I’m pretty sure I suffer from some form of depression and/or anxiety. I’ve previously been diagnosed with dysthymia, which is a chronic form of depression. The way it was explained to me is if depression is a wildfire that can be seen from the helicopters from high above, raging and so obviously destructive and hard to control, then dysthymia is a brush fire, something not so easily seen but still damaging when left unattended. And I definitely have some anxiety. I get so overwhelmed by everything I have to do on a daily basis, such as basic household chores and checking the mail or voicemail, that I freeze. I avoid it. Even bigger things, like checking my bank account or renewing my insurance, I freak out over. It’s not that I can’t handle it. Sometimes it’s as easy as just clicking a button. But the more I think about how I have to get it done, the harder it is to do it. And it’s not like I can get help, because that requires doing something, and even when I go to make that phone call, I freeze.
But the one thing I can do is get up and go to work every day. I don’t know why that isn’t a hard enough function, but it isn’t. You would think that if anything, that would be one of the hardest things. But no. It’s harder to check my voicemail, something I can do from my bed, than actually get out and go do work. Maybe it’s because I don’t hate my job. It can feel stressful in the moment, but as soon as I clock out, I’m fine. Everything rolls off my shoulder. I don’t wake up every morning with anxiety about the day like I did with my previous job. Sometimes, I actually love what I do. I hate the store, I hate management, but I love my job. So maybe that’s why I’m able to get up and go to work when even washing a dish seems like an impossible task.
So maybe I don’t understand this because I like my job and I’m not severely depressed, but I can’t understand how people let their depression hold them from working. Someone close to me has been out of work for the past month because he needed to take a mental break from everything. So now he’s living off his mommy’s money while he just sits on his couch, playing Xbox and Runescape all day. And he doesn’t even live at home. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this. And he’s not the first person in history to do this. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t understand how someone could do this, because it means I’m not at that point where I can’t even provide for myself. And even though I have a hard time doing anything, it eventually gets done when the anxiety of the repercussions of it not getting done trumps the anxiety of actually doing it. I always eventually get to that point. So maybe I’m just lucky that I can work things out on my own, and that my depression isn’t as bad as it could be. And it’s not that I’m judging everyone else. I know everyone’s got different shit in their lives and their minds aren’t the same as mine. I think maybe my problem is that while I understand that fact, I’m not entirely able to fully see things from their perspective.