I don't tend to write very much about my depression. I don't want that to be what this blog is about. Quick, let me distract you with a picture of Murdoch.
Look at that gorgeous little bastard.
Mostly, I'd rather use this space to tell you about the things that I am doing rather than the things that I'm not doing. There are a million things that I'm not doing.
I'm not washing my hair every day, because every single day starts with me having to negotiate with myself get out of bed and face the world and sometimes the only way to do that is to tell myself that I don't have to wash and dry my hair, just get in the shower and you can tie it back in a pony tail.
I'm not showering every day, because sometimes that negotiation doesn't work and I have to get up and go as I am, because life doesn't stop and you can't call in sick to work and tell them that it's because your brain can't comprehend how to make your limbs move. That your brain refuses to make them move because the world is out there and it's too much. So you make your limbs move and you go out there and you face it. Every day.
I don't do the washing up every day, I do it about once or twice a week. I sit on the sofa feeling anxious about the fact that there is washing up in the sink. Worrying that it's been there for days. Thinking about what I can cook for dinner that doesn't involve using the stuff that needs washing up. But I don't do the washing up. It's beyond me.
I sit on the sofa, not sorting and putting away the pile of clean underwear that has been sat next to me for weeks. Instead I just take a pair of knickers and a bra from the pile each morning and add more clean stuff when I can find it within myself to put a wash on..... to put a wash on?! Seriously?! I'm not going down to the river to beat it with a rock. I'm popping it in the washing machine in the kitchen and waiting for it to finish. But then, you see, I'll have to hang it up to dry, which will inevitably lead to it needing to be put away, or GOD FORBID ironed.
I don't see my friends and family as much as I would like. I have to talk myself into it, every time. I know that I'll enjoy time with them once I'm there. But GOD, the effort of it. Because I'll have to shower and wash my hair and style it and put on some make up and find something to wear and oh no, the laundry hasn't been done and nothing fits and OH! there's something that fits screwed up at the back of the cupboard, but CRAP I'm going to have to fucking iron it for FUCK'S SAKE. And that's before I've even got the other side of the front door. And I'll have to think of stuff to say that makes it sound as though my life is busy and fun and full, because you can't tell your friends that you've spent most of the week sitting on the sofa in a Mexican standoff with a pile of underwear. They'd probably understand, because they're good people, these friends and family of mine. But nonetheless, you don't say it, because you don't want to sound like a crazy person. Or almost worse, a lazy person.
I've become pretty bad at looking after myself. It's difficult to comprehend how you're going to make it to the swimming pool, when your own pants are mocking you from the next seat. It recently took me four weeks to get around to making a dentist appointment, even though my gums were bleeding. I was bleeding from my mouth, sitting on the sofa, wondering what to do about my socks and the pile of washing up and dear god I haven't cleaned the bathroom for weeks and it's been three days since I washed my hair.
My very wise friend B said that one of the things about depression is that it takes the word "just" out of your vocabulary. You are incapable of thinking "I'll just pop to the shops" or "I'll just put this pile of pants away" or "I'll just go for a quick swim". There is no just. There is no lightness of feeling that these are small daily tasks that you're more than capable of doing in a jiffy. Everything has weight. It's hard. It all feels so hard. And so you get paralysed because your brain has turned you into a lump of rock and you can't imagine being able to make the effort it takes to get enough momentum to get moving. Ironically, the big stuff is a bit easier, because the need to do big things (such as going to LA) is a giant shove that gets the momentum started and you just try and keep it rolling.
SO. In amongst all of that stuff, I'm going to take a moment to think about the things that I have been able to do.
I did eventually go to the dentist and it was just a build up of tartar. I get the washing up done, once or twice a week. I get the laundry done, even if it never quite makes it to the drawers. I get the dog walked every day. I go to work and do the best job that I can. I see my friends and family and try to keep in contact with them via text or whatsapp when I can't find the oomph to go out and see them. I am (and will continue) doing the best I can. What else is there?