The sun shines on your face as you wake up, and the tasks of the day roll through your mind, one by one. On these days, you get out of bed, start your coffee, and start the routine of waking your kids for the day. You make jokes while your kids eat their breakfast, and make promises of trips to the park later in the day. Moving through your daily routine is easy and natural. The house gets cleaned, the children usually end the day covered in dirt from your adventures, and they settle in bed content with the memories of the day. You wish for more days like these, because they are so gentle and kind to your soul.
Then there are those other days. The ones when the sun on your face is a curse. How dare it rise so early when all you want to do is stay in bed longer?! You attempt to hide beneath the covers, groaning from the pressure of just existing. Somehow, you manage to toss the blankets off your body, stumbling out of bed to start your day.You can feel in your bones that today is not going to be one of those good days. No, today won’t be a kind and gentle day.
Everything is a chore. Taking a breath is hard enough, forget the daily grind. You find yourself on the verge of tears when you make coffee because the dishwasher didn’t get started the night before. Anger fills your body when you see that your spouse didn’t make the school lunch like he normally does. Your kids seem more demanding, and less patient, even though they’re no different than yesterday. By mid-morning, you’ve wished the entire day away so many times you’ve lost count.
The neighbour who occasionally visits, becomes a mortal enemy as you do everything in your power to avoid her. You don’t want her to see the state of your house. The state of you. Especially if this bad day has become more than just a day. Constantly, you are apologizing to your spouse, and to your kids – I’m sorry I can’t manage more. I’m sorry that I’m like this. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
You find yourself asking, “What’s the point?” In those dark, twisted moments, you can’t begin to see past the pain that is searing through your being.That question morphs into pleading: Why can’t you be normal? Why can’t you be like all those other people, flitting from place to place, continuing their life? At the grocery store, you cringe at the other Mom’s toting their well-dressed children, with their hair perfect, and their make up just right. You know you look like you just rolled out of bed, because, well, that’s exactly what you did. You hate her for being perfect, you hate yourself for not being good enough, you hate yourself for judging her.
Why are you, obviously, the only one who struggles with the monster that is depression? Everything feels pointed, like the entire world is against you, and hates you with the same veracity you place on yourself. Depression has you convinced there is no way anyone would care about you. Why would they?
That’s the sort of lie that depression tells. Over and over, it repeats.
Until one day, you start to fight back. Who knows where the resilience comes from, but you are grateful that it exists. You reel yourself back in from the abyss. The bare minmum is suddenly okay; those are accomplishments, and they are massive victories. You banish the negative self-talk, and begin affirming your worth, bravely, carefully. You are going to be okay.
At least, that’s what you tell yourself. The other option means absolutely succumbing to depression, entirely. The fear of this reality engulfs you, and yet, somehow, it motivates you. What if the day comes where you lose all willingness to fight? What if you stop winning the battles, and become lost forever? All these questions hang heavily in the back of your mind, forcing you to recognize that even on the days when things are good, you are still fighting.
And, that’s enough.