Even though I feel miserable, being sick is a wonderful experience for me.
I caught something Monday night and was stuck in bed until Friday morning. As a depressive, I have a spent a great deal of time in bed, but always coupled with the shame of knowing that I should be out of bed doing something productive.
When I run a fever, am dizzy, and cannot eat anything, my mind feels fantastic.
I rejoice - finally, I can stay in bed for a good reason! That is such a peculiar thought because I know depression contributes to physical exhaustion, but I do not berate myself for staying in bed because I caught the flu, or had food poisoning.
I continue to beat myself up when depression keeps me under the covers. Why? Because there is a difference between knowing something and feeling something.
Part of the disease of depression is shame and guilt. I can know, intellectually, that I will experience shame and guilt for staying in bed, but it is remarkably difficult to overcome the power of feeling with the power of logic.
How many times have you argued with a loved one about something or other, and they say, “I just feel this way”? There is no argument against a feeling, which is infuriating. It is doubly infuriating when the feeling is ignorant and stupid.
I am sure many reading my words who have loved ones with mental illnesses, wonder why they continue to do nothing. Or, because life is ironic, they are unable to stop doing harmful things.
Why can’t you get out of bed?
Why won’t you stop?
Why are you wasting the whole day?
I assure you, whomever you care about has asked themselves these questions a thousand times since yesterday.
They will ask them ten thousand times more.
Please, be patient.