“This is what my house looked like for three weeks.
It’s not bad, but what you can’t see is takeaway boxes, laundry in piles, bathroom grime. Scraps of food everywhere.
This was depression.
This was me slamming down coffee waiting for the energy to get up to clean.
It was me sitting on the couch responding to messages of, ‘How are you going?’ and replying ‘really good,’ knowing it was a lie. Knowing I actually felt useless, sad, unworthy, lazy.
I had no motivation to brush my teeth or shower. No motivation to play with my kids or cook for them. Anxious my husband had enough of my crap and was going to leave or be with someone better, who had their stuff together.
The more I thought about things I should be doing, things I should be, the more exhausted I felt.
If anxiety and depression were people, they were pushing me down on the couch by my shoulders, using all their weight. I felt all of it. My heart rate was fast but my body slow.
I’m not a slob, not lazy. I love the smell of clean laundry. I love to socialize, and I even like to cook for my kids. But, when depression hits, when anxiety hits, it’s impossible.
I guess I want to say, it’s not you.
Dirty dishes aren’t you. They’re not a measure of your worthiness. The laundry piling up isn’t you. Takeaway isn’t who you are, but most of all, neither is anxiety or depression. You’re not weak, you’re not worthless, you’re not lazy, unlovable, or broken. You’re going through something, and in those moments, you need a friend who doesn’t need an apology for silence, a friend who doesn’t need you to be strong when you’re not. A friend who doesn’t care if your house is a mess because you need to clean your mind before your house.
And you need that friend to be you.
If all you did today was hold yourself together, that’s okay. Tomorrow or the next day or the next week or three, you will get up and you’ll find ‘you’ again. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, even if your brain tells you there’s not.”
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