I’m Not Lazy…I’m Mentally Ill

Photo by feliperizo.co | heart made on Unsplash

There are some days I just can’t bring myself to get out of bed in the morning.

For the most part, I usually fight through that and drag my ass out of bed, but to what end?

Those are the days that nothing gets done.

I’m lucky if I absorb anything when I’m staring at the television, which is the only thing I have the strength to do — lay down and watch TV.

And let me tell you, when you’re in a deep depression, even watching TV feels hard.

You have to keep your eyes open, for one thing.

You have to focus your brain on what is happening and maybe, maybe even give a shit about what is going on with the characters that you tell yourself you’re invested in.

Forget about reading. That’s way too much work.

Forget about carrying on a conversation with someone you love — the thought of that just makes you want to cry.

Some days it takes all my energy just to stay downstairs and not retreat to my bed.

Yesterday was, unfortunately, one of those days.

I had so many things planned.

I was going to go to the library and write — I have goals to reach, after all, but I could barely shuffle around my own house, let alone leave it.

I was going to journal and work on my website, both things that completely slipped out of my mind by the afternoon, causing me to break a 300 day streak of writing on 750words.com.

My heart was broken when I woke up this morning, feeling better, realizing the things that I had missed out on doing the day before and how they put me behind in more ways than one.

Yesterday, I felt like I had one foot out the door if you know what I mean.

But to anyone watching — and to anyone in the house that may have been judging — it just looks like lazy.

I’ve been called lazy before, and it hurts.

To anyone with depression, I could just say “I had a bad day” and they would know what it looks like.

They could empathize with what it feels like to have one bad day in a string of good days and know how it makes you feel totally crazy for being in that position.

When I don’t get out of bed before ten in the morning, it’s not because I am lazy, it’s because I don’t feel able to face daily life.

When all I do for an entire day is lay on the couch and space out in front of TV, it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because something broken and lying inside my brain is telling me this is all I can do, and I believe it.

On really bad days, you believe the lies your brain tells you.

But I never believe that I am just lazy.

People with mental illness don’t want to be this way.

Period.

You can’t argue with that.

“Oh, it must be nice to lay around and watch TV and do nothing all day,”

I’ve heard people say…but there is nothing nice about it.

We might have days that look like we’re being lazy, we are just laying around like lumps refusing to move or speak unless it’s imperative, but that isn’t being lazy.

That’s fighting for our lives.

Too many strings of days that look like lazy start to feel like getting closer to death.

When you’re that down and out, you might start thinking that you’ll never get out of that downward funky spiral of depression, and being told you should just get up and do something, stop being so lazy…those words can make you want to die.

Being called lazy when you’re in a deep depression and can’t do anything makes you feel completely worthless — more worthless than you already probably feel.

Words DO hurt people.

I’ve never bought into that whole “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” bullshit.

Words cut like knives.

Words shoot like bullets out of ignorant mouths and hit us where we can least handle the pain.

Being called lazy when you’re fighting for your life?

Nothing hurts quite like that.

For those who are lucky enough to not suffer from depression or other mental illnesses, please take a lesson from this.

When we are laying down in front of the TV with tears in our eyes and the unwillingness to move, it might look like laziness, but inside we are fighting.

We are fighting the demons in our mind, we are fighting the darkness in our souls, we are fighting for the will to go on living another day when all we want to do is retreat back to our beds and never, ever wake up.

There’s nothing lazy about it.

To you, it might look like we’re couch potatoes, but really, we’re demon hunters, we are dragon slayers, we are fighting tooth and nail for each minute that passes so that eventually, all the darkness will pass.

It might not always be like this.

But sometimes it is.

I’m not lazy…I have a mental illness, and I’m begging you to understand.