Depression Successes

I’ve been in a strange world lately. I don’t want to talk about my job or about the successes I’m having in my career. Because I feel that when people see that on social media, when they hear “how well I’m doing” it only  amounts to my accomplishments in my field. Which is great, but that’s not what this is about.

This is about what happens when you get off the subway, when you’re walking home from work, when you put the key in the door and once you finally lay on your couch… what’s happening. Because for me it’s been dark and confusing. I feel like I don’t have control over everything that’s happening. I feel like a fly on the wall and I’m just trying to hold on. On the days that I can - I sleep until 3. But for some reason when I finally get up to get going I sit on the couch to watch the news… and I fall asleep again. Why? There’s no way I’m that tired. I’m assuming it’s the depression. It exhausts you. How could I go from sleeping for twelve hours, move to the couch and pass out again.

Then it hits 6PM and the sun is down. Where did the day go? Has the world forgotten about me? No. I just haven’t left my little apartment. I muster up enough energy to put the dishes away. Success.

I have to walk the dogs. “Not now" my brain says. They’re your children, take care of them. 

I fight. I put on clothes. Another Success. 

I got out of the apartment and took them for a walk. Success number three.

Today has felt like a slow scramble to accomplish things normal people can in an instant.

Have you eaten yet? No. How could you forget to eat. I heated up my Tom Ka from last night and slurped it down. Trying to give my body warmth. I made myself food? Success number four.

My apartment feels like a cozy safe house but like a prison at the same time. But I have to leave to pick up my prescriptions. The ones that are supposed to keep this from becoming dangerous. Which is great. But why do I have to go through this at all. Oh right. The disease. Fucker.

I made it to the pharmacy. I also bought toilet paper and paper towels at the bodega. That was huge. I did all that and made it back to the apartment. Success number five.

I notice I haven’t had anything playing in the apartment all day. I’ve just been sitting in silence. So detached I forgot to put on music. As soon as I do a calm comes over me. I’m not so alone when these beautiful voices sing. It’s better than the sound of an empty apartment.

Have I showered? I struggle because I don’t want to. (Just so you know, I want to. But my brain doesn’t want me to.) If I can get the energy to do it, I know it will feel like a high. Just to get into the shower. Just to feel warmth. Why don’t I want to? Push.

The calming music, the shower heating up, the steam building… it’s the most glorious thing I’ve seen all day. Once I step in it’s like I’m in another dimension. I lather and clean and soak and bream. I think this is the first time I’ve felt peace all day. Press my head against the cold tile, let warm water run down my body. I turn it up to hot. I just stand there letting it encapsulate me. The soap makes me feel fresh. Showering makes me feel like I’m loving myself a little bit which lessens the bite of the depression.

I step out, still low but refreshed. Getting into the shower when you’re depressed is the ultimate high. Success number six.

Now I can light my lavender candles and have a cup of tea and grasp a shimmer of peace for the rest of the evening. Hopefully when I wake up it will be a little different. Maybe my brain will cooperate tomorrow.

This is why success is a funny word to me. You can see all the success that I’ve accomplished on a grand scale, but behind closed doors in a moment like this my true successes are:

  1. I put the dishes away

  2. I put on clothes

  3. I walked the dogs

  4. Made myself food

  5. Went to the pharmacy and bought household necessities 

  6. Took a shower

But perspective is everything:

  • Someone who hasn’t suffered from depression won’t understand. (Which is great I don’t want you to understand) 

  • Me on a normal day will look back and read this and not believe I am the same person who wrote it.

  • But people who know what I’m talking about… you know today… today was one of my most successful days.

- Peace and love

PS: This is what I was playing on repeat in the shower and while writing. Ciao.