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I'm Terrified to Write This

I'm very scared of sharing this publicly. Even though I did it before.

For some reason, its really easy to be compassionate towards other people, to say its ok to struggle with mental health and its ok to get help and it doesn't make you weak or bad to have a mental health condition. It's almost impossible for me to extend that grace to myself.

I felt for a while that we all had this shared experience of COVID lockdowns and isolation and fear and anger and whatever else we had the last 2 years, and so it was easy to say I struggled because of that and I sought some help.

But now, its been almost a year since I started therapy. I was getting better. I shared with the world when I started this blog that I was feeling better. I could see more clearly and the path was before me.

So now, when things are blurry again, I feel like a failure. I feel like it will disappoint my family and my friends if I share that I'm struggling again. I already told my therapist I felt like I failed therapy and that I was disappointing her by not being better. I don't want anyone to know that I'm in this darkness that I feel like I made for myself.

I'm ashamed of it.

I'm ashamed that I can't solve my really solvable problems. I know exactly what I need to do for each problem I can identify, but I can't do those things. Why can't I? I must be lazy, or have some other character flaw that causes me to put off these things and they get more and more ominous the longer I wait.

But I'm so tired. Every small task seems impossible, so I do nothing and I feel guilty about doing nothing.

I've been thinking about what the right way to describe it is, and this is what I've come up with.

Life is like walking through this sludgy muddy quicksand. It kind of sucks you in with every step, but as long as you keep moving, you can stay on top of it. It's not so hard. For a time, I was running through it, getting ahead and barely feeling it pull me in when my feet hit the ground. And I was fine. I was happy, even.

But eventually, I got tired. I was running so fast that I didn't notice how exhausted I was, and then it was time to stop running and the exhaustion just took over and I stopped moving altogether. And I started sinking. And then sinking more. And then when I'd try to get out it took so much energy that I'd get almost to the top and get tired again and sink further. And further.

And now, I'm at the bottom of this pit. And there is a ladder in the pit. I know the way out, I can just climb the ladder. Only the ladder only reaches 75% of the way to the top. And my therapist is there telling me how to make it, but it doesn't quite reach. So I climb and I climb and just when I can almost see the top, I run out of rungs and I rest for a minute and the ladder sinks.

Right now, it feels like I will never get out of this pit. I know there are solutions and tools and longer ladders, but I have trouble finding them.

Sometimes I think I wish I could just be done with all of it. I don't want to hurt myself or anything, but if a bus ran over me, it wouldn't be so bad. Except that no one can take care of Trevor the way he needs, so I have to avoid buses for a while. I really just want to hide in my bed and rest.

I also think if the magic problem fairy came along and waived her wand and solved my very minor problems, I think I could keep up for a while. If she would just transport me out of the pit and onto the surface, I could walk a steady pace for a while. I just don't know how to get up there.

For now, I'm kind of treading water. I'm functional enough; I can get work done when I have to. I can feed my dogs and cat. I can laugh and joke and put on a show of being fine. And I do that. Every day. Because no one can ever know that I can't handle things.

No one can ever know that I am weak and lazy and tired. so tired.

I don't want anyone to read this. I don't want anyone to worry about me. I hate the idea of someone reading this and then offering to help me, because I don't know how to accept that help. I don't know how to let someone help me without letting them see, and no one can see. ever.

I'm getting the help I need to get, I think. I have a great therapist. I am working on getting some medication too. I know I'll be fine someday.

But I do need this outlet. Even if no one reads it. Not that many people do. I don't know if my sharing will help anyone else, or just embarrass me, but there is some therapy in writing it and some therapy in sharing it.

I'm terrified. And overwhelmed. But not done yet.

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