As some of my readers may know, I have struggled with depression for many years. I was diagnosed with “Chronic Depression” back in 2002. I spent many years trying out different medications to help everything from my terrible sleeping habits to my bouts of wanting to lie in bed eating Doritos and watching cartoons in a dark room. Meds didn’t really deal with depression for me. Later, along with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, came the recommendation for a non-lithium mood stabilizer.
After a while, I started to see the warning signs that it was coming or that it was happening and I’ve slowly started to learn how to cope with things. Like anyone who’s ever dealt with depression knows, that doesn’t mean that I don’t get sad or whatever, it means that I recognize the signs and stage my own self-intervention to alleviate whatever pain or frustration is happening. No matter what’s going on, whether it’s sadness or frustration over things I can’t control, the first step for me is always to take a shower.
After 2 weeks of good friends and good times, I got home and tried to get back in the swing of things. I really tried to just force myself to get back to work. I’ve always been a workaholic so I didn’t think it would be a problem. I was wrong.
I found myself today realizing that over the past 3 days, I’ve eaten about 1 meal a day, I’ve slept more than 10 hours every day, and I haven’t really FINISHED anything since I got back. I just want to be around my friends. I didn’t want to be at home, I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to do anything that didn’t involve being with my friends. When that couldn’t happen, I went to back to my (relatively) dark room, turned on Netflix, and laid there letting my mind drift away to a state of numbness.
This afternoon, I realized it. I woke up, looked at the clock, and saw that I had wasted another day wasting away in my dark room.
So I got up, and took a shower.
There’s something about taking a shower, even at 4 in the afternoon, that reminds you that even the grossest of situations can wash away leaving you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and clean. The next step for me is to take it slow, acknowledge that I’ve been feeling down, and figure out how I’m going to proceed.
I’ve been working on a project for a few days now that I hope to reveal next week. For now, I’ll let it be a mystery. Suffice to say, I’m alright. As always, I’ll get through. Eventually I’ll get to my goal and things will be better. For now, the best thing I can do is remind myself that I have a good life, good friends, and hot showers.