I’d Rather Be In Bed

I’d Rather Be In Bed

Feeling lethargic is an awful symptom of depression, and often accompanies most antidepressants as a side effect, so sometimes it feels like I can never escape it. It kills my productivity, motivation, and mood. I describe it as feeling ‘heavy’. My limbs feel like they’re made of lead, and I fight to keep my eyelids open. I won’t even think about sitting in a comfy chair in case I fall asleep in it.

I’m often stressed because of my lack of energy, and irritable because I’m in desperate need of a nap. I’m short tempered and emotional, which flares up my depression and causes people around me to casually label me a ‘psycho’ and ask me if I forgot to take my meds today. The whole reason I’m acting this way is because I have taken my meds! It’s especially worse in the winter; when my already exhausted body starts winding down for bed when the sun sets at 4pm. I feel guilty that I can only do so little after work, most winters I feel like I go into hibernation and my life is a boring cycle of work and sleep. I have no energy to do anything else, so chores and errands pile up, which makes me feel more depressed, which makes me want to hide again.

I’m reassured that it’s completely okay to come home and sleep, because I “Obviously needed it”. But I feel totally useless. How am I supposed to function as an adult when I only have enough energy to drag myself through a work day? How does everyone else around me manage, when I can’t? My antidepressants, which are supposed to help me, only make me more tired. But I’d rather deal with a little extra lethargy than be a depressed-anxious train wreck. I spend most weekends so exhausted that all I do is catch up on sleep.

Getting out helps sometimes, but only in small doses. But only if I have enough energy in the first place to shower and leave the house. It’s like I’m constantly recovering from the flu, moping around like a zombie with just enough strength to turn a door handle. I spent my time feeling like nothing more than a lump.

Over time, I’ve learned that the people in my life were right. I need to rest, and I can’t always have heaps of energy and be productive all of the time. I need to learn when I’m overworking myself, and when to stop. Life wasn’t meant to be taken at a hundred miles an hour. My full-time job demanding, stressful, and keeping up with it whilst living with depression is a nightmare. As a result, I’ve been known to take mental health days from work or book a long weekend off.

Instead of staying indoors all weekend, I’ve challenged myself to slowly get out more. I started by going out for coffee on Saturday (I tell myself the coffee is a reward for going outside!). Then walking the dog in the park for an hour. Soon I was taking a bus to the city and spending a whole day in a crowded shopping centre. I’m exhausted by the end of the day, but I know I can spend Sunday in my pyjamas to recover.

Compromising with my fatigue has helped; finding a happy middle ground so that I can still maintain a social life and accomplish personal goals, and I’m still able to function afterwards. For now, this works for me, and if it stops working, I’ll see my doctor again and try different medication. But I have to be honest with myself: if my body is telling me to slow down, I probably should.

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20 Comments

  1. June 13, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Self care, for me often involves weekend (evening) corner shop trips for small bits such as laundry capsules, milk, or M&Ms.

    Or getting a coffee on a Sunday (rarely) – so much more relaxing to conform to 10-4/11-2:30 opening hours.

    “Low energy” is fairly consistent for me (daily): baths earlier in the day make make me sleepy, and very productive days often require more recovery.

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:46 am

      You sound an awful lot like me, I can only do so much in a day before I’m worn out. It’s important not to kick ourselves though, as we’re trying our best, and making small steps. Be proud of all the little things you accomplish!

