How It Feels When You Don’t Feel Like Yourself


Life doesn’t feel like any one thing when you don’t feel right—when everything is “off” but nothing is really “wrong”—but one could compare it to insomnia.*

You’re not sleeping but you are laying down. Immobile. Eyes closed, waiting for the relief that doesn’t come—life feels this way when you lose sight of yourself and what you want, what you’re doing and what you want to do more of. All the goals you used to have, all the ‘wants’ that used to demand satisfaction—they’re dim bulbs burning out.

In this state between sleep and awake, you only see the back of your eyelids, the dark stuff. The void of what you’re not doing. The bad, the blank, the nothing.

But you’re awake and conscious. Why can’t you get up and move? You don’t want to start. You can’t imagine starting. You don’t want to—

You don’t want. You wait. You give up a little bit every time you want something and it isn’t there, so you don’t move to get it anymore. You wait. The waiting feels better than the moving and falling. The waiting isn’t peaceful, but it is comfortable. You live every day working and doing and moving and getting up and talking and saying “I’m fine” and “it’s okay” and “I’m just tired,” and those things are all true, sure.

It is fine. It is okay. You are just tired. Really, really tired. So you close your eyes and wait for the relief that doesn’t come.

“You should really get some sleep.”
“I know.”

You know. You know and sleep says “no” until it doesn’t anymore, until the relief comes and you can’t even feel it—the worst pain of all is waking up restless, waking up with nothing. People who sleep wake up with dreams, they wake up next to having slept, the warmth of a good night’s rest nudges them into the day, it waits for them to come home at night and it holds them while they close their eyes, until their breathing becomes even, until the relief. Until they can feel it.

You don’t feel it. You sleep and feel like you haven’t slept. There’s no comforting difference between your days.

Feeling like anyone but yourself feels like one long night.

You don’t feel like yourself right now, so you can’t sleep like yourself right now, so you stay up without getting up. You get out of bed and keep going, but you can’t get up and get it together, not now, anyway. Nothing needs fixing, so you wait. You keep your eyes closed until you can open them again. Until the sun comes up. Until the light shows you yourself again.


*One would be relatively unoriginal to do so, but this one will do it anyway, because she cannot sleep.