Depression-Repellant and Bathrooms

I wish reality worked better as a depression-repellant.  My ability render mercurial a bad mood just by “counting my blessings” or taking an inventory, or even countering the logical fallacies: eh.  Limp repulsion at best.  It’s that disconnect between what I know and what I feel.  Reminding myself what I already know just doesn’t do the trick.  It doesn’t touch what I feel.

Shifting what I feel has to come from somewhere else, somewhere that isn’t mental, isn’t wrought from air and intellect.  Hard work is good as a depression-repellant.  Sleep is also good.  Cleaning the bathrooms would be a better choice of activity now, to address this current mood, than writing.  I could shift my mood and be a heroine for getting the dirty deed done, or remain sad and still end up with clean bathrooms.  Win win.

I already went running today.  Usually that works as a mood elevator.  Not today.  It just feels like everything is work – nothing seems to go smoothly.  The run was contaminated by negative interactions (both real and potential but averted by skillful evasions).  Hikes of late have been more about evasive maneuvers than enjoying the space-time nowness that the woods can offer.  Tom says he believes I’m depressed.  The word I’ve been using is overwhelmed.  I had a moment at dinner – a fabulous dinner at the local fabulous dinner venue – in which I realized that this funk would make a whole lot more sense if someone close to me had died.

The dogs are needy, the foster dog understandably so, the permanent residents also understandably so.  The teenager is unpredictable and demanding, again, understandably so.  Work (paid employment, that is) is relentless.  Tom is stressed at his job too.  Fall is here and with it many homeowner tasks that need long daylight hours or temperatures above 50 – both in short supply – and everything needs to be finished before the snow flies.  Oops: too late.  First flakes fell here this morning.

I don’t have much of an analysis. I suspect I’ve been infected by election season malaise.  Things don’t look good, and I don’t see much hope.  Regardless of who wins I think we’re in big trouble.  The climate is bad, morale is low.  We Americans need to do some team-building exercises, to get to reconnect with each other and remember just what our common ground is.  Um, what’s our common ground, again?

I took a break from this writing to go clean the bathrooms.  Not to chase the mood away, but because it needed to be done.  It is about the word “and.”  I can be sad and function.  I can be sad and go for a run.  I can be sad and have clean bathrooms.  I don’t have to chase the sad away and I don’t have to court happiness.  I do feel better, my mind calmed by the scrubbing and the rinsing, challenged to mope or dwell while on my hands and knees attacking the shower floor.  As I scrubbed the thought came to me that this is all there is.  This moment, this bathroom, this husband, this career, this political situation.  This is it.  I can be in it – the big It – and be ok with all of it.  Just like that.  No explanation or analysis, just: I can be in this and be ok with it.  Just for a moment, I don’t need it to be different.  I don’t need to be a change agent, a dog rescuer, a hike leader, or anything at all.  Just a scrubber of soap scum on the shower floor.  For a moment, that’s all and it’s enough.

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2 Responses to Depression-Repellant and Bathrooms

  1. Maggie says:

    thanks Heather…read your blog now and then. This really helped. I felt irritable and tired much of hte weekend as the therapist/single mother/friend/fundraiser/consciousness raiser/sleep needer. At bedtime I said to my 6 year old as I do now and then “Let’s recount 5 great things from the weekend…” and he said “and two we didn’t like…” which included for him “and you seemed very cranky. And it scares me.” Ay yi yi. Anyway. Thanks for your post!

    • halia466 says:

      I’m so glad it helped. That, of course, was what I was hoping for, but I think most of us gals have this program running in the back of our brains: “Don’t complain” “Smile” “Act as if…” “Don’t show the ‘bad’ feelings.” I was fighting that too – fighting the “don’t be a buzzkill; nobody likes a whiner” program.

      Thank you so much for reading. Big hugs to both of you.

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