There are different kinds of tired.
When I was younger, I thought "tired" only applied to what you felt before you went to sleep.
As I first started experiencing depression, "tired" changed.
It became my go-to excuse. I would skip meals in favor of sleep. It was my default answer to inquiries about how I felt. It became a blanket covering my days.
It became my norm. I would sleep 14 hours a day, and still I would be exhausted. I shut down. By 8th grade, I was suicidal. One friend knew. He'd ask how I felt on a daily basis.
"Tired," I'd say.
And it was true. I was tired of the people in my town and their ignorance. I was tired of school. I was tired of living life feeling numb. I was tired of being tired.
Then my mom got cancer.
All of my problems went on hold. She was been my light, my rock in the churning sea of my day-to-day life. What little emotional energy I had went to caring for her and the rest of my family.
She died less than a year after her diagnosis.
After she passed, I returned to the solitude of tiredness.
I didn't cry much. I went to school, taking difficult classes. I threw myself into extracurriculars. I spent less time with friends and more time in my room. I retreated into exhaustion.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.
After years and years of quietly battling depression, I broke down. I told my dad I wanted to kill myself. I stayed home from school for a week. I slept a lot.
That was 5 months ago.
I'm doing better now. New medication and therapy have helped me to take the clouds from my eyes. I still deal with depression on a daily basis. Anxiety too. But I am thinking ahead.
I'm not exhausted anymore.
Depression takes a lot out of a person, physically and emotionally. Sleep was my healthy coping mechanism. But slowly, my body readjusted. I sleep for 9 hours and feel rested.
That doesn't mean I'm happy. Every day is an effort.
I have to be conscious of my thinking. I worry a lot about my family and close friends. I worry about school. I worry about my dogs.
But, I'm getting there.
I'm still tired. But I'm catching up.