11.26.17 // What "Fighting Your Brain" Actually Looks Like
I want to write about something that seems easy enough to understand but it’s something that you’ll never really understand until it sits you down slaps you in the face and makes you listen. It’s something that consumes you all day but you don’t know it’s actually around. It seems fine on the surface, the deception will keep you thinking that you’re actually doing okay and may finally be getting it together.
It’s something that keeps you going down that rabbit hole, back into the shadows - whatever angsty metaphor you want to use. There’s nothing romanticizing about it though. You can convince yourself that you’re not actually experiencing it, and you brush off every little thing that comes up because you can handle it.
But face it.
I am fucking exhausted.
It sounds so simple to say, and you can even say it without meaning it, I know I have. A couple days ago when I finally sat down for a second, caught my breath, and talked to my friend I realized how tired I actually was.
I’m exhausted because mental illness, at its base, is tiring.
It’s fighting your brain every day, trying to convince yourself that you are okay, trying to convince other people that you are okay. It’s thinking about every single thing you have to eat that day, when you have to eat it, where you’re going to eat it, what are you going to do between the times you eat it. It’s overthinking every single thing you say to someone, everything that someone says to you. It’s thinking how you have to leave a person before they can leave you. It’s thinking you’re not good enough unless you workout that day, worrying that you’re working out too much because you got told not to workout but you’re still back at the gym. It’s seeing your friends, the beautiful people that got you through treatment, have to go back to treatment to go through all that pain, again. It’s really wanting to just be “normal” and not having to think about the therapy appointments you have that week, being upset about the fact that going to therapy isn’t normal, and spiraling down this lovely little circle a million times over.
One of the most exhausting things though is it’s so tiring that no one gets it. It’s such an isolating thing to go through, and even though I talk about it a lot and don’t really give a shit about who knows, I still feel like I have to guard certain aspects about my illness to stay “normal”. I’m scared that I’ll be treated differently if I tell people about my illness, I’m scared to admit that I’m not okay because I don’t want people to feel like they have to take care of me. Sometimes I won’t be okay, and that’s okay.
To the people who don’t get it, that’s okay too. I don’t need people to get it. I don’t share for pity, I share this for other people and for myself. I want to let people know that there is someone out there who knows how tiring it is to fight your brain all day. And that that person knows that you mean worlds beyond the level of tired you are from a night sheets. When you feel like you want to give up, and when you feel like exhaustion isn’t worth the fight know this - that I know what you are going through. I wholly and completely understand the struggle of the fight. I won’t be the one to tell you to get more sleep and drink some green tea, I won’t tell you everything's going to be fine if you just keep smiling! I’ll tell you it does fucking suck. Mental illness is not fun.
And, I will be the one to tell you that you deserve better.
The fight IS worth it.
And when you’re too tired to keep going?
Know I am here with you. Know I am fighting with you. And know that you deserve better than this exhaustion.
We are fighting together.