“Where to start” isn’t about telling a story; it’s more about beginning a task – a major one. I need a rebuild, but first it’s about getting out of the hole. The hole for me is my current battle with depression. It’s a deep one, and especially hard to measure.
I managed to shower today (I’m generally pretty good about that as a regular task as my fine hair goes oily if I leave it a day). After every shower, I put on body lotion. It’s as much ritual as requirement. This morning I cried as I smoothed 50p generic baby lotion down my arms, legs, body… I got that far and then curled up in bed again, blankets scrunched up around me as protection from everything. I whimpered and hot tears flooded my clean face.
My housemate heard me from downstairs (I thought I was being so quiet…) and came up to check on me. He smiled and praised me for getting showered. After a few minutes of crying, I mentioned I need to comb my hair… Those of you who know what my hair looks like after a washing know that I am the reason science developed tangle combs and sprays. In fact, I still have the same comb my mom used on me when I was not even five years old. I remember her washing my hair in the kitchen sink on 15th Street and then sitting me on a chair to wrestle out my fine hair knots. This is that very comb:
Pete asked if I wanted help combing my hair. He gets points for trying, but it ended up being more of me giving him a tutorial on how wet, knotty, girl hair works.
He took away the dirty clothes pile I’ve been dressing from for days, left me to finish getting ready. I’m sitting here typing this all out because I need to, and I need to make progress. I have been in bed a lot lately, with brief outings among the living, but mostly I am dead inside.
I have a lot going on right now, and I guess I wanted to tell you all that I’m not ok, but I think I will be. Just not yet. I hope to be soon, though, and I think having hope is a start.
To my friends and family: I have been dreadful at writing and calling you all. I love you and hope you have a lovely Christmas/New Year. I’ll try to do better in 2015.
To Neil: I wish things could’ve been different for us. I do.
To Pete: Thank you for all of your support. Not sure what I’d have done without it.
To Jodi and Aaron: I miss you. Let’s talk even more this coming year.
This is a rambling blog post and I apologise for it being a big pile of sad just before Christmas. I won’t hide that I’m struggling, though, and I hope that if you know someone with depression that you’ll take a moment – just like you did to read this – and listen, support, and love that person. We want to be well, we want to be better, we just don’t know how to get out of the hole right now. Send down a cup of tea and a blanket, and we’ll find our way out as soon as we can.