The other day I got home from work and I did a little knitting, watched a TV show, prepared breakfast for the next morning and got the coffee ready to brew in the morning. It doesn’t sound like much but I did all of this without even thinking about it. I didn’t have to pep talk myself or force myself. I didn’t feel an overwhelming sense of guilt that made me do it. I just did it because these are things that I needed to do or wanted to do. I haven’t felt this way in so long I can’t even remember.
The last few months or maybe even year I have been so deep in the trenches of depression that I have had no energy or will to do anything but just survive. I wake up in the morning and the only thing I have in my mind is to make it to the end of the day so I can go back to bed and I mostly just have the goal of surviving this one day. I can’t even consider the next day. I have no other concrete goal and I enjoy almost nothing. But beyond that I have no desire to do anything. And so I have done almost nothing. I have pretty much checked out of daily life. There is a reason my kids call it crippling depression. I mean, who in the world can’t even find the motivation to turn on the TV while sitting on the couch and watch a show?
I wake up each day, go through the bare minimum motions of life, spend a lot of my time on the couch doing nothing, and go back to bed. I barely help with household chores, I don’t have any desire to do any activities and find no joy in anything. Every single action at work, at home, with my family has required a pep talk and an enormous inner guilt trip to motivate me. I have to make a conscious effort to do even the smallest most mundane thing. The amount of thinking that goes into each and every action is exhausting. And it is no way to live.
It is crazy how this “surviving” becomes a way of life. It happens over time and you hardly notice it but you sort of get used to it. You actually start to forget that this is not normal life. There is supposed to be joy or at least not total misery. Everything is not supposed to feel so hard.
But lately that is changing a little. I am slowly getting over the feelings of dread associated with any activity that takes me out of the house or places me among other humans. I have even started making plans again. For the last few months all planning has fallen to my husband because I cannot even bring myself to think about later in the day let alone a future date. I cannot commit to doing something in the future when I don’t even know if I am going to make it to that future because everything just hurts so damn much. It is a pretty great feeling to think I can commit to doing something a few days from now because I think maybe I might still be around. I think that might be the most primitive form of hope.
I have a long way to go but for now this tiny inkling of hope is enough. It reminds me of what life used to feel like before my brain started wanting to kill me. It reminds me that it hasn’t always been so bad and so damn hard because I was honestly starting to lose that memory. That maybe, just maybe I will be “normal”-ish again. That is enough.
If you are in the deep, deep trenches of crippling depression remember that it gets better. I know right now you might not believe it and you probably can’t remember it but I hope that reading this can help you find a little hope. You can do hard things. After all you probably get out of bed most mornings and is there really anything harder than that? You can do it. And you should. Because trust me, you are worth it. And we need you ❤