Friday, February 24, 2012

Depression: Mental fatigue

One day, my long, crazy list is manageable.  I can prioritize, account for the needs of the children, and prepare myself for inevitable interruptions. I look at my list with my coffee in the morning, plot out my day, and tackle it with energy.

Another day, the very same list looks completely different to me. My coffee and I stare at it, and it seems utterly impossible.

Calling the bank- too much talking, and how in the world can I do that with these kids in my kitchen?
I can't handle paying bills. Too much thinking; they'll interrupt, and I'll yell.
An email. A text message. A child with a need. Each thing hits me almost like an assault, another thing I must try to respond to when I have no energy to respond to anything.

I bring the basket of laundry up the stairs, and I wish I could take a nap. Right here on the living room floor, even.

Like this, but not quite as cute.

If you have never had this kind of depression, think about what it feels like when you are really sick.
Your body simply insists that you lay down. You move from the bed to the couch, and it feels like you've just run a marathon.  You could no more talk yourself into hopping on the treadmill than you could talk yourself into sprouting wings.

Sometimes my body also insists that I lie down when this kind of depression hits. Other times, my body feels ok, but my mind just simply cannot handle responding to anything. My mind feels like my body does when it is sick.  Fatigued. Exhausted. Foggy.

Answering an email makes me feel like I have run a mental marathon.

I'd like to go somewhere and hide. And just let my mind do this:

On these days I pray..

Jesus, be my strength until I can crash,
and then, 
Grace, be my pillow.


  1. I have days when I feel like any second I'm going to shatter into a million pieces, one more thing and I'll fall apart. Being mentally bombarded from every direction all day long really takes it's toll. A dark quiet hole sounds wonderful on those days.

  2. Yes, Aubri, you are so right. That dark hole... sounds wonderful, and even if it is not wonderful when you get there, it is less miserable than being bombarded!!!

    Isn't it strange how the very same things that "bombard" on days like that would be no big deal at all on a normal day? Like someone leaving a dish in the living room!!!

  3. I have these days, too. And trying to figure out why it happens never, ever helps. So I let myself crash because along with the mental fatigue comes the physical fatigue. I just don't have the energy for one more thing. The hardest part is when hubby comes home and finds me like that, and then watching him try to pick up my pieces and finish out the day...when his isn't even done yet. How does he get the kids into their after school routine and get supper and get to his meeting? "Why can't I fix myself today?"

    Yes, those are terrible days. I thank God they don't last.

  4. Yes, they usually don't last.. and if they do, I say... RUN yourself to the doctor :)

    I too hate when hubby has to see this part of me. I think I'd rather he see my warts, literally.

    I wrote this one to him on one of those days:

    Why can't I fix myself? Yes that is the question, and it does seem like if I could just contort my mind in a certain way, somehow, it will go away. But that never works.

  5. As we talked, this week has been a challenge. Lack of sleep, ministry needs... and all bringing back some memories of more than a decade ago. Yesterday no matter what I did or did not do, I was exhausted. I wanted to lie down and sleep anywhere... just like your photos.

    Thanks for stating so clearly what can often be a complete fog.


  6. Thank you Yes yes yes! I felt like this today! I got home from work and just felt like I was moving in thick treacle. My girls asked if I was ok and all I could say was I'm heavy today, my mind is heavy, my body is heavy! Luckily they are old enough to understand (this long standing condition) and just stay out of my way. I tried to plan dinner and trying to choose a side dish to accompany the rump beef I had gotten out that morning. I stood in front of the open pantry and slid down the cupboard behind me until my backside touched the floor! I just sat there staring up at the shelves of food begging something to yell out, "I am easy and yummy, you can manage to make me!" Instead I went to bed for over an hour. When I woke the fog had cleared somewhat, I managed to make a yummy meal of stir fry veges and fried rice to go with that yummy steak. Praise God ...Success!
    I got through as I do, as you said in your 'Cliff' post, just like the solider, I too have learned to live life while faced with the edge of the cliff. Thank you for connecting to my soul deep in the thickness of all that treacle. Bless you!

    1. That's perfect- My mind is heavy, my body is heavy. That is exactly how it feels. I know that feeling too, of standing there staring at the food and not being able to make a decision on what to make.

      My poor husband tries to help on days like this by asking "what do you want to do?" and how do I explain I have NO idea! I simply can't make a decision!
      And then... sleep. And sometimes, after sleep, to fog lifts.

      I'm so glad we are connected. Prayers for you as you continue to live on the edge of that cliff.... He is our solid ground, even when we are fragile.

  7. Yes, this. Absolutely this. All just too much.


Web Analytics