I try to be as open an honest about my struggles with depression and anxiety as possible, but sometimes I slip. Yesterday was such a moment.
As I’ve said, between the added anxiety of the accommodation process I am going through at work and the regular stress of the work itself, I am absolutely drained. I definitely don’t have time for small talk. Yet, for some strange reason that is what co-workers who sit next to you sometimes want to do sometimes.
And after two days of minimalistic responses from me, my co-worker noticed something amiss and asked. “I’m just tired,” was my reply.
I am tired, but it is so much more than that. It is a mind-numbing exhaustion where just existing, just keeping yourself solid and upright, is such a challenge that you marvel how you have the energy to do anything else as you drift through day after day in a fog. And deep down you know you’re angry about the situation, but you just don’t have the energy to actually be angry and you damn sure don’t have the energy to explain any of this to someone else.
I try to be as open and honest as I can about my mental illnesses, but sometimes the darkness wins. Sometimes it leaves me broken and drained and detached and it is all I can do to not either scream or lay down, or both, in the hopes that one of those options alleviates the pain, but I know it won’t so instead I just sit there, too exhausted to move or explain myself to the person next to me.
“I’m just tired” is just one of the many lies I say when I am just too broken to be honest and too broken to fake it, just one of the masks I wear when I have to hide in plain sight.
Maybe someday it will get better, but for now the best I can do sometimes is put on my mask and lie so that others don’t see my darkness.