  2. Monica Erickson
    June 13, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Hi Zoe, I really enjoy reading your blog, your so spot on with what you have to say about your topics. I have a hard time forgiving myself for not getting enough done (housework, etc.). I hope that someday I can function as a “normal”, productive member of society. I don’t have a job like you do, I’m on disability. I’ve been on disability since 2004. Anyway, I don’t want to bore you to death with the details of my mental and physical health issues, so I’ll close this email by saying thank you for writing your blog & keep up the good work. Monica Erickson Rapid City, South Dakota, USA ________________________________

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:51 am

      Wow – it’s incredible to think people all over the world are reading my blog! Thank you so so much, your comment means the world to me. Be proud of all the small steps you are making, even if you only get one thing done in a day, it’s still something! Holding down a job with an illness or disability is HARD, so please don’t beat yourself up for that – it’s no testament to your strength or capabilities.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend, thank you for all your support. 🙂

  3. June 15, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    It’s utterly exhausting, isn’t it? I’m a bit better now, but on a bad day I’ll still need to take a nap. I couldn’t handle working full time, it was far too much, so in my eyes you’re doing amazingly! That alone really takes it out of you. I know it seems as though you’re wasting your time, but your body and mind *do* need the rest. Good luck with your weekend, I hope it’s enjoyable and you get a good rest on Sunday!

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:52 am

      It’s really difficult! I’m testing out doing errands in small bursts now, allowing myself breaks and rest in between. So far it’s working!

      Thank you, and I hope you’re doing well!

  4. June 17, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    Rest and sleep are when your body and mind repair and process. I don’t feel guilty about going for a nap because there are loads of times at work I just want to lie down for half an hour or even close my eyes for five minutes but can’t.

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:55 am

      That’s very true, we shouldn’t feel guilty for needing to rest. I wish work allowed nap times! 😀

      • June 23, 2018 / 10:29 am

        I’ve found a room at work where I can close my eyes for 20 minutes with my phone alarm, and if anyone comes in (rare) I can say I’m having a few moments to myself.

  5. June 17, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    Fatigue, for me, is also a constant battle. Antidepressants with fatigue side-effects are a tragic irony. It doesn’t help that anxious thoughts and pain keep me up at night.

    I, though, have a couple things that have helped me some (though I’m not always great at using them regularly). I got a HappyLight ( / sunshine lamp) a while ago and sitting in front of it for half an hour or so does noticeably wake me up. I also have a wakeup lamp — it essentially mimics the sunrise to help gently wake me up feeling more rested.

    Hope things start looking up soon. xx

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:57 am

      Glad to know I’m not the only one experiencing this! Thank you for those suggestions – I’m going to look into them! 🙂

  6. June 19, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    I do love your blog and tweets, Zo. You’re such a wonderful girl with a lovely heart.

    I can totally relate to your post. Low energy is something I have battled most of of my life. It’s so hard. x

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:58 am

      Thank you. Coming from you, that means the world to me.

      I had no idea you battled with fatigue too, how do you get through it?

  7. June 19, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    I really needed to read this, since I only work about 32 hours a week my family makes me feel as if I have it easy and there’s no way I could possibly be tired. and while yes, I do have it easier then some people but feeling guilty about being tired just makes me MORE tired. Thank you for sharing this, it’s nice to know i’m not alone

    • June 23, 2018 / 9:01 am

      32 hours a week is a lot! You should give yourself a big pat on the back for getting through it every week, I’m sorry your family don’t feel the same way. You shouldn’t feel guilty at all for feeling tired, we all need rest, but some do more than others because we all move at a different pace.

      You’re certainly not alone, and I’m here any time if you need to talk to someone. <3

  8. eviebraithwaite
    June 20, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    Fatigue is something I struggle with quite often as well, so self-care is definitely important! Such an insightful poignant post. Hope you having an amazing week x

  9. BeautyAndBrushes
    June 26, 2018 / 2:55 am

    Along with my condition as a whole, plus depression and anxiety I was also diagnosed with fatigue due to being able to sleep for weeks on end. If I didn’t have my parents to wake me up for meals etc, I’d most likely just sleep through to the next day and so on. It’s not just being lazy, theres a whole other world on top of that. It’s just the thought of not needing to get up and live through another day. It’s just easier to sleep it away. This post is so helpful, thanks doll! 😍 xoxo
    http://www.beautynbrushes.co.uk

  10. June 27, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    Hi Zoe, I see myself in your writing.

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