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 the days where you wake up with the sun shining on your face, and you curse it. How dare it rise so early when all you want to do is stay in bed longer. You roll over, and hide under the covers, groaning under the pressure of all the things that have to be done. You beg yourself to throw the blankets off your body so you can start the day. Depression or not, life keeps moving forward. You stumble out of bed, and groan at your reflection in the mirror. Today is not going to be a good day. You can tell by the way your body aches, the way you feel like you are on the verge of crying or yelling in rage. Today won’t be a kind and gentle day.
Everything becomes a chore. You find yourself on the verge of tears when you are making your 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 are no different than they were the day before. A lost shoe means that by 8:30, you’ve already snapped in frustration. By the time 10am hits, you find yourself wishing that the entire day was just over so you could retire to your bed, and hope that the next day is just not like this.
When those days roll into one day, two days, several days, it starts to feel hopeless. You hope that your neighbour who likes to sit and have coffee with you doesn’t ring the doorbell, because letting her see the state of your house would be an embarrassment. Your self-esteem hits the rocks and you question every single decent or good thing about yourself. 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 giving just the bare minimum. I’m sorry that I’m like this. I’m so sorry for everything.
Soon, you find yourself repeating, as you try to motivate yourself to do something, anything, “What’s the point?” Because, in those dark, twisted moments, you can’t begin to see past the pain that is searing through your entire being.
As the days in the depression spread further out, you begin to plead with yourself to make it all go away. Why can’t you be normal? Why can’t you be like all those other people, flitting from place to place, continuing their life? You grocery shop, and cringe as you see the 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 basically, that’s all you could manage today. You hate her for being perfect, but mostly, you hate yourself for not being good enough. You hate yourself for judging her, because you know you have no idea what her life is really like. Berating yourself, you slump home from your errands feeling defeated, and lost.
Over and over you ask yourself: Why do you have to feel like this? Why are you, obviously, the only one who struggles with the monster that is depression? Everything begins to feel pointed, like the entire world is against you, and hates you with the same animosity that you currently feel for yourself. Of course, it only makes sense that no one actually cares about you. Why would they care about you?
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 try to reel yourself back in from the hopeless abyss, like you’ve done so many times before. It’s okay if you only manage to pull on yoga pants and a clean shirt today. It’s okay that your only managed to tackle a couple of household chores today, or only folded one load of laundry. It’s not a reflection on your writing ability when your posts aren’t linked, or commented on. It’s just great that you took an hour to yourself and wrote, because it makes you feel better. You start looking at your even small accomplishments as huge victories. You are going to win this battle.
At least, that’s what you tell yourself because the other option means absolutely succumbing to the darkness of depression completely. 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.
So, depression, what’s the point? The point is that my life is worthy. I’m worthy. Even on the days when things are bad, and outlooks look grim, I deserve to believe in my life. I’m still good enough to fight for this beautiful life I have.
And, that’s what I’ll keep on doing.