When I first started Unfuck Your Habitat, it was a housekeeping blog very squarely aimed at lazy people. Mostly because I am one. As the blog gained momentum, though, I started hearing from people who were using the fundamentals to help them battle through something more serious than laziness: mental illness. More specifically, depression.
Now, I’m no stranger to depression. I don’t make it a secret that I have issues with depression and anxiety, just like I don’t make it a secret that I have poor eyesight and a bum knee. Depression, however, has its own set of related life issues that my poor arthritic knee has never caused. And one of those is the self-perpetuating cycle of depression and a messy home.
When you’re in the midst of a depressive episode, cleaning your house comes in on the List of Things You Want to Do somewhere after taunting a hive of bees and tap dancing on live television. Things are awful. It’s a struggle to walk to the bathroom. Making dinner seems more impossible than advanced calculus. Anything that’s not your couch or your bed might as well be hot lava. And so the mess builds around you. I purposely use the passive voice there because when you’re depressed, it seems nearly impossible that you’re contributing to the chaos of your house, because that would require energy, and you sure as hell don’t have any of that to spare.
Then you look around your messy house. And you feel worse. You feel more depressed, because now you’re exhausted and hopeless and can’t pull yourself out of bed, and on top of that, your house is a shithole. Which makes you feel useless on top of everything you were already feeling, and then probably overwhelmed on top of that, and quite frankly, having that many feelings at once during a depressive episode is like being crushed by a ton of bricks. So your depression gets worse, and your mess gets worse, and the two keep feeding on each other and it seems like there’s no end in sight.
this post really helped me.
here is my before kitchen. it is the worst room in the house, so instead of completely embarrassing myself and posting every room, I thought I would just show this one. yesterday I wasted another day. i didn’t get off the couch. i didn’t eat. i didn’t even smoke a cigarette. i stayed on the couch for over nine hours. every hour convincing myself i would get up, i would go to the grocery store. i would do some laundry. clean the living room. i would finally start on the check list of things i have had piling up on me for the past two months. i would do anything.
my depression gets worse when i’m alone. i expected to be around people these two days i have off. i’d make the most of them because other people would force me to get off the couch. to get dressed. to be useful.
but everyone was too busy. plans got cancelled. my boyfriend and i don’t have these days off together (like we have had in the past). it was just going to be me.
so i ditched myself.
and i felt terrible.
i have been getting sick. no health insurance has left me with a full set of wisdom teeth and tonsils. both of which desperately need to be removed. so on top of my depression and anxiety which keeps me in bed any chance i get to be productive, i get sick every couple months and stay sick for weeks.
i really wanted to go to the doctor this year. it was my secret new years resolution. to get help. to tell someone. to really make an effort.
but i don’t seem to have many options.
right now i just want to work on having more good days than bad days. doing something everyday that i can be proud of. knowing that i didn’t waste another day. another day i deserve. another chance to be happy.
i wasted yesterday. today is mine. and tomorrow i just have to try even harder.
my house will be clean today. because i deserve that.