We all need our own reason to face a new day. How can we begin to think about others, the ones we love or those responsibilities we have when caught in a dark place. People can offer their well meaning solutions or suggest plenty of reasons for what we have to live for, but in that moment, in that dark place, these feelings are real – I can not deny what I am feeling in that moment.
I was feeling my existence was probably more damaging to my dearest friends and family than my non-existence would be. I had lost all hope and I had given up. I didn’t shower for two weeks, I closed myself off from the outside world, pulling the blinds to symbolically shut everyone out … I was desperate for a sure way to end my life, one that I was positive would work and not somehow be scuppered.
It would seem there was no way out of this pit. What could I offer and what could be offered to me? What reason was there to live another day in this hell hole I was experiencing? On this particular occasion, the most unlikely answer and slightest glimmer of hope came through me deciding that I had a reason – the reason being to take a shower. Strange, I know, but sometimes it’s in taking the tiniest step that the direction can change and a way out of those dark thoughts is made possible. A distraction of thought or a small step to find there is another way. On this occasion it was taking a shower and then the next day managing to take another shower. Such a small step, but something to celebrate. I got out of bed, I had a shower. Maybe the next step would be to open a window and feel the breeze of fresh air just for a few moments and then another small step of standing outside for just five minutes. There is no shame in taking small steps. None at all. I wish I could underline that a thousand times.
I remember another time, whilst wading neck deep through the swamp of life, everyday things seemed somewhat overwhelming. In normal circumstances, I find it helpful to make lists. A weekend list might look something like this:
- Do the laundry
- Go grocery shopping
- Fix the kitchen door
- Call the gas man
- Mow the lawn
- You get the idea …
During this particular period of feeling ‘screwed up’, I remember writing a list just to get me through the steps for doing the laundry. The list went something like this:
- Get up
- Eat breakfast
- Load dishwasher
- Collect laundry
- Sort darks from lights
- Wash lights
- Dry lights
- Wash darks
- Dry darks
It took me two days to complete that list.
Depression sucks. It can suck the life out of you right from your gut and can make everyday tasks completely overwhelming. It can leave you curled up in the corner of a room sobbing over laundry. When we manage to take a small step or check off an item off a small list then surely we should celebrate that we found our reason for the day.
Sometimes I can find a ‘reason’ by distracting myself. Remembering what I enjoyed when I was younger; be it stamp collecting, a space hopper, a pogo stick, drawing or painting. It doesn’t matter what it was. I try and write a little list of something that I used to enjoy … that’s all, a simple list that offers a reason.
The crux of the matter here is, we all need a reason for ourselves … only then can we begin to think about taking care of our loved ones.
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