Today I Was Tired

Today I was tired.

Yesterday I was tired.

Truth be told – I’ve been tired for about three years now. Well, that’s the story I tell anyway. It’s less ‘tired’ and more ‘swallowed up by depression’ but tired is easier to say to passers-by.

Recently some really good things have come into my life which have helped distract me from my depressive state. It never goes far away, though. It lingers in the background, ready to envelop me at the first opportunity. It seems to find – or take – a lot of opportunities.

I know all the things I can do to push back against it. Like many people who suffer with depression, it’s not a lack of understanding that keeps us down. I know that remembering to drink more water can help ease my depression and anxiety. I know that getting outside for just a few minutes can make a world of difference. I know that exercise and movement are great depression warriors. Depression steals your body and your mind and this means that knowing these things and being able to actually do them are very different things. Staying inside, in bed, not eating….these things are easier. When depression and anxiety grab ‘hold of you, battling your body, ‘easy’ is all you have energy left for.

I decided last night that I was going to return to my workout schedule that I’d abandoned three (very long) years ago. I got my space ready so I could get up in the morning and make the effort – make a change. I went to bed and actually slept well (for me). I slept in later than I had planned, but I still had time for my workout. Then it hit…the darkness, the dread, the desire to pull the covers up and stay in bed. It was so hard to not go back to sleep. In my head I heard all the reasons why I should skip the workout and abandon the plan.

Today I was tired, but I got out of bed.

That may not sound like much, but we are filled with actual, physical discomfort to fight against depression. Without injury or trauma our muscles and joints cry out in pain. The feel of the floor against our feet can sting and bite. Even after sufficient rest, a head feels foggy and struggles to focus, to concentrate, to comprehend. Moving hurts. Existing is exhausting.

Today I was tired, but I’d made a plan.

Getting out of bed wasn’t enough. I’d made a plan to workout. Honestly – I’ve made this plan hundreds of times and never followed through. Right or wrong, I’ve found an external motivation to cling to this time and I wanted to keep going. I turned on the TV and my started my DVD but the remote didn’t seem to be working. The batteries had corroded the inside. I looked at the colorful ooze of crystals seeping throughout the battery chamber and realized that even new batteries were not going to fix this problem. Is this a sign? Do I stop here? Maybe I’m not meant to carry out this plan today. ((deep breath))

I set the remote aside and pushed play on the device – easy fix, right? Except now I was staring at the menu to select which workout from the DVD I would choose. I’d made a plan – I was going to do the yoga-based workout since it was always my favorite. I figured if I started with one I like, I’d be more inclined to go back. The menu kept blinking on the first workout. The hardest workout. The one I always hated. Always. Even when I was weeks into this series and could do them all in my sleep, I still hated that first workout when it came up in the rotation. It just kept blinking at me. Taunting me. I looked at the device: reverse, forward, stop, play/pause. That’s it. The only other button on the machine was the power button. I could not change it from this first, difficult, exhausting, hated workout. I can’t do that workout, I thought. My thumb hovered over the power button. ((deep breath))

Today I was tired, but I pushed play.

I choked back the tears that wanted to fall and I got myself ready for this awful workout. Warm-ups….no problem. Then the hard part began. It starts with the hardest exercise & one that is a huge mental hurdle for me. Living with an untreated knee injury for 35 years means I don’t trust my body’s ability to get up and down the way I’d like it to. I don’t trust my leg to support me when I ask it to. I don’t trust it not to shoot searing pain through my knee like so many times before. I did the exercise. Every bit of it. Maybe I did it a little slower. Maybe I used my hand as a brace/support now and then. But I did the blasted thing and didn’t give up. Sixty seconds done! Oh, but there are 30 minutes in this workout routine. There’s a long way to go.

Today I was tired, but I kept going.

I pushed on through each round, thoroughly enjoying the 20 second rest periods in between. I didn’t always use the weights. I often followed the modifier. My pace sometimes did not match that of the instructor. But I did every exercise. I completed every round. I did the 30 minutes.

Today I was tired, but today I finished.

So many things stood in my way today: I overslept, my bed was comfy, my remote was broken, I was stuck with my most-hated workout. So many reasons to quit presented themselves to me. But I didn’t quit. Every time I made the choice – again and again – to not quit.

For some, this day would be nothing extraordinary. So what – I did what I said I would do. For me, though – like so many others with depression and anxiety – this was a big deal. This was Day 1 and I will celebrate. This may be all I get. Tomorrow the darkness may win again. So today, I need this win. I need this moment to say “good job!” to myself. For over one thousand days I have fought a heaviness that drowns out joy at every turn and chokes the very smile from my throat. For a lifetime I have tried to silence the murmurs of negative self-talk. For decades the voice of hatred has rung louder than any other. This was one small step and I will celebrate it like I climbed a mountain. Because in the grip of depression and anxiety, small steps are mountains.

Today I was tired, but today I still won.

One thought on “Today I Was Tired

Add yours

  1. Robyn,

    I just read your post. BRAVO for you for pushing through, I am so proud of you, especially for continuing on with the hardest workout. You must feel so proud of yourself, you should!! I relate to your post on so many levels, but, I must tell you, the smile on your face and the joy in your voice on Thursday was so encouraging. As I travel this journey I often wonder if there is another relationship out there for me…… you give me hope! Thank you for writing and sharing your life with us, I look forward to each new post 🙂



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