The thing with my depression is that I never know when I’m going to start feeling down. Because of my (wonderful, life-saving) medication, I generally feel pretty good. I can go to the grocery store and not bat an eye, I can empty the dishwasher without feeling overwhelmed, and I can have dinner waiting for my husband when he gets home from work. To the untrained eye, I have it together. About 80% of the time, I act like a normal person, and it’s pretty great.
The other 20% though. It’s different. My college roommate and I call them “funks,” as in, what happens when one day, out of the blue, it takes all the strength you have just to get out of bed. Dishes go unwashed (and so do I). I stay home and in bed as much as possible. We get take-out for dinner. And my daily routine is put on pause until I start to feel normal again.
It sucks, because just last week I was feeling pretty proud of myself for creating a kitchen cleaning routine that was really working for me. Sam is a slow eater, and I discovered a few extended pockets of time during breakfast and lunch when I could wash dishes, wipe down counters, and do some general tidying. This was great because after cooking and dinner prep, the last thing I want to do in the evening is clean up. Knowing I had the time and energy to do it the next day was a game changer for me. No more guilt over going to bed with a dirty kitchen. No more nagging my husband to do the dishes since I made the dinner, looked after the kids, picked up the playroom, and completed a litany of other mundane chores throughout my day at home.
Monday marked the start of my Spring Break at school and I took that to mean I had license to do absolutely nothing this week. I thought this attitude of freedom would be refreshing, but instead, it became the start of a funk. I didn’t have to get out of bed, so I decided I didn’t want to. The dishes piled up on the counter, and the TV was on constantly. I began spending more time online, pinning things to Pinterest and piling things into my Amazon cart. I knew I was in a funk, but I didn’t know how to stop it, or even if I wanted to.
Finally today, I feel better. The funk has passed, or at least, the worst of it is over. My outlook is brighter and I’m even contemplating taking both kids to the grocery store with me this afternoon (I said contemplating—in all honesty, I probably won’t). I just hate that life seems to stop when these funks come on. I hate that I revert to my previous self, someone who couldn’t handle the day-to-day pressures of being a stay-at-home-mom. Worst of all, I hate that when I’m in the throes of a funk, when I feel worthless and hopeless and useless and so, so alone, I still can’t pull myself out of it, no matter how hard I try. I just have to wait for it to go away on its own, and sometimes late at night, when I toss and turn in search of the blissful oblivion sleep brings, I worry the wait will never end.