I Look Normal But I’m Secretly Struggling

I Look Normal But I'm Secretly Struggling
Unsplash / Jesse Ballantyne

I am mentally exhausted. I have trouble climbing out from bed when my alarm chimes in the morning. I could sleep half the day. I could sleep the entire day.

Even though I have no desire to move around, even though it takes several snoozes to convince me to abandon my bedroom, I still get everything done that is required of me. I exercise. I shower. I work. I cook. But I don’t have any remaining energy at the end of the day to work on side projects or perform chores or spend time with the people who care about me.

I am happiest during work hours because at least I have something to keep me occupied. When I have time to myself, time where I could choose to study a new language or walk the dog or ask friends to visit, I feel overwhelmed. I’m not sure what I should do so I do nothing. I sleep more. I waste time on the internet. I stare at a blank wall and think about nothing of importance.

Even my daydreams have been boring me. I cannot think of a fantasy where I am happy. It’s too far from the reality.

Of course, I look completely normal to the people around me because nothing has changed on the outside. I force myself to put effort into my appearance and into conversations so nothing seems off. I still smile during all the right moments. There are seconds where I am not even faking, where I am genuinely okay, but that never lasts long. I can go from laughing out loud at a video to falling into saddened silence in a matter of seconds.

I should probably express my feelings to someone, but I don’t want my friends or family to know how much trouble I have been having lately because I don’t know how I would describe my feelings to them.

I am a mixture of emotions. I am sad. Disappointed. Angry. Frustrated. I am feeling everything and nothing at once. The worst part is that I have no idea how to release my emotions. I cannot tell whether I want to scream or cry or drink shots upon shots of tequila. So I do nothing. I don’t work on my emotional health. I wait for the pain to pass instead.

I look normal during the day, during the hours when I am forced to socialize, because that is when I use my remaining strength to keep it together. I never fall apart until I’m alone inside my house and collapse onto the couch. I never let myself think about the pain until everyone else is gone and I can suffer in peace.

No one would realize it by looking at me, but I have been struggling to find the motivation to make it through the day. I have been struggling to find the energy to do more than wake up, work, and fall asleep again as soon as possible. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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