‘Why are you home early?’ my husband asks. I haven’t showered in 6 days. He didn’t know. People with depression are great at hiding it.’: Woman candidly shares the reality of mental illness

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“I haven’t had a shower in 6 days.

Today, I finally took one. Not because I smelled, but because my mom took me home and told me to go take one instead of hanging out with me more today.

I’ve been changing my clothes, using dry shampoo, keeping my smelly parts wiped down, but I haven’t had a shower in 6 days.

My husband looked at me and asked why I was home so early and I told him. He didn’t even know, because if you didn’t know, married couples with jobs often take separate showers, and people with depression are super good at hiding it.

I turn the shower on to warm it up. The pipes are a bit old in this house, so I take a second to get myself amped for this shower and let my hair down from its two-day-old bun. My hair tumbles down my back in a tangled mess as if to remind me that it too has seen much better days.

I step into the shower with anticipation. My stomach is filled with anxiety, like this water will make me melt.

I begin with shampoo through the knotted brambles of my naturally thick and curly hair. I haven’t combed it, oiled it, nothing. My hands fill with strands of dead hair falling from my head.

Depression causes hair loss.

Stress causes hair loss.

Not taking care of your genetically beautiful curls causes hair loss.

I keep them from going down the drain and clogging it by sticking the hair to the wet walls, the globs of hair that I will grab and throw away at the end of my shower.

I run conditioner through my hair and let it sit. It’s been 6 days. My hair is in need of moisture.

The time I dread is here. My body is oily, the water practically is gleaning off of me. It’s disgusting, disappointing. I have armpit hair. Other hair.

I lather up my loofah and begin my work. Between my toes, behind my ears, under my buttocks, in my groin area, under my breasts, inside my belly button, and behind my ears. Anywhere bacterial overgrowth happens is where my scrubbing intensifies. The water is scalding hot, because I know I’m freaking disgusting right now. There’s no other way of saying it. It’s been 6 days since I last took a shower.

I rinse off my body, watching the water twirl down the drain.

I grab my face wash, desperate times call for desperate measures. I also haven’t washed my face in 6 days or longer even. They don’t reccomend using it in the shower but my face is so greasy from not even showering.

I pump it in my hand and massage it into my face.

The oils and debris was so gunked up my face became a cool rush. My entire face was being attacked by this face wash, I could only imagine. I splashed cool water on my face and then turned the shower completely off.

This exhausted me.

This entire shower took what’s left of me and exhausted me.

It had been 6 days since my last shower…

Mental illness sounds so cute when you put it on a post with a person staring in the distance saying they’re ‘depressed.’

But depression is more than just sadness.

It’s raw…it’s not showering for 6 days… then collapsing in your bed exhausted when you finally do.”

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Courtesy of Aly Claydoll

This story was written by Aly Claydoll, and originally appeared here. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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‘She looked at me with tears in her eyes. ‘Are you just having a draining day?’ She hugged me. ‘I’m just tired mommy.’ That’s when I realized. Mental health is top priority.’

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