Written by Jacquelyn Michelle
Here I am, lying in bed. I can’t get up. It’s literally taken all I have to roll over and grab my laptop. I’ve spent 18 of the last 24 hours in bed, staring at the wall. I’m in and out of sleep ― at war with my mind while trying to convince my body to get out of this bed. I also haven’t showered in four days.
Sometimes this is how my days go.
“I have major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Sometimes this is how my days go.”
When having conversations with people, I’m generally pretty open. For example, “Hey, how’s your week going?”
My response: “Oh, it’s alright. I spent all day in bed yesterday, I just couldn’t get up.”
Almost every time I say something like this, I get a response that sounds like this: “Oh man! I’m so jealous! You’re so lucky! I wish I could have stayed in bed. But I have work and [insert other responsibilities] I had to take care of.”
To me, this is beyond frustrating. I didn’t want to stay in bed all day and I didn’t enjoy it.
I don’t enjoy spending all day in bed. I’m just not lying here in hopes of wasting my entire day. Yes, sometimes when my brain is balanced and functioning normally, I can enjoy a day to catch up on sleep. But today is not that kind of day.
My entire body aches. I feel as if there are anchors tied to my core and every limb of my body preventing me from lifting myself off of my bed. Everything is daunting. Everything is too much. Thinking about getting up is anxiety-inducing. Even the most minuscule of tasks feel absolutely impossible. My dishes from last night? That will take energy I don’t have. Brush my teeth? Yeah, right.
I feel weak. I feel so weak because I should be able to do small tasks like dishes and brushing my teeth. I feel ashamed because it is 7 p.m. and I am still in bed.
“I feel ashamed because it is 7 p.m. and I am still in bed.”
I know I am stronger than this. I have to be, right?
But today, depression and anxiety are winning. Today, I can’t fight.
I feel guilty because I know I shouldn’t be spending my time like this. I feel guilty for the unanswered text messages and canceled plans.
This morning, I called in sick to work 15 minutes before I was supposed to be there. I fought. I wanted to go. I told my manager I had a fever and I was throwing up. The truth is I am sick today. But calling to say my brain is sick is not a socially-acceptable reason to not show up to work.
I was supposed to go to the gym and hang out with a friend I haven’t spent time with in a long time, but instead I sent a text message that read: “Hey, sorry I can’t make it. I’ve been throwing up and in bed all day.” It feels awful to cancel these plans.
My mind is a battlefield. I tell myself I will be OK. But the shame and the guilt are demons in my mind telling me I am weak and not good enough. They tell me I am a bad employee and coworker. They tell me I am a bad friend. You can’t even get out of bed! They scream at me. This only makes it harder and harder to get up.
It may seem like I’m not fighting. Like I am weak today. But when I can quiet the demons in my mind, I know I am strong. I am fighting. I hope for a better tomorrow.
Please, please don’t tell me you are jealous I got to stay in bed all day. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
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