Don't Call Me Lazy!
I am one of the busiest people you will ever meet. I work full time. I volunteer many places. I babysit my precious niece and nephews as often as I can. I maintain my home and a camp (although I am not the best housekeeper I will admit). There is nothing lazy about me. So, when it comes to depression, why am I told I need to get moving, buck up, not be lazy?
It’s unfair, its untrue, and it makes me angry. I try to remember that its stigma talking when others say this. That they are uneducated or just ignorant and not worth my time or energy. But it still hurts. I’m human and I like anyone I want to be accepted for who I am. I don’t want to be judged. I want people to see me as a good person who does good things. Why do we give these people who say such things any space in our head? Some of them aren’t just strangers. Some are people you can’t easily separate from based on the relationship you have. Others might be bosses or co-workers. Maybe you have a large social circle or work network and although many aren’t close friends, you are around them a lot of the time. So how do we ensure that we don’t allow the hurtful stuff to hold a place in our heads?
First and foremost, if you are able to, call people out on what they say! There are ways to do so that are respectful and can educate others. Their reaction will be what it will be, and we cannot control that so don’t even try. There times when people may say things purposely to “get a rise out of you” because they think it’s funny. Trust me it’s not. Those are times when I use the gift of detachment. Some of you may think that in doing so I am wrong and that’s okay. In my toolbox I know best what works for me and in some cases this is necessary. I won’t give certain people the time and effort as I know it will not work. They are simply looking for an opportunity to promote their ignorance and I refuse to give them that platform.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have my moments of not doing much and choosing to slack off…..so does the rest of the world. And I am well aware that I need to push myself sometimes even when I really don’t want to. Only I am responsible for my behavior but I recognize that sometimes it’s a choice to make a move and sometimes it’s simply that I cannot. The responsible part of me pushes myself as best I can at those bad times, while the emotional part of me ensures I go easy on myself and be forgiving if I cannot accomplish the goals of the day. Some days just suck and everyone is allowed to have those “date with my couch” moments.
I am an advocate because I have a voice that’s strong. Not everyone can do that and not everyone has to. But no one deserves to be treated like less of a person because they have a mental illness. Our society has a history of actively working to silence those who are in pain. To dismiss them as broken or unworthy. I won’t ever abide by that or let people think it’s okay to perpetuate shame and stigma. Its deadly. Period!
So no, I am not lazy. I am not unmotivated. I do not carry a “crutch” with me. I have an illness. I manage it the best I can. Even on my worst days I won’t call myself lazy because just the simple act of getting out of bed is a victory at those times. I give back as much as possible. Other times I retreat for self-care reasons. My recovery is my priority and I won’t comprise that for anything or anybody. It takes a lot of hard work. So please, don’t call me lazy.