Emotional Labor

So as we're navigating the world of mental illness there's a topic that has been on my mind, but I'm not really sure how to approach it, because it's relevant to so many more things than just mental health. Since the framework that I'm writing these in is my own mental illness I'm going to stick to in that framework. 

There is nothing more exhausting than having to describe what it's like to be mentally ill. 

Let me say it one more time, there is nothing more exhausting to me than having to explain to you why I can't get out of bed or I'm acting erratically, or anything like that. 

That being said, without describing it in detail to many people in my life they wouldn't get it, in fact many people in my life don't get it. Many family members and friends are well meaning and lovely but no matter how many times I try to describe whats going on in my head I often get blank stares or oh that sucks, or a solid "I'll listen" which typically is about a minute or so before distraction sets in. 

And then after a while the traditional "I don't understand why you can't do x, y, and z" happens no matter how many times I've explained that my energy does not work like that. 

What I'm getting at, and this is going to be a pretty short entry because I've had a long day and some crappy television show awaits me, is it's really tiring to explain to people what it's like being mentally ill, and when a friend opens up and tries to let you know, keep in mind that it's taking that person so much energy to try to educate you. 

It shouldn't be on the people with mental illness to educate those without, but unfortunately it is. So I ask maybe listen a little harder and pass on the message next time someone tells you what it's like, and believe people when they tell you they know their own mind/body, because it's theirs not yours.