I'm Not Lazy

If you heard that it takes me 3 or 4 days to even start folding the laundry after it's washed when I've spent almost all day every day watching movies with my daughter, you would probably think I was lazy.  Or if you heard that it takes me hours to work up the motivation to load the dishes in the dishwasher, you might think I was lazy.  Or if you knew that I was worried about going to the temple days in advance because it seemed impossibly hard, that I asked my husband to come grocery shopping with me because I simply couldn't get through it alone, that I hardly ever do my hair (and I NEVER do makeup) anymore because it makes me cry, or that I could easily justify staying in bed every morning if I didn't have a daughter depending on me to get up, you would definitely think I was lazy.

I understand why you would think that.  I would too if I wasn't living it myself.  In fact, I did at one point.  I used to think that I must have been the laziest wife and mom in the world when I was depressed but didn't know it, because every part of my day felt so hard.  There was no other explanation for it at the time other than laziness.

It really doesn't make sense at all.  Even now when I'm in the thick of it again, I can't explain why.  It's like I'm walking through molasses with heavy chains draped all over my body and a thick cloud of unmotivated darkness surrounding me.  I move slowly.  I creep along all day, doing a few things and then sitting down to rest.  It feels all but impossible every morning to get up and get ready for another day.  I want to cry.  I want to give up.  I want to give in to the overwhelming feelings inside of me.  But instead I roll over and pray.  My prayers are usually pretty simple and pretty much the same.

Heavenly Father, please help me to get through today.  I don't know how I'm going to do it, so please help me.

I want more than anything to roll back over, pull the blankets over my head, and stay in bed all day, but I get up.  I make the choice to fight the darkness and to try to work through the pain and heaviness.  I'm never sure how I will make it, but I choose to believe that God will help me one step at a time.

Every moment of the day, I say to myself, "Shantelle, just load one cup in the dishwasher and then you can stop.  Okay now one more.  Now a plate.  You can do this.  Keep going.  Now one more.  You're almost there."

It's exhausting feeling so overwhelmed and unmotivated about everything.  And some days I don't win the battles.  Some days the dishes and laundry are left undone, because I simply can't overpower the darkness that day.

I wish everything wasn't so hard.  I wish I could do everything I am capable of doing when I'm not engulfed in mental illness.  BUT I am learning so many things that allow me to feel peaceful and submissive right now:

  1. I am not lazy.  I have to accept that I have a mental illness and remind myself of it 100x a day.  It doesn't make sense, but it is real, so I can't call myself lazy for only doing 1/10th of what I used to do or what I could do if this wasn't a part of my life.
  2. Be patient with myself.  I never feel like I am doing my best or pushing myself, because my results are fairly limited, but getting down on myself only makes it worse.  Loving myself, especially myself now compared to myself in the past, is a lesson I am learning every single day.  It's the best gift I can give myself at this time.
  3. Celebrate the little victories.  A few days ago, I did my hair!!!  So I took a picture and sent it to my husband.  Today I went to the temple, even though I did not think I could do it.  The other day, my husband went with me, and we got the grocery shopping done together.  These are accomplishments, BIG accomplishments now that they have become so difficult.  Celebrating them allows me to feel like I am still progressing.
  4. Know my limits.  I have become quite skilled in the last few months at saying, "No."  While I try to push myself and give myself things to do to keep me going, I have to accept that some things are not for this time and season of my life.  And that's okay.
  5. Keep trying.  That's all you can do is try and try again.  Don't let the lost battles discourage you.  You are fighting a war, and you will win!  Just keep going.

1 comment:

  1. I love you!!!! I felt that way too at your age. I had to crawl around the house sometimes because my legs didn't have enough strength. Once again, that was due to my heart and I didn't know it at the time. Strangely enough I discovered taking Zyrtec helped me a lot (it calmed my heart and make it circulate better) -had to take it at night or else I would be too sleepy though. I know you're not looking for solutions just understanding and I completely understand!! You can do this!!! Love ya lots!!