When it slips in my door, life becomes messy -- dishes pile up, blog posts are started but never finished, dog hair sticks to every surface available (including my tongue), and the only thing that seems to remain untouched is my to-do list, clean of any checkmarks. My physical surroundings reflect my inner life and I grow ashamed of what I have become. I feel irresponsible, like I am wasting my life away.
I know that my unwelcome guest will leave without warning, just as it came, so all I have to do is wait until that time arrives. I should be trying harder to manage the depressive symptoms by exercising or doing whatever else is wise, but it takes a great deal of will power. Part of me feels better simply accepting that I will feel this way for a few days rather than trying to fight it.
When my unwelcome guest does finally leave, I am left with such a mess to clean up that I can still feel the shadow of its presence. Look at all those dishes. Look at all the dog hair dripping off of me onto the newly clean bowl I am drying (not because I actually did dishes -- I just ran out of bowls and needed to eat from something). Look at how many days my to-do list has remained the same. It feels like I am picking up the pieces of a shattered vase and trying to put them back together again, fully aware that it was not a particularly pretty vase in the first place, but at least it will be able to hold beautiful flowers again.
Even in the midst of my depression, there are moments in which I am reminded that I will be just fine. One morning I did yoga and showered, and when I was getting dressed I decided to wear a pair of fun patterned socks my little sister gave me. I pulled them on over the bottoms of my leggings and folded the tops down so that they reached mid calf and smiled like a little girl who had just received that pony she had been asking for. I was filled with such joy and gratitude by a simple pair of socks, and that in turn gave me joy.
If I want to get through these times, all I have to do is pull up my fun socks and remind myself that although I might not be able to turn my terrible house guest away, I don't have to let it take over my life. Although I don't feel like it, I need to keep my life going like I normally would because being unproductive and wallowing in my misery merely perpetuates the cycle.
Pulling my socks up,