Tired is Not an Emotion

One of my coworkers walks by my office, pokes his head in and says, “Why do you always look so sad?”

“I’m not sad,” I say back, “just tired.”

“Well then you’re always tired. You should get some sleep.”

If it only were that easy. I got a solid 8 hours of glorious, uninterrupted sleep last night but I still woke up feeling like I hadn’t gone to bed at all. I didn’t drink the night before or do any strenuous activity. I even made sure to appropriately hydrate myself throughout the day. Even still, the feeling of someone pushing down hard on my shoulders persisted, my legs felt heavy, my head restless from holding itself high.

But I’m not unhappy. I’m in actually quite content more or less, I still enjoy hanging out with my friends and writing. I’m excited about the clothes I’m editing and the scarf I’m knitting. I’m learning to cook healthy food in part so I can share meals with my roommate who has a gluten allergy. Work is going pretty well. It’d be going better if I had the energy.

If I had the energy to handle my customers and my department. If I had the energy to help quell my brother’s mental illness or to help my dad figure out how to handle it. If I had the energy to be present with all my friends who are grieving over loved ones passing, or to manage my own grief. If I had it in me to put out every fire, hold every hand, and solve every problem and still have enough gusto to engage in large social situations, so I’m not met with a “You never want to go out” anymore. If only I had enough in me to exceed expectations at work, so I’m not met with a “You’re prefect for this role, but something’s blocking you.”

How do I get that? And if I can’t get it, how do I know which vital thing to omit so I’m not fucking someone over, or leaving someone in the dark?

So when people ask how I’m feeling, and I say that I feel tired, when they reply back,

“Tired is not an emotion.”

I beg to differ.

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