I get down sometimes, and wow do I get low when I do. I mean, I am a morose-limbo superstar. You know, like so low that a pebble in my shoe is certain confirmation that the entire universe is indeed against me.
Depression takes on so many different forms. It can be a diagnosis, or part of a diagnosis, or a symptom of a diagnosis, or it can be a state of being or a mood. Even my own takes on different forms. Sometimes it’s more just how my body feels but my mind knows things are OK. Sometimes I go into the deepest darkest corners of my soul and pull out all the horrible crap I can and then invent some new horrible crap because it just doesn’t feel horrible enough.
Usually, I hit The Darkness for a day or so and then I get back to being jolly, if not perpetually tired, ol’ me. But what a weird season it has been! Here in Pennsylvania, birds and flowers are trying to show up for spring, while we humans are bracing for the blizzards to inevitably come in March. It’s raining and raining and raining. The temperatures will rise and fall twenty degrees from one day to the next. Meanwhile, my fibromyalgia is all like, “Don’t be acting like you KNOW me!” So it’s all flare, all the time, and it’s not exactly what I’m used to. Plus, there are legit real things happening in my life that are major bummers.
Now, I do know, somewhere in my rational mind, that everything is fine. And I’m telling YOU, so you don’t worry, that everything is fine. It’s just the feeling of the knowing seems impossible for me to access right now.
I’m sharing all this, because a half hour ago, I was washing my dishes and crying, and I had a amusing thought that started with, Well, at least–.
I strongly advise you against EVER saying anything to me or probably to any other depressed person that begins with “Well, at least–,” but I do get to say it to myself.
The thought was this:
Well at least I’m not ruining a good mood by having to wash all these dishes, and at least I’m not ruining a pleasant activity by crying. This works. I’m not ruining anything good.
And hence the inspiration for a new list!
Things to Do When I’m Depressed (That Don’t Make Me Feel Better … They’re Just Things to Do)
- Wash my dishes. This chore sucks anyway, so I might as well do miserable stuff when I’m miserable.
- Clean my house. Because who wants to use up happy times cleaning? Then when my depression passes, I’ll have a clean house to enjoy, rather than a messy house that’ll make me depressed all over again.
- Exercise. So I can do something that doesn’t make me feel like a failure.
- Floss. We all need to floss more.
- Take a nap. Because I can’t eat donuts when I’m sleeping.
- Inspect the alphabetization of my DVDs. Because knowing my alphabet is one actual skill I have. And I can go ahead and get sidetracked when I hit G and watch Goldeneye again. (It holds up.)
- Walk my dog. No excuses about how insecure I am with my neighbors seeing me in my pajamas. They’ve seen it already. A lot. Just let her smell things and not be miserable, too.
- Feed the squirrels. Then I can yell at them for trashing my porch.
- Watch TV. Like I was actually going to do anything else?
- Eat donuts. Might as well while I have this “I fail at life anyway” excuse.
- Write a ridiculous blog article about dumb crap to do when I’m depressed. Oh wait a minute, this actually *did* make me feel better!! Aw, you’re so nice for coming along with me.
If you’re in the darkness, too, I’m so sorry. Please be patient with yourself. Don’t put all that extra pressure on yourself that you must “snap out of it.” Just be as self-loving and self-forgiving as you can. Clean. Wash your dishes. If you cry while doing it, drink a glass of water. Floss. You’ve got sprinkles in your teeth.