Depression is… tiring, above all else. People who are depressed say they are tired all the time, and I am no different. Constantly battling yourself is hard work.
After so many years of said battling, there is an understanding that my mental state is ultimately under my control, something that hasn’t always been there. It’s not necessarily under my control in the short-term sense, I cannot simply will myself to feel content in a moment when I am feeling sad, but it is under my control in the sense that I can analyse why I feel the way I do, pick up on whatever familiar pattern I may be in, and formulate a plan to break the cycle.
One one hand, recognising this control is uplifting and empowering - I have the abilities to get myself out of this situation, even if the way forward doesn’t seem obvious or easy. On the other, there is an added frustration of knowing that the way I feel is, to some degree, self-inflicted. When I was younger, I’d hold my brothers arm and goad him “why are you hitting yourself?”, despite it clearly being me hitting him, but in this instance, depression is not some cruel, stronger older brother, it really is my own arm and my own volition, so why am I hitting myself? Because I am so used to it at this point it feels normal?
I have a lot of wonderful friends, but often I feel alone, even when I spend a lot of time around them. I don’t think it’s due to being especially introverted, I think it’s more that I struggle to ever be vulnerable with them, and only feel emotionally nourished on those occasions when I am. It’s self-fulfilling on my end; there’s something I want to say but I’m afraid to, I don’t say it, I feel less comfortable or more distant from that person as a result, whatever it may be remains unsaid, and next time I am even less comfortable bringing up whatever may be on my mind. At least in this example, the cycle may be periodically be broken by me having several drinks and just spilling the beans, but it is one of many particular flavours of emotionally punching myself in the face.
And that’s tiring. My emotional face hurts.