I’ve splattered it all over my social media feeds. Back in spring of this year, I was interviewed by Giving Voice To Depression, because they were intrigued by my perspective of wearing “The Mask” which I wrote about here. It was another first – and although I was quite nervous just before the interview, I remember I could almost literally feel that weight and stress drop off me. (The episode can be heard here)
I was (and still am) so thrilled and excited for the opportunity to share my story. Yep, part of it is completely prideful and self-centered. I’m still human, after all – and we all like to be noticed and appreciated and praised. But honestly, most of my excitement was because not only was my writing style noticed, but even above and beyond that, was the chance to share my story, the chance and hope that someone might read or hear my thoughts and feel some comfort and hope that someone else gets it.
But on the flip side, today was hard. As the day progressed, my fatigue levels were increasing rapidly. It was like starting the day fine, but then after 2 hours somebody strapped 2 pound weights to each ankle. 2 hours later, another 2 pounds on each ankle. 3 hours later? 5 pound vest. By early afternoon? another 10 pounds on top of that. But the physical fatigue was also mirrored in my mental and emotional state. By the time I got home I was just done. I’ve been home for 3+ hours now, and not much improvement as far as the physical side, but I can say, just realizing and allowing myself to be exactly what I am – tired and overwhelmed – has taken some of the edge off. When I was at work I was fighting myself to stay “up”, and once I was home it still took quite a while for me just to acknowledge that for today, I’m tapped out. I couldn’t recognize it because I was so focused on battling the weight and heaviness, and forcing myself through it, that it took quite some time for me to relax enough to even recognize what was happening.
It’s days like this, where I really wonder what “normal” feels like. I wonder what it feels like to get home after a normal day, and feel….normal. To feel tired, or energized, exactly in parallel with the day’s events. I’ve had days where I know I’ve had what anyone would call a difficult day, and be relatively “ok”. I’ve had days where from the outside, I had a ‘good’ day, and feel absolutely defeated and overwhelmed, on every level. I just wonder what it’s like, on a daily basis, to have mental and emotional capacity and tolerance match how life is going.
On top of the ups and downs of dealing with anxiety and depression, the fact I recognize I may be emotionally and mentally overwhelmed or overreacting to the day or the circumstance, is something in itself I find frustrating and tiring. Basically I’ve gotten to the point where I can recognize I’m not “feeling” something appropriate for the events – but recognizing this and not always being able to do anything about it, is itself frustrating… And that just feeds into the negativity I still battle.
It’s ironic that today, where I shared my perspective on wearing ‘The Mask’ – where I’ve opened up to an even wider audience – and I clung to my mask for dear life, to the point where even at home I had an extremely difficult time allowing myself to drop the facade, even in the safety of my home.
“Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right…”
Isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?