My last shower was 2 days ago. I am still in the clothes I slept in last night, and there is a good chance I will sleep in them tonight too. I have managed to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast but nothing else. I have spent the day laying in bed, watching T.V and when necessary, referee the boys’ squabbles. Anything else would require too much energy and effort.
Above is the start of a post I wrote last week. I wish I could say things are better this week but they aren’t. However, I continue to try, sometimes even making progress. Today I have had 2 square meals, am dressed, and even have a touch of make up on. Yesterday I showered, dressed, left the apartment and made dinner. Feeding my family a home-cooked meal and sitting down at the table with them to eat is something that has happened less than 20 times in the 9 months we have been at this place.
Living in this basement apartment, away from all our friends, without the majority of our belongings and without a yard to play in has greatly influenced my depression. Likewise the lingering issues with the house have had the same effect. The original closing date June 2nd has came and went, the new scheduled closing is tomorrow and once again we will be missing that date. We are still hopeful that things will work out soon but the not knowing, feelings of being in limbo have been excruciating. That all said, the depression doesn’t seem to be plateau like I would expect after being in this same situation for so long. Instead it continues to evolve, intensify, and manifesting in ways I have never experienced before.
Comparing ourselves to others is something we all do, women in particular are conditioned to do so from a very young age.Nothing good comes from it, and even though many of us make it a point not to, every one of us has had those moments when you just can’t help yourself. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I took a long hard look at why I was suddenly running from people and situations I normally didn’t, even in my worst bouts of depression….that is until now. Depression is a evil illness and will do whatever it can to extend it’s stay, including convincing you that everyone has it better. Thing is, I can’t be convinced of that. Having an invisible illness (or I guess multiple illnesses) has taught me that no one is spared from having bad days, problems and things I know nothing about. So with the comfort of knowing this, I went about trying to determine what it was I was comparing, why couldn’t I face things, and I figured it out. Two of the comparisons that have been weighing me down the most includes one of my most favorite people and a contributing factor to the isolated feelings I discussed in Solitary Confinement.
My (soon-to-be) sister-in-law, Ashley has always been a safe place for me. We get along, I have never felt uncomfortable around her and she is someone whom I know I can trust with anything. Furthermore, in bad times I know she wont take more than I can give. Yet I found myself pulling away, not even going for a visit to see my nephew. I couldn’t face her, and once I realized that, the reason quickly hit me. Shame. Not for avoiding her, although I do feel bad about that. Shame because she is what I could never be. Ashley is amazing y’all. She is kind, smart, beautiful and she is a spectacular stay at home mom/housewife. She gets up every morning and makes my brother breakfast, she irons his shirts, cleans, cooks and is raising her son like an expert. Ever since Scott was born, that was my dream. The first day Mark went back to work I even made him a lunch early that morning when I got up to nurse, however that was the only time. I could blame it on the Chiari, but the truth is I am not housewife martial, no matter how much I wish I was. I didn’t realize how much shame I was carrying around about not giving my family what they deserve until I saw Ashley give her family that. I am not jealous of Ashley (except for the fact that she can exercise, as I am of anyone that can) I am genuinely happy for her. The shame is on me, all on me, to carry or to figure out how to eliminate.
Shame has also came up in going places. It isn’t just my depression keeping me in my dungeon of an apartment. I am paralyzed with fear of running into someone I know. Someone that will surely ask about the house, or my health. People that have moved into their dream homes, people that have their own health issues they are struggling with or overcoming. Our lives are completely different, even though we have similarities, we are not facing the same set of circumstances, yet I can not help but compare. When comparing I once again find the shame. Shame that we picked the wrong loan officer. Shame that we lost the first house we were in contract with. Shame that we went through a foreclosure. Shame our credit score isn’t high enough that buying a house would be easier.Shame I have put off essential medical appointments. Shame I am not exercising (double edge sword there, unable to but feel I should). Shame I don’t have the money to try all the options available to me. Shame I don’t fight for answers like I used to. Shame there is more that I could be doing for my health but I am not.
Although the depression has led me to despise myself the way that I do, I am afraid that the shame is here to stay. Intellectually I know that only so much is in my control, nevertheless my vault of shame is crammed with all of it. I just hope I have the energy and desire to rid myself of the shame I can control.
*Ashley- I love you and I hope you will forgive me for writing about you. Oh and being such a jerk and not hanging out.*