Every day I set three alarms, but I never get up for any of them. Get up earlier, lazy! I’ve usually spent all night watching a show and not sleeping. It’s a way for me to silence my brain. Otherwise, I’d never be able to fall asleep; not that I do. Just sleep like a normal person.

Once I finally get out of bed, I’m still tired and groggy from four hours of sleep. I have about an hour or two before I have to leave for my volunteer work. You can’t even get a real job. Leaving the house drains my energy, so I like to give myself lots of “me time” before I have to get ready, or I risk talking myself out of it. You only go three times a week. Can’t you handle that? “Me time” isn’t even really for me, it’s actually more time to practise avoidance.

Lost in a sea of me

If I have to shower or choose what I have to wear, I may skip going out that day. Taking the easy way out. Showering takes too much energy and there’s nothing to distract me from all the thinking. You can’t even shower? Really? As I get ready, I barely care about my appearance because if I do, it’ll add another hour of deciding which t-shirt makes me look less fat and gross. You shouldn’t have skipped working out. I avoid the mirror because I know it will just make me feel worse and stop me from leaving the house.

If I manage to convince myself to go outside, something else will give, most likely eating breakfast and lunch. You’re too lazy to make food? Because who has time for nutrients when I have to worry about what people walking across the street will think of my fat arms? Not to mention all the questions they’ll be asking like why I’m not working at 10:30 a.m. And then there’s that thinking again: Dredging up my past failures, reminiscing about my stupidity, looking back on all my “should haves.” You’ve done nothing with your life. Everything I do is wrong.

I centre my morning routine on avoiding myself, my critical voice, and my “wrongness.” This is not every morning, but it is most days, and I hate it. I’m so frustrated with my depression. It’s so tiring always fighting me. Dealing with other people is inconceivable when I’m exhausted from going 10 rounds with myself. I also feel incredibly guilty for having these feelings and taking the time to deal with them. I shouldn’t have problems doing simple tasks like dressing myself. I can see exactly what I need to do, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Why can’t I just be content? I’m fed up with it.

It’s like someone gave me a game and the instructions for how to play, but not how to win. I know I can never win this way, but I feel trapped. I just keep playing the same way, so scared of being wrong, but hoping, one day, for victory.

About Whitney Reyes

Whitney has always loved writing. Before she was first diagnosed with depression and GAD at 17, she started sharing her thoughts with the world on her blog. After completing journalism school, her mental illness came back with a vengeance. She's now writing about her experience on Healthy Minds Canada and social media. You can follow her on Twitter and read her other work on her personal website.

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