On Tuesday night, when I went to bed, I was hoping I wouldn't wake up in the morning.
I hadn't done anything to take my own life, I just hoped that something would happen and I wouldn't wake up. Last night when I went to bed, I had the same feeling.
This isn't the first time I've had these feelings in my life and it certainly won't be the last. I'm sharing this because it lifts a burden off my shoulders. It also gives me a chance to talk about something I've learned: one doesn't need to feel hopeless to be depressed.
I've always been a hopeful person and that has wrongly led me to think I wasn't depressed. I also thought that because I don't live with depression consistently or feel anxiety that somehow I couldn't be depressed.
It was as if ADHD was my only diagnosis and there was room for nothing else.
For me, the issue isn't hopelessness, it's emotional exhaustion and hoping the exhaustion will end. It's the feeling of not being able to take another day where I battle with my brain. It's also about not having the right support.
I am a caretaker and I enjoy being one. But people so often have a hard time with a caretaker who needs to be taken care of. It's strange for some folks to have someone who has helped them solve big problems to have the same person be vulnerable with them and need support from them.
I'm feel very fortunate that I have a great therapist. I don't need advice, please don't give me advice. And please don't coddle me and treat me like I've just been diagnosed with some horrible disease. It just feels better to share this than to keep it to myself.
I also have hesitated to share this stuff in the past with friends and anyone else besides my therapist because the reaction is often to demand that I stop taking care of other people who I care about as if that will somehow make me feel better.
So often it's the people I take care of who withdraw and don't ask me for help or don't text me because they think that's the solution to what I'm dealing with. It's a lazy approach. Caretakers love taking care of people...taking that away from us isn't the solution.
You can take care of us while we take care of you. Will it be at the same level? Nope! And that's ok. Just don't disappear or shutdown when we need you. Don't tell us what we need either. Just try to make things easy for us once in a while.
I have an incredible capacity to take on other people's challenges. My friends are always amazed at how unfazed I am when helping other people tackle their problems. But just because I can take on a lot doesn't mean I can take on all MY challenges by myself.
I hope when I go to bed tonight that I can't wait to wake up in the morning.