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When People Say ‘You’re Not Trying to Get Better’

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I’m lying here wide awake but lost in a mixture of emotions and horrible events playing in my head like a song on repeat. I can’t get up. It takes so much to turn over; even taking a deep breath can be a horrible struggle for me. I’ve spent 18 of the last 24 hours in bed, staring at the wall, crying and biting my pillow. I’m in and out of sleep, at war with my mind while trying to convince my body to get up and do something. I also haven’t showered in almost a week or eaten regularly.

Sometimes this is how my days go.

I’m generally pretty open when asked about how I’ve been doing. I hate when someone asks “How’s your day?” and I reply, “I’m tired and just wanna sleep all day again,” and I get a response like, “You’re lucky!” or “You’ll be fine, just get up and move and get over it.” This is frustrating to me. I don’t want stay in bed all the time. I don’t want to just sit and cry. It’s not that I don’t have anything better to do. I’m not just lying here in hopes of wasting my day or having someone feel pity for me. Yes, sometimes I can enjoy the day and laugh and smile and accomplish tasks. But today is not that kind of day, not even close.

My entire body physically hurts. I feel weak and heavy, tied down with stones. Everything is so hard. Everything is overwhelming. Thinking about work, chores, even putting clothes on is anxiety-inducing. Even the most minuscule of tasks feel impossible. My dishes from last night? My laundry? All piled up and sitting there — no energy, no motivation, even though I know it needs to be done. Even getting up to go to the bathroom makes me want to cry. Eating or fixing food? It’s like trying to push a semi up a hill with my bare hands.

I feel weak and pathetic and sad. I feel so weak, not just physically, because I feel like I should be able to do chores and get dressed and find pride in things. I feel ashamed because it is 5 p.m. and I’ve been lying here since yesterday.

I know I am stronger than this. I’ve had good days where I could work and do all my tasks. I’m stronger. I have to be.

But today, there is depression, anxiety and paranoia. Today, anxiety flares up, and it’s a domino effect. It triggers the paranoia, which then sets off my bipolar disorder and mixes with my schizoaffective disorder.

I feel guilty about this. I feel guilty for seeming annoyed and angry, when I’m honestly just confused and sad. I feel guilty for canceling plans because my mind makes me freak out. I feel guilty because I can’t always talk about how I feel, and I feel guilty when people think I’m pushing them away.

I’ve called and cancelled plans I’ve had 15 minutes before I was supposed to go out. I fought. I wanted to go. I’ve told people I got sick or something came up with family or chores. It feels awful to cancel, but the anxiety, the fear, the voices in my head just won’t let me.

Right now my mind feels like a black hole not letting me go. I always tell myself I will be OK, I will be fine and things will be fine in a few hours. But the shame and the guilt are like little creeping monsters in my mind, telling me I am weak and not good enough, telling me I am a bad friend and horrible person. This only makes it harder and harder to get up.

It may seem like I’m not fighting. “You gotta try, if you don’t you’ll never get better.” In response, I cry so hard my heads feels like it’s going to burst. With a shaking voice, I say, “I’m trying” or at times I just cry without saying a word because I’m afraid. But when I can make the monsters shut up, when I lock them away even if just for a few hours, I know I am strong. I am fighting, fighting so very hard. I hope for the next day, even the next hour, to get better, little by little.

Please don’t tell me “Just get over it,” “You’ll be OK, get up and do something,” or “You’re not trying to get better.” Because I am fighting. I am trying — more than you can see.

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Image via Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 12, 2016
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