Effort. Every move you make is a tremendous exertion. It is what you feel when trying to run through waist-deep water.

The simple act of sitting up meets with resistance. You become physically exhausted. You are engulfed in a deep sludge that constantly exerts pressure on your body. Your muscles ache from trying to move against the heaviness.

All of my movements feel like they’re in slow motion. I feel sluggish, as if I haven’t slept in days. It is just too hard to go through the motions of a daily routine.

Anxious. There is a deep, raw ache in my chest that tightens. Sometimes it is hard to breathe. I sigh constantly to relieve it. On the outside, I appear calm and quiet. Inside, I feel like a seething cauldron.

My thoughts are jumbled, and I can’t make the simplest decision.

The internal conversation I have with myself is riddled with negative, self-deprecating remarks. I feel overwhelming dread. Negative thoughts replay over and over. The level of anxiety is toxic; I can’t function with the melee in my head.

Numb. A gray darkness covers all my senses. I feel separated from my environment by the layer of sludge that is always pressing on me. Depression dulls my senses and mutes colors and sounds. My focus is turned inward on myself.

All that I feel is an overpowering heaviness and sense of hopelessness.

Mary Gallagher of Summerville