When “I don’t care” Turns Into “I’m really sad”

When I woke up it wasn’t a good day. I was exhausted.  I had slept for 12 hours and I didn’t want to get out of bed. I did though. I got out of bed. I took my meds. I ate a banana. I tried watching a recorded television show from last night and I just thought, “I feel like I just don’t care.” It wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t feel like going on my computer, reading, drawing, writing, watching anything. Just nothing. And I kept thinking, “I just don’t care.”

I called my therapist and left a voicemail and then took a nap for an hour. I was so tired.

“I feel like I just don’t care.” That’s what I told my therapist when she called me back and asked what I was feeling. She said, “That’s not an emotion. That’s a thought.” She had me pull out my DBT skills book and look at different emotions and how they are displayed. I looked through them and came upon sadness. There were a lot of different ways sadness can present, but the ones that stuck out to me were the following:

  • listlessness
  • lack of energy/tiredness
  • inability to find pleasure in activities
  • wanting to stay in bed

I had a hard time naming my emotion as sadness because I wasn’t feeling teary and like I was going to cry. But that’s not the only way people experience sadness!

For the rest of the day and evening I have been focusing on distraction skills. Things to keep me busy and keep me from being in misery. This is what I’ve done so far:

  • Laundry
  • Wrapping Christmas presents
  • Watching Friends
  • Playing Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword

I haven’t been “happy” today, but that wasn’t the purpose of my skills. The purpose was to get through the day without making things worse and to try not to be in misery. And that, I think, is a worthy goal for tonight.



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