Sometimes, I just have to (as my son calls it) word vomit onto the page. Bad writing, pointless – it just needs to get out. And I feel better afterwards. It’s like being car sick, and finally yelling, “Pull over, I have to puke!”
I have a commitment today. But I am taking the time to write. I am TAKING the time to write.
Yes, I have things to do today. I am scheduled to go to my Mom’s house and clean out her bathroom cabinets and closets in preparation for the painters to come. The renters are moving in on May 1, and we are on a tight deadline.
But I need to write.
I suffer from depression. I have been in treatment since February, 2014, but my depression has existed much longer than that. For the most part, I keep it secret. I have not told my brothers, or other relatives. I don’t think they would judge me or think less of me, but it just seems so self-involved to tell them about my depression, when they are all handling the mess that is life.
I have told my two closest friends, and one understands and totally gets it, and the other just can’t. They are both people who go 900 miles an hour and get a million things accomplished every day. A good day for me is when I get a shower and wash my hair, get dressed, and eat at least two meals. That sounds so dramatic, but it is true.
After 25 years of living in this house, we are finally renovating the kitchen. It’s a medium-big project, involving taking out some walls, putting in new lighting, painting everything, getting new flooring, new countertops and sink, painting the cabinets and building in shelves in the pantry. I have contributed practically nothing, except the design ideas. Gary had done all the work, on weekends and when he gets home from his job. I feel terrible, but it is beyond me to get moving on it. He’s being amazing about it. Guilt and anxiety are my constant companions.
Our house is a mess. There is dust everywhere, and all the displaced stuff from the kitchen is in practically every room. It is horrible, and yet I can’t seem to do anything about it.
But I have done things. I did our taxes and got them filed. I babysit two kids for a young couple a few times a month. That is hard, and I usually come home and crash afterwards, but I love those kids and they are a great mood elevator. It’s hard to be down when you’re trying to help potty train a little one. You can’t afford to be frozen. So I dig down into my resources and use them for things that make me feel alive and useful, and keeping the kids does that.
I’m failing at a lot, but I am trying to celebrate my small forward movements. Everyone talks about the importance of self-care, but the fact is, it takes SO MUCH energy. And depression destroys your energy. I did make two good self-care moves this week. I chose a new eye doctor, went to the appointment, and actually picked out new glasses. I made an appointment to have my hair cut.
Those two things are just for me. In depression-world, they are huge.
Now. I feel much stronger for having written this down, (sorry about the mess) and I have to get up and go take a shower, wash my hair and go to Mother’s house and do the work I said I would do.
There are no small victories.