I want to start by saying thank you for the responses, because the rest of this probably won’t come across as appreciative… but I do appreciate it.
No worries for that. <3 I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you took some time out of your day to actually put more words on how you feel and what you’re experiencing. It gives some clues of understanding to those who read your message here, including me. We’re all learning to know each other. That’s totally okay. And it’s how we can actually try to gather all of our experiences and resources in a more effective way.
So again, thank you for explaining and sharing this. You said you didn’t know how to express how you feel, but what you describe makes sense. And I see how my response could have been off-topic.
and don’t you tell me I’m not, whether it’s a chemical imbalance or a cognitive bias something isn’t working right
No one is a doctor here, so the cause could be many different things. And we can always question if knowing if it’s physical or a matter of perception is helpful or not. What matters here is what could bring you some better understanding of what’s going on, and even more how to deal with this exhaustion.
For what it’s worth, what you describe makes me obviously think about clinical depression. Again, I’m only talking from a personal perspective here, as I’ve been struggling with a chronic depression for… as long as I can think about. Maybe you even received this diagnosis before and I’m absolutely not saying anything revolutionary here.
Something awful with depression is how draining it is. I shared here and there a TedTalk about depression, because I love how it’s said: “The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality”. This distinction resonates a lot with my own experience, and I recognize this through your words here (but please, if I’m wrong, feel absolutely free to say it). It’s about feeling nothing rather than feeling pain. That’s why a lot of people who are struggling with depression can actually say “I have everything to be happy, but something’s wrong and I can feel it”. Just like you said, “you are loved” can sound like empty words when you’re emotionally and physically drained. It’s not about knowing it anymore, but to actually feel it. And as you described, everything becomes difficult, even the simplest tasks.
Depression has many shapes. Yet for me, in the darkest seasons, it really looked like what you described. To the point of wondering if I could even move - not just intentionally, but really physically - as I woke up. I wasn’t even able to read something because I would need a nap right after it. That’s how much draining and crazy that depression can be. And I feel that you know that too well.
You’re right, it’s not a matter of motivation or intention here. I hear you and what you want to do. But also all the weight of this invisible wall in front of you that’s preventing you to be who you want to be. For what it’s worth, I feel that in my heart. And I had my share of frustration to make others understand why sometimes I hit rock bottom and can’t do something. Not because I’d find excuses or avoid reality, but because it.is.impossible for me at the moment and my reality is not the same as the ones around me.
Random examples of how depression is, for me, deeply intertwined with constant procrastination: I wish I kept using a guitar that I really like, yet it’s been 2 years that I only need to change a string. Oh I have a new set already… it’s been like 6 months maybe? And it could literally take 5 minutes to do that. Still didn’t do it. There’s a bank account I should have closed 5 years ago and still didn’t. Every day I keep thinking about the dishes I should do… well it’s still waiting. Not mentioning this drawer I should repair. And the mail I should send to my landlords about an isolation problem with a window… yup, still didn’t do it while it’s been a year and a half. This can sound crazy. And sure, just as you ask: why not just doing it? Well because it’s actually not that easy when you’re already in a place of exhaustion like you described. Sometimes I’d feel a little bit better, for some reasons, and I’d have a blast. But it’s never revolutionary.
Does it mean that it’s worth to stop trying? Of course not. If battling with exhaustion is not a matter of personal intention and commitment, feeling better still requires our own participation. Your heart is speaking when it says that you know what you want to do and what you want to be. But there are some obstacles in front of you that are pretty disturbing as it remains invisible, even sometimes for yourself.
I’d like to ask you a few questions, but there’s never any obligation to respond:
- Could asking for a medical leave be an option to you right now? Work is draining, especially if you’re that overwhelmed already. It’s absolutely okay to take some time off, even if it means doing nothing at all during your free time. It’s only about reducing the things that are actually draining you more than needed right now. You have the absolute right to rest, at least physically.
- You mention CBT. From what I know it’s kind of a very practical type of therapy (?). Now that you stopped it, what did you learn through this therapy that you’ll keep with you? And what wasn’t helpful?
- There are many different types of therapy. And… I understand that maybe you would think that you don’t have the energy to navigate through different therapies anymore (actually, that’s what I’d think in my own situation). But how do you feel about the idea of giving a try to something different with a new therapist? Maybe CBT was helpful at some point, and your needs could have changed over time. Or maybe it wasn’t helpful at all and looking after something different could help.
- You also mentioned medication and the fact that you don’t know if it’s effective anymore. Then there’s definitely a healthy move to try here by talking about it with your doctor. Indeed, the effects can change over time. Some adjustments could be necessary. But also, again if I may ask: did you see any change since you take these meds?
- Do you live alone or with someone? And/or do you have anyone in your relatives who could be with you through this season and just help you with daily tasks? Any support that would help you reduce the amount of things you have to do could be very helpful here. And again, it’s absolutely okay to ask for help on this matter.
Just a few thoughts here. If you want to respond, take all the time you need if this is draining to think about all of this. I think I can say for everyone here that we all understand and respect that.