Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?

Lazy photo
Photo by clofresh

I spend half my life trying to decide if I’m tired depressed or just lazy. Do I just want to watch five more episodes of Criminal Minds today or is it because I really can’t drag myself off the couch? Or is it because I had a busy day yesterday? Am I just being lazy?

These are the questions that swirl around my head on any given day. Depression has so many physical symptoms, like extreme tiredness and exhaustion, that I can’t always tell what’s making me feel this way.

I spent about 3-5 years clinically depressed in my late twenties. When I finally figured out what was going on and added medication accordingly, it had been going on for so long I’d lost my “normal”. Two and a half years later, I’m still trying to find it.

I’m not cured, so the depression does crop up from time to time. It pokes it’s nasty little head up at the most unexpected times, knocking me off my feet and back into the dark pit I lived in for so long. The difference being that I can climb back out much faster now. Despite that, it’s not always easy to return to where you left off.

I want to do more. I want to write every day. I want to keep my bathroom as clean as I keep Nutmeg’s litter box. I want to update this blog twice a week and my fanfiction on Fridays and finally get Running Away edited enough for publication. I want all these things and I want them yesterday.

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. That oppressive feeling sits on my chest and everything just seems so HARD. I look around and everyone else with mental health issues seems to be achieving so much more and I feel guilty, like I’m not taking advantage of the time and freedom I have to pursue what makes me happy. But it doesn’t always make me happy. And I can’t control that.

Some people find they write better when they are having a “bad brain day”, as one of my friends calls it. Maybe I would, if I could just get that laptop open and my fingers on the keys.

Of course, at least one person reading this is thinking, “hello! You’re writing right now!” and you have a point anonymous person. I am writing. Because no matter what, the words are inside me. They burst out when I least expect it. Sentences appear fully formed in my brain and I have to write them down before the brain fog makes me forget.

I want to be better. One of the cruel tricks Depression plays is convincing you that you’re just being lazy. Because when you’re slogging your way through the sludge that your brain has become you really need to be told that it’s all in your head.

I promise that I do fight it, lest you think I’m just slipping away. I’ve been working on a story bible for Running Away (future blog entry on the process when I’m finished). A little bit at a time. Just five minutes a day if it’s all I can handle. It helps me feel better and I’m starting to get excited about it.

I’m hanging on, guys. I’m slowly pulling myself up but it’s my broken brain that gets to pick the timetable. I just get to hold on and stay ready to seize the moments of motivation and joy that will ultimately come my way.

How is everyone else doing? Anyone else struggling? Mental health, writing, life in general, I’d love to hear from you whatever the subject.

Keep turtling on.

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  1. Hi, Lydia. I completely empathize with you; I would get called lazy and sloppy all the time, and I couldn’t get anyone to understand it took 95% of my effort to get out of bed and maintain my hygiene. I have to force myself to take everything one day at a time, or heck, one hour at a time, or else I freeze from being so overwhelmed.

    I am doing okay. I am dealing with many harrowing life events and transitions all at once, but I spend my time focusing on what I can control. With my stories, I try to write 10,000 words a week. I’m basically writing fanfiction of my own stories. I struggled with a long depressive phase during most of the summer, but I think I’m pretty stable and coping okay now. I recently got a job I enjoy, so that occupies most of my time.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. It’s so hard for others to understand, that’s one of the reasons I write about this stuff.

      Glad to hear you’re doing all right, and I’m very impressed with your goal! I had a rough summer too, first I had to put my cat to sleep, then we just had a lot going on, lots of social situations I had to be in. But now I have Nutmeg and she’s the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. I hope you continue to enjoy your job, having a purpose can make such a huge difference.

  2. Ugh I relate to this a lot. I hate how our brains often give us pathetic excuses for what’s really going on…like telling us we’re lazy or making things worse than they are etc. etc. So I feel for you. 😭 My anxiety constantly tells me that any words I put together aren’t good enough and no one will relate. But I know it’s not true! So anyyyyway. Rambly comment to say I don’t think your brain is broken if it needs a little extra time or help and support. ❤️

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