The podcast stops playing on my phone as it begins to ring. I see the name of a friend flash up. I’ve taken many calls in the past week, but I don’t have anything left. I look down at my messy clothes, I feel my unbrushed hair and teeth, and my general sense of disarray.
My hand is hovering over the phone on the counter, and eventually, it stops ringing. I feel two things mainly. Firstly, I feel sadness. Sadness because I don’t have the energy to talk to my friend on the phone. Secondly? Utter embarrassment.
Does your mental illness ever make you feel embarrassed? When you are at your lowest, the simplest things are impossible, and it’s hard not to be distraught.
When I’m depressed I can barely get out of bed, nevermind shower. So if a friend turns up randomly at my home, I’m probably not clean. This makes me feel ashamed for my state of being. Although it cannot be helped, it still hurts.
Also, I can’t sleep at night, so I usually sleep between 7am and 10am. I can hear you say, “you need to adopt a more healthy sleep pattern,” and I agree. It doesn’t mean I’m not trying, it just means it’s not working.
Mostly for me though, the hardest part of the depression, is the brain fog. The dissociation. I can’t string sentences together. I find driving difficult. It amps up my anxiety which feeds my depression. If I could get off the hamster wheel I would, but all I can do it wait for it to slow down.
I was able to do some washing today. This is a big win for me. Sometimes I’m fine. I’m ok, I can work, and read, and wash and learn, and not be hard on myself.
Sometimes though, I need to rest.
There are many vasts posts about mental health and no one solution.
The one that works for me, that makes me feel less embarrassed is I don’t take myself too seriously. Life is a wonder, and it’s amazing to be alive, but it doesn’t make it any less strange. I’m still a valid person, and my inactivity does not define my worth.
Previous mental health post here.
Also the website The Mighty is a great place to find solidarity in people who are feeling the same as you.