I have been on the struggle bus for a year. My brain, despite various medication adjustments, just doesn’t want to climb out of the Abyss. My focus sucks. Brain Grenades are a constant. Stillness is prevalent. My routines are the only thing I’ve held on to.
But those routines don’t keep the chaos at bay. And when you ignore everything but cat care and taking out the kitchen garbage – the rest of the home slowly dissolves.
Every weekend I am sure I’m going to implement some improvement to my living space that will make it less chaotic. Because I know that this mess is feeding my depression. And every weekend, I don’t get out of the bed. And things continue on, slowly creeping down the tube.
A few months ago I convinced my boss to give me remote access to the work systems so I could do some work at home. It seemed like that would make certain stressful days less stressful. The idea that I could always finish it at home seemed like a thing that would make me leave work on time. And that would make me feel more mentally healthy.
But that just made a new thing to add to the pile of things I SHOULD do when I my brain was stuck in stillness and my body was stuck in the bed.
Then 3 weeks ago I splurged on a desk chair because the one I had was deeply uncomfortable – possibly due to having a distinct lean and no arms. Curbside pickups have these issues. I bought a new one at Staples. They shipped it and I wasn’t home, so it was sent to an alternative location down the street from me. No big deal. Except when I picked it up – the box was just big enough and just heavy enough to be hard to handle. If it had been smaller, it wouldn’t have been a problem. If it had been lighter I could probably have managed – the but the combo made it hard.
The box lived in my car for 2 weeks as various friends offered to come over and help. But that meant the apartment needed to be cleaned before I could accept their help. So I refused. I finally bought one of those clever straps with handles. I had it for a week and still didn’t drag the damn box upstairs.
Then finally – last Thursday – I just did it. And, like all such things, it turned out to be much easier than I expected. The strappy handle was a miracle – heavily recommend to anyone.
But then the next obstacle – unbox and put together. The plan was to do it on Saturday. Nope. Then Sunday. I tricked my brain on Sunday by going to the Farmers Market. It made me get dressed and get moving. Once my brain was in that mode, I managed to unbox the chair. But not assemble it. So now – the apartment was not just fuzzy with cat hair – it was strewn with cardboard, plastic wrap and chair parts. I went to bed depressed.
The next morning I was feeling a bit better. Perhaps the small step had helped me. Then my friend Chad started to text me. Chad does more in an hour than I have done in the last year. I wish I was as competent at ANYTHING as Chad is at every damn thing. As we bantered over text and he shared his various chores I began to get a less heavy feeling about all my tasks. And so I put together the chair.
I felt like a DIY god. I get that feeling every time I have to assemble something and manage to do it. I actually like assembling these sorts of things. They are geared toward my skill level – ie none. And yet somehow I manage to have a fully functional chair or whatever – when I’m done.
I took that accomplishment energy and threw it into doing a bit of noticeable improvement to my apartment – vacuuming and sweeping. I pulled together a couple of loads of laundry but was defeated by a neighbor doing it when I took it down. I was going to do it this morning and completely forgot until I typed this. My brain. And then spent 4.5 hours doing work from home. So I have a head start on what promised to be 2 days of busy busy work.
Today I woke up felt so much less of the weight on my shoulders. The constant low level anxiety dreams still exist. But the waking up was much less like the world was ending. And day itself seems perfectly doable.
Sometimes clearing one obstacle, even if it’s not an obstacle you think is causing your problems, clears the path to a better place. I hope this is path lasts a good long time. It would be nice to get to a better place and stay for awhile.