I try not to think about it too often, but I spend a lot of my time being tired. In fact, I’ve spent so much time being tired that it’s become more of a default setting rather than something I feel. Part of that could be that I don’t rest/sleep as much as I should (which I’ll admit is true), but the biggest reason I’m tired all the time is that I spend my days managing and living with mental health issues. And even though that takes a lot of energy from me (mental and physical) on a daily basis, that’s okay. In my experience, being tired isn’t always a negative thing – in fact, most of the time it’s a reminder of who I am and what I am working toward.
When I talk about my mental health, I often use the word tired to describe how I feel in my daily life. To me, tired has many meanings. The two I use most often are that I am physically tired and mentally tired. They each take a toll on my mental health, but in very different ways.
What Do I Mean By “Tired”?
The first meaning (and most apt use of the word) is that I’m physically tired from dealing with my mental health. Whether it’s because of a lack of sleep due to insomnia, a lack of energy due to depression, or exhaustion from managing anxious thoughts all day long, I often feel physically tired from managing symptoms of my mental illness.
The second meaning of tired for me is in more of a metaphorical sense, with an emphasis on tired. I am mentally drained from managing anxiety and depression every single day, and it gets exhausting. Beside the actual work that’s being put in, it’s also mentally exhausting to put so much effort into something knowing that tomorrow, you’ll have to wake back up and do it again. I don’t know what my finish line is, or if it even exists. Honestly, it often turns into a strange, existential struggle. Regardless of why or how it happens, one thing is certain – handling all that makes me feel very, very tired.
It’s Okay to Feel This Way
Now that I’ve looked at the glass half-empty, it’s time to share why it’s not all bad. Though my mental health journey can be extremely exhausting at times, I’ve also learned that part of my exhaustion is universal. Not everyone deals with mental illness or mental health struggles on a daily basis, but life makes all of us feel tired at one point or another.
Along with self-esteem and self-worth, another key symptom of several mental health disorders is depersonalization. I often struggle with seeing myself as a person who is just like everyone else, and it’s constant work to make sure that I remind myself that those thoughts aren’t true. But to me, feeling tired and exhausted from life is a very human trait, and those feelings of exhaustion remind me that I am real, and so is my experience. It’s okay for me to feel tired most of the time, because it reminds me that I’m human. And most days, that’s the only reminder I need.