Last month I was swamped at work, working harder than I ever had in my current role. Yet, as is so often the case with my mental illness, it still didn’t feel like enough. I still felt lazy. In anything I do, work around the house, my career, my studies, I never feel it is enough. Even when I was billing 10-11 hours a day (which meant I was at work 12-13 hours on those days since you can’t bill every minute of the time spent in the office), I still felt like I was lazy, like I hadn’t done what I should, like I was letting people down.
It is fucking exhausting. Even when I know my depression is lying to me, and that I am actually working hard, and that people are noticing how hard I am working, I nevertheless am exhausted because either I feel guilty for not doing enough, a feeling that gnaws at me relentlessly, or else I push myself to do more than I should, which of course takes its toll as well.
The fact that I’m mindful of this, mindful enough to know it is happening and even memorialize it on this site, is the first step in not feeling it again, but it is a step that has taken many hours of self reflection and therapy. But then recognizing how long I’ve been going to therapy and the work I left to go only makes me feel like I am being lazy and not working hard enough at my mental health, which only starts the fucked-up feedback cycle all over. Slowly however, change is happening.
Most days I know that the sense of laziness is merely the lies of depression. Yet even if for argument’s sake I were being lazy, habits aren’t broken overnight. It is about the small victories, the baby steps towards a self that can be proud of the work I’ve put in and can know that yes, that work is enough, that I am enough. In the meantime I have to simply accept who I am and continue working hard at feeling lazy.