Cleaning House With Depression

Your blogger in her natural habitat

Today I am cleaning my house and doing laundry. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? I mean, how hard can it be to clean your house? Especially when there’s only two people living in a one bedroom apartment. And two cats. It’s no big deal, right?

The Inevitable Explanation of Why That Assumption is Wrong

I have depression. I am medicated for it. It’s not really severe compared to many people who are medicated for it, but it is enough to have an effect on my day to day activity. I sleep more than most people, motivating myself is harder, and there are some days when going outside just seems like a Herculean effort. Along with this goes anxiety, which also plays its part in keeping me trapped in safe zones like my house. I don’t like to go certain places alone, I am convinced that people are judging me all the time, and making phone calls is nearly impossible.

Now, there are good days when I have few or none of these symptoms. When I’m taking my meds every day, they don’t cause too many problems. My sleeping goes back to normal and my anxiety reduces its intensity. My energy also drastically increases and I actually feel like a normal, fully functional human being.

Except for one thing. House cleaning. I can’t blame this mental block completely on depression, though it does make it feel overwhelming to be faced with a dirty kitchen. Some of it is probably just how I was raised. My mother was a neat freak who was very particular about how things were done. If I did any cleaning, I never did it right, so I stopped doing it because dealing with her complaining that I never did anything was easier than the yelling which ensued when I did it wrong. Recently, that attitude has resurfaced.

Right now, one of my biggest challenges in life is cleaning my house. Which sounds absolutely stupid to most people (even to me). But it is the reality of my life with which I simply have to deal, stupid as it might feel.

Stupid Shit Can Still Suck

Look, I know what I have to do and I understand that it is going to take effort to overcome the problem. I can handle that. But I want to highlight something that I think people don’t often realize: stupid shit can still really suck.

And that’s okay.

It is okay if some seemingly small thing is causing you problems. It doesn’t make you stupid or unworthy or weak. It makes you human. And you’re not the only one. Someone else has the same problem you do. You’re not alone.

It’s a small message, but an important one. I’ve felt pretty isolated and alone recently, like I’m an idiot because I struggle with such simple stuff. I’ve thought to myself more than once, “You are an idiot. Millions of other people have no trouble with this stuff. What the hell is wrong with you?” It’s not helpful and it doesn’t make me feel better. That kind of attitude is probably the most counter-productive kind around.

That’s why I wanted to write this blog post. Maybe someone else is feeling like I do. Maybe they need to hear this as much as I do. And I hope it helps, even just a little bit. Because we’re not weak or stupid. We’re human. And that’s okay.

Stuff no one should say, not even to ourselves.

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