Sound familiar? Are you lazy?
These are words that are often thrown around. I get called lazy because I don’t do a certain task. What I am unable to vocalise is that there are a million things going round in my head. I am constantly playing out scenarios, in which; everything goes wrong. It has taken me a month to get the courage to write a blog about this.
Now, I am not disagreeing with the people who say I’m lazy. I am. The part I am disagreeing with is the motive. Let me give an easy example; chores. Say I had to do something as trivial as washing up dishes and cutlery. In the 10 seconds or so that it would take me to process that sentence I have already thought about many different outcomes. What if I spill water everywhere? That would be bad. What if I cut my finger or hand? That would be bad. What if due to my tics I literally throw a plate across the roam and smash it? That would be bad.
I know that these consequences are way out of the ball park, yet I can’t seem to get it out my head. So from having the lack of motivation to do certain tasks I then feel bad about myself for not being able to do them. This is made further worse by someone calling me lazy.
This is a lethargic simulation
Let me give another situation which is a bit more personal. Hygiene. Now I am not sure what the recommended level of hygiene is supposed to be. I don’t believe it’s as simple as EA’s The Sims, where we have a bar that we must fill. What I do know is my level is not correct. And it stinks, pardon the pun.
I have done research on this and thankfully I am not alone and if anyone reading this has depression and are in the same boat, have some solace and comfort that you are not alone. Depression is a weird one; I can look like the happiest person ever always smiling and laughing, making jokes. Inside I am broken, shattered and empty.
I do not understand my own body and brain, let alone understand a mental illness. All I can do is get on with it and I implore people who know someone struggling with similar situations to be patient. Listen. They are just as frustrated and unsure as you are if not more so. If you ask someone who has depression or anxiety to do something and they do not immediately do it, please don’t call them lazy. Or belittle them. The next time you ask they just won’t want to do it. It’s not positive reinforcement. Its ignorant.
I have never really spoken about my depression to anyone apart from my darling wife, Nelly and one of the best friends I could ever hope for, Alex. Talking about it puts it into a more physical form, which somehow makes it feel more real, which sounds worse but is actually better. When you have something; a voice, your own thoughts, niggling at the back of your mind telling you that you can’t do something or you are incapable, useless or lazy. It sucks.
Now, I know, as I am 23 now and have had depressions for over 10 years that I am not alone. That makes it all the much better to cope with. However there are people who are new to it, and are confused and struggling. They think they are alone, I know this as I used to. I used to feel so empty I would find ways of trying to feel.
It started with hitting belts on my back, scratching and pinching my skin and as I got older and my situation got worse it led to drinking, drugs and self-harm. Self-harm, the big taboo, the stereotypical act of every depression victim. People assume those who self-harm are trying end it all and stop feeling. The truth is, at least for me, that we don’t want to stop feeling. We want to start feeling. Our depression has already blocked all our emotions and feelings and stopped us from being social creatures.
Sorry for the long rant, but it honestly feels good to vocalise and physicalize depression, and as I say, if you are reading this, find some relief, you are not alone. Make that first step to reach out, you may find a lot more hands outstretched than you think. If you know someone with depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, please, for their sake and even lives, be patient. Do not ever force them to do something they don’t want to. Never guilt trip them. And never ever call them lazy.
For more help and advice if you are feeling shitty, click the shiny writing.