Friday, May 6, 2011

Depression and Housekeeping

I wish depression was simply feeling sad. Yes, I feel sad, and I feel guilty for feeling sad. I feel despair when I contemplate my future. I cannot see myself getting out of the ghetto, getting medical treatment for my mental health concerns, or returning to the workforce. I cannot see a living wage in my future, and I was denied (again) for Social Security Disability. Yes, I'll reapply but I don't really believe the third time will be the charm either. It's hard to feel hope about anything.

And then the guilt comes in, because I "should" be feeling better. I have a partner for the first time in my life, someone who helps me with the division of labor from sunrise to sundown, and who loves my son as his own. I have someone in my life who actually cares if I'm in pain (a quality I'd not yet encountered in a housemate or my family.) And I have a beautiful little boy, who continues to grow more independent by the day. Every morning he makes his bed so smoothly, and he gives me the most emphatic hugs and kisses.

I know in reality there is no "should" when it comes to emotions. Feelings aren't wrong. We feel what we feel, and we try to deal and keep on kicking.

I'm trying to pick up my life, in tiny pieces, what I can get each day. I spent a month tackling all the lesser-done housekeeping chores, so now maintaining a company-ready home should be easier to manage (and hey, finally finishing unpacking those last few boxes from when we moved in a year ago probably helped)

It's hard to drum up the energy for life. I can keep myself physically going with a small list of chores, and I can keep myself from weeping if I distract myself from those darker thoughts with silly things like video games and TV. (On a side note, thanks to Netflix I've watched 5 seasons of Desperate Housewives this month. Who knew the dialog was so quippy?)

When I disappear from the internet for awhile, that's where I go. I retreat into simple tasks with visible outcomes. I can't scrub away the PTSD from my brain. I can't even afford to see a therapist or psychiatrist to begin addressing it. But I can clean my stove top till it shines. It's hard to have hope for anything I can't see and feel and do with my own two hands, so for the moment, I'm focused on what I can see and feel and do with my own two hands. For now that seems to be laundry, and dishes, and cooking, and cleaning.

I "hope" to get better soon.