Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Monday: Perfect Timing

Sometimes you happen upon things for a very good reason. I had a rough night; I was sick and barely slept, and when I did fall to sleep a bit it was on the couch so I could be as close to the bathroom as possible.

I spent most of this morning and early afternoon on that very same couch, trying to piece myself back together for work, chores and the household fix-up HUBS and I had planned for later today.

The only thing I could really do with any consistent focus was finish my April issue of O Magazine. There, on page 169, was an article by Lauren Slater called Getting Lighter. In it, she talks about her decades long depression and how it made even the simplest of tasks (taking a shower, putting on non-pajama clothes) become more and more difficult; and how she's striving to feel better by making sure she looks better (new clothes, new hair cut, a well-made-up face even though she's only sitting at home writing...).

Now, it's confession time. I am sometimes so exhausted just from being alive and trying all day long not to panic or worry or get sad for no good reason, that I frequently skip bathing. Not for one day; hell taking showers every other day on a regular basis would be excellent for me. I sometimes skip showers for days at a time; four or even five to be exact.

I find bathing tiring in a way that no personal grooming should ever be. Admittedly, about 70% of this is me being woefully out of shape and actually (dammit, I'm confessing again) getting winded when I shower. The other 30% is my desire to not be reminded of how out of shape I am by seeing myself naked and sweating through my shower because of the mild, mild cardio I get from it.

Also in that 30%? Not wanting to move. Never, ever wanting to move.

I'm entirely too comfortable sitting, all day every day. And for me bathing isn't just jumping in the shower, oh no. It's a whole series of exhausting steps: cleaning the bathtub, taking off my clothes, bathing, drying off, putting on lotion, putting on new underwear and clothes, cooling off (even if my shower/bath was already a cool one).

I am trying to do better, I honestly am. The thing that has struck me since starting medication for depression again is that it's almost worthless without my effort. This is probably why I've had few real successes in my life (lofty dreams and unfinished plans, acquaintances and few friends, jobs but no fulfilling career to speak of).

I'm scared to move. I'm scared to try. I'm scared to fail.

The giant-ass white pill I'm now taking isn't the cure-all. I am.


Barbara Hockley said...

That sounds hard. Beautifully and honestly put. I feel like I've just sat on your sofa with you. You are the cure, you just need to embrace it (oh, so easy to say!)

Susan Cooper said...

It's confession tome for me too. I've been there and it's a reach b***h. I work at it everyday. Somehow I find a way to make it better and so will you. :-)

Tracey Nolan said...

We have SO MUCH IN COMMON. All these years later, it still shocks me sometimes. It's true though - nothing makes me feel better than doing The Thing I Do Not Want To Do (usually taking a shower and leaving the house). But motivation can be so damn hard sometimes.

MK Slagel said...

You are definitely not alone on the skipping showers struggle. I fight that battle every day, but I have learned that after the shower is said and done and I am dressed and my make-up is done, I feel better about myself. I don't fear leaving my house as much and I am more ready to take care of chores and errands. Undressing can seem impossible but redressing can become a miracle.

JeriWB said...

I hear what you're saying and have phases where I feel a bit like this, though not to such a degree. I can usually get pissed enough at myself that my fear takes a backseat.

Citygirl said...

Barbara: Thanks! When I'm writing about personal stuff I try to write like I'm writing in my journal; no holds barred an telling the truth.

Susan: It is so much work! It feels like a job I only get paid for in mental health!

Tracey: You too?! It seems like you're always trotting around chatting people up and being the social butterfly. See, this is why I write about these things, we all need to know we're not alone.

MK: So well put. It's like the sick part of my brain stops me from remembering how much better I'll feel after a shower & jaunt outside. Tricky sick brain...

Jeri: Yup, sometimes getting mad at myself is the only way to force myself into the world. I'm working on getting to a place where that's not necessary!

Tracey Nolan said...

LOL! I do trot around a lot. But it's not always easy to get out the door. All of my anxiety related posts have garnered the most's true...we do want to know we're not alone.

cassi said...

I've also been exhausted just from being alive, failing to not panic, worry, or get sad for no reason. I end up screaming at my husband and crying. Somehow he picks me up just enough that I can move on afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I know how you feel.
I have become quite accustomed to a bath when I am unable to shower. It really is weird isn't it? All you have to do is stand there, add a bit of soap and voila you are done. And yet, it is so damned hard to get from that couch or bed and just do it.
I am now forced to shower for pre-school drop off and put a face on. Funnily as there is a purpose I seem to find it easier. Maybe, I am just better right now.
I hope those white pill start doing a better job for you.


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