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t a challenge for me. I understand you see me being self-destructive and it seems intentional, and that’s frustrating to watch. So I apologize if that hurts those who I love most. But you should know I want to be different. I’d give the world to be better. I’m scraping by the skin of my teeth just to make it through the day. And I do mess up, sometimes I use substances like alcohol to cope just because I want to feel an ounce of the happiness and laughter that other people feel, even if it is only temporary.
Of course I want to be someone my family and friends are proud to know. Of course, I want to find love and love in return. But some days it’s hard enough to find the will to live. And yeah, some days I wake up and my anxiety and depression aren’t waiting at the foot of my bed. But a lot of days they are. There are a lot of days I wake up to find the light of a new day unbearable. I wake up at 6 a.m. in a cold sweat, my stomach in knots, scared to my core of facing the world. And if you’ve been there, you know that getting out of bed is a bigger challenge than anything you can imagine in that moment. And then you barely can bring yourself to bathe because you’re scared you’ll just lie down and sob in that shower where you can’t be heard. You’re afraid you won’t be able to stop.
But I fight it. I fight it for that light I know exists somewhere, because I’ve seen it before, no matter how long it’s been. I get out of bed, as painful as it may be. And I choose to live. I find the strength and I keep moving. And that is the best I can do. So please stop asking me if I’m tired.
Of course I am, this is exhausting.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Getty image via fizkes