Tag Archives: inertia

Depression’s Teeth: Inertia Revisited

It begins when I wake up. The lack of desire to move or react. Even if I intend to silence the first alarm of the morning, I will likely let it go for a few minutes as anything else would require moving.
Chances are, I will get up to silence it when I get up to go to the loo. Otherwise, if there is only my alarm or my bladder annoying me, I will wait until it gets much more annoying.

At the moment, I am likely to roll over until my backup alarm goes off. The inertia is still there, though. Moving requires effort I just do not have. I may well reach over and grab my iPhone or iPad to catch up on overnight happenings on Twitter. I might even sit up and put the TV on for half an hour. However, I may also just lie there unmoving and unacting. Either way, though, I don’t really move. I can’t really move.

Half-seven rolls around, the ideal time for me to get up and take a shower. After all, I need to leave the flat between 8am and 8.20 to have a good change of avoiding any potential traffic problems.
By 7.45 I might, possibly, have roused myself out of bed. Even this isn’t guaranteed, though. I know it is something I am supposed to do but it requires moving, rendering it all but impossible.

On a good morning, I will finally rouse between 7.45 and 8am. On a worse morning, I will probably get out closer for quarter-past. On a really bad morning, I’m having to force myself out of bed at half-eight. It isn’t easy, though, and it is often taking every once of effort I have. I am also questioning my own sanity at that point. Getting up, especially with the aim to go outside just feels wrong.

So, at any time between 8.15 and 8.45 I am behind the wheel, driving into work. I still don’t understand why, though. It is so, so hard. And it requires leaving my home for the greater part of the day. During winter, in fact, it requires being out during the entirety of daylight hours.

I then get to work. Somehow, and I have no idea how, I approximate some semblance of energy and motivation during working hours. Not full capacity, of course, but being capable of anything other than sitting in my bed or armchair all day is seems like a major achievement.

Then, at the end of the working day, I go home. I sit down and… that’s about it. With effort, I’ll do somethg for an evening meal. Anything else depends on how I feel. Some days I can easily relax and have fun for the evening. More likely, though, just choosing a video to watch requires more focus than I have. I might get around to choosing a video game to play, often managing less than half of an hour of the hour or more I originally planned for.

Then I go to bed. At least, I switch off the TV equipment and stay unmoving in the armchair for another ten minutes or so.
I will be annoyed at myself for not getting anything done in the evening that I have planned to do. Then I go to bed.

The next morning, it starts over again. Angry at my wasted evening, I am ready to go home before I even get up for work. But, ultimately, once I get home I will still be too tired to do anything.

Depression sucks, quite literally. It sucks every last bit of energy out of me. I can sort of cope on the weekends, taking things at my own pace, but there is still more resting and less doing than I intend.

This is me.

Of Depression and Inertia

Depression is one of those things that sounds like it should be easy to describe. Everybody knows what it’s like to have a low mood. The problem is that it runs a lot deeper than that.

The low moods themselves are the easiest part to explain, the fact that they can stick around for a long time or that they don’t always have a good reason to show up in the first place gets harder. A mood that may or may not have a trigger (and may or may not clear up once a trigger is removed) is harder to explain. Then there are other, odder, aspects like sometimes having a low-level persistent feeling of sadness that is there even when the rest of you is happy about something.
For me, the worst thing is the feeling of inertia. It’s not even necessarily tiredness, or a lack of energy. It’s just no desire or ability to move, or to do anything, or even really to be anything. At its mildest, I find it manifests as a desire to stay where I am and settle in there without having to engage any further with the world. At its worst, I can be lying in bed, or sat in a chair, unable to really move from where I am or even do that much from that position. I’ll get up to go to the bathroom, maybe get up to grab a drink or a snack, but not much else really.
Unlike last time, where the lowest parts of my depression were during long periods of unemployment, this time around I am currently holding down a full-time job. Depression and inertia really don’t play very well with a job, let me tell you.
If you’ve spent any time around people with mental health issues, you may well have come across people semi-humourously referring to them being totally proud of getting out of bed. Or venturing out of the house. Or any one of many other day-to-day activities that most people take for granted.
It’s serious, though. For some of us, on some days, it really takes a great deal of effort to just get up, out and about. Getting places earlier or faster may be nice but getting places at all is almost miraculous some days. There are definitely days where I genuinely have no idea how I managed to overcome it to get out of the house.
To sum it all up, though, depression is hard. It’s hard to see. It’s hard to explain. It’s hard to live with.
The worst part, though, is that it is hard to understand. Many people I talk to just don’t get it. The only way to really understand it, though, is to live through it. And that is a higher cost of understanding than I would wish on anyone.
And this, basically, is why I am open about my mental health issues and believe in reducing the stigma. People may not always understand it but I do think that being able to be more open about it is good for everyone in the long run.