When it comes to mental illness, one of the things I have struggles to come to terms with is that it is always there, always lurking, even when it isn’t “active”…sort of like an app on your iPhone.
Alright, some background. In my last blog entry, I discussed how mental illness/depression/anxiety can make it very difficult to relax. I maintain this is at least in part why, on a personal level, I have to be constantly doing something – it is almost impossible for me to “shut off” and not work.
Now, for something completely unrelated: My stupid iPhone. I, like many of you, am completely addicted to the thing – my wife (appropriately) tells me to put it down, my kids will sometimes grab it out of my hands, etc. I’m actually grateful for all of that, but that’s a completely different story. So, my iPhone battery is in a constant state of HALP I AM NOT WORKING, and I find myself constantly shifting it to low-power mode. The other day, while doing so, I saw this:
Of course Facebook & Twitter and destroying my battery. I’m addicted to them.
But…that got me thinking.
If you live with some sort of mental health condition, you probably know exactly what I am talking about, and if not, hopefully this blog entry can be illuminating. Depression, anxiety, addiction, etc., are exhausting, even if you are not actively suffering from them at the time. I’m lucky…therapy, medication and life experience has helped keep my depression and anxiety at bay for the past few months. That being said, as I have stated earlier, you are never fully in the clear. I can’t imagine living a life where that is even possible.
Mental illness is always there. It is always running in the background, draining your battery. Sometimes, it almost feels like there is a ceiling on your joy, on your happiness, one that forces you to lower your standards for what you can and will achieve in terms of personal happiness and relaxation.
Again, please don’t think I am writing this to be whiny or mopey…I’m trying to make a point to those who suffer from mental illness, and to those who don’t: Mental illness is always there, always running in the background…even if it doesn’t seem like it.
This has been one of my personal struggles. I wish I could share some tips or advice on how to deal with being depressed even when you aren’t actively depressed, but I don’t really have any wisdom to share. Do you? Any tips or advice is appreciated – please let us know in the comments!