Bring the army.

I put on a lovely silk dress and got the housework done. Floors hoovered, then bleached, washing up done, sink cleaned, fresh cat blankets out (duck-egg blue, today). Washing flapping gaily on the line. Place tidied. Rogue shoes ushered back into their places.

It seems a minor thing, but it is more important when you’re depressed than it is usually. When you’re lost, you need to feel that you matter to the world, somehow, in some small way. That the world wants you back. You need to feel that it matters whether you sit in squalor or are in a pleasant and comfortable environment, and that it matters whether you are clean and properly dressed. You need evidence that someone is taking care of you.

It doesn’t matter whether it is someone else, or you, who does it. You may feel strongly that this does matter, but it doesn’t. You don’t get your validation from outside, sugar, and if you do, that’s probably the problem right there.

What matters is simply that it is done.

Sitting in the middle of a pile of unwashed clothes and undone washing up, with gravel underfoot, dirty hair, and fast food cartons littered hither and yon, and a thick layer of cat hair on everything[1] is not going to engender a sense of self worth. It is a reinforcement of all your darkest hopes, and because it is visual it goes straight into your brain every second your eyes are open. Nobody cares about you. Not even you. That is a dangerous mantra.

Depression! You may wish to kick me around until I agree that I am nothing. I understand.

But you’re going to have to get up earlier and bring bigger guns, because sucka, I will meet you with an army.

It is an army made of love. Not the hearts and roses kind, but the kind that cleans up sick and does cat litter and brings you bacon and coffee when things are grim. All that stuff can be done stony-faced, it can (mistakenly) be called drudgery, it can be resented. But if you remember that these are acts of love, this is the business of it, the meat and sinew, then they are transformed. I will look after myself the same way I would look after anyone I loved who was depressed.

This is my army, and it is undefeated.

[1] I ought to point out that none of this was the case. Nor will it be.

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About chiller

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist on large data collections for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics from the news and politics to gardening and how very annoying it is, being disabled. Habits include drilling holes about 1mm away from where they ought to be, and embarking with great enthusiasm on tasks for which she is neither physically nor intellectually equipped.
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7 Responses to Bring the army.

  1. Lilian says:

    Go army!
    Cheering you on from the sidelines,
    L

  2. miaoia says:

    Bears innit. x

    • chiller says:

      Depression isn’t bears, for me. It’s more directly dangerous than anything else I face, but I’m quite at home with that danger. It’s not frightening. Bears, for me, are things which frighten me out of all proportion to the actual risk they pose – stuff that triggers anxiety, basically, but which actually has nothing whatsoever to do with the anxiety it triggers – it’s just the hook you hang it on.

      Your bears may differ. ;)

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