Whenever anyone asks how I am, I explain that I am tired. I mean something different depending on the day...
Nose-To-The-Grindstone-Exhausted: This is exhausted, but it is the productive kind of exhausted, where one is alternatively high-energy and happy or extremely tired.
But you are happy you are doing work/ doing well.
Sleepy Contentment: You are tired, but the sweet kind of tired before going to bed, after a good day's work.
Heartache Kind of Weary: There is something on your mind, or in your heart, that does not permit you to sleep well at night, and it tears at you and hurts you and eventually dissolves into an ache you carry with you.
Contemplative Tired: This is the kind of tiredness one feels while watching the rain, either at night or during the day. It is generally a reflective, contemplative kind of tired, where one is snuggled in a comforter on the couch, but the question is whether the lights are on or off in your living room.
Yeshiva Exhaustion: This is fake. It's that point where the learning person believes he has reached his limit and can't go on; he is utterly exhausted and is going to pass out, or perish, over his Gemara. But then he figures out the answer and with a sudden eureka, awakens and euphorically begins again.
World Weary: This is when you have seen enough of the way it is supposedly done, the way people betray, backstab and hurt each other, and you cannot take it anymore. It makes you seriously consider becoming a hermit, and withdrawing into your own little world, where you will live happily within your mind and your fantasies, like a pschyzophrenic who has lost touch with reality.
Exhausted Is the New Sexy: This is when you are tired because you spent the night before partying, walking around the city and playing at being homeless, having fun, at the movies, or otherwise have a fantastic reason for the bags under your eyes. Your makeup is smeared, and your glitter eyeliner is currently covering the lower-half of your cheek, but you are extremely happy, and wouldn't have it any other way.
Zombie Tired: This is when you are tired because you have watched too many second-rate movies in a row, having chosen to stay in on a Saturday night, avoid all company, be antisocial, curled up in your oversize pajamas, bathrobe or other form of haute couture. Your eyes are glazed over, you have eaten an entire bag of popcorn, and you feel slightly ill- not physically, but perhaps mentally, since you are repulsed by the films that you have watched at the same time that you are intrigued. You also feel anger welling within yourself, and are not entirely sure of the cause. You may snap soon.
Nightmare in the Daytime: This is where your waking life resembles a dream, and not a good one. You are tired, but you are not able to respond to the feelings of your body because you have too many responsibilities and duties to which you must immediately attend. You haven't any time, and you feel like you are living in a nightmare. You cannot wake up from it, so your tiredness should not exist, since you're sleeping, aren't you? But you're not. Everything just gets worse and worse.
The Sandman's Gift: This is a beautiful, blissful kind of tired. It comes to you, looks you in the eye and smiles, at which point you brush your teeth, kiss your parents good night, and fall asleep between exquisitely comfortable covers only to have beautiful and happy dreams. You awake in the morning refreshed, and your heart is gladdened. You have slept the Calvin and Hobbes kind of sleep, where you play with your favorite people all night long, in your dreams.
Suicidal: This is where you have actually pushed yourself far beyond your body's limits. You are going to pass out. Your iron is way too low, and you can't give blood. Your hair is limp, and when you run your hands through it in despair, you pull out strands, so that golden-brown hair fills your fingers. You have tears in your eyes, you are so hopeless, and exhausted, and you don't give a damn about anything anymore. You are going to swear at people, curse out your friends, and make foolish accusations you don't intend and don't really mean. You are then going to stand on your pride and not apologize for them, and will succeed in wrecking your life just because you are so goddamn exhausted.
The Caretaker's Wish: Caretakers of people, whether they are caring for older people, like grandparents, or younger people, like children, are continually exhuasted and pushed beyond their limits. Depending on the attitude and kindness of the person they are taking care of, their mood swings. If it was easy to work with their children/ grandparent today, or put them to bed, they too will be happy. If they have been up all night attending to infants, and their children will simply not allow them a moment's rest, or a moment of peace and quiet, that is less pleasant, and means that they will dream hopelessly of sleep, a phantom desire.
Scholarly Sleep-Deprivation: This is your diligent student's lack of sleep, which happens simply because there are not enough hours in the day. It is not necessarily associated with any emotion, whether it be anger or happiness; it is merely a fact of life. There is not enough time to accomplish all your objectives, and so what happens instead is that you are a sleep-deprived child who wanders through classrooms wishing there was a way she could get ahold of Hermione's Time-Turner.
Friendly Fatigue: This is where you are actually *not* tired, but your friends, lovers or parental units are, and their yawns cause you to begin thinking of the Land of Nod yourself. Your body responds to their signals, and so you become tired because of them, but not in and of yourself. It is a relatively pleasant kind of tiredness.
The Soul Surrenders: This is the worst kind of exhaustion, and the most lasting. It's where your tiredness and exhaustion have gripped your soul. It is worse than suicidal, because there you have no will to live. Here, you have the energy, the emotion, the enthusiasm and the desire, but it is all channelled into self-hatred. You will never be good enough. You will never succeed. You will never be happy. Everything is bleak, even if there are colors fizzing across your horizon, rather than black and grey running your world. You would prefer a chaotic world in which you dip into chaos and self-destruct. You cannot escape this kind of tiredness; you can only hope it goes away, and spares you, and that you are not eternally damaged.