My House is Killing Me

My house is making me depressed.

I have struggled with depression since middle school. I hated those early years, hated myself, wanted to end it all.

I was never unable to get up and do during those years. In fact, I got up and did a lot. I was a straight