I was talking to a dear friend about struggling with the times in my life when I just can't get things done the way I want to, and how shaming and awful it feels when my inability to get work done negatively impacts those around me. How hard it is to know that I'm making someone else's life more difficult, even as I get on some level that I'm doing the best that I can while struggling with depression, anxiety, etc.
I don't know how you do it, she said.
Well, I said, I have a lot of very compassionate people around me. A lot of care, a lot of support.
And then I paused. This was a friend that I could risk being honest with.
And will, I said. Force of will. And it's ironic, because for so long -- fifteen years or more -- I thought, if you just try harder, you'll be ok. You are not trying hard enough. But by some gift of grace, I can see now that another reason I'm ok -- functioning in the world, more or less -- is that I have been trying so hard.
My friend affirmed, that yes, it is also you, trying so hard.
May I please state for the record that I'm tired? I'm working so hard at the moment to get better -- in group therapy, regular therapy, being vigilant about my meds, etc. etc. -- because I have hope that there is way for me to be in the world that doesn't require that I work quite so hard.
It's not that I'm afraid of hard work -- it's part of my identity, this idea that I work hard. But I desire a new struggle, something that feels different. Fresh. Not these stinky bedclothes of depression, anxiety, and mania, oh my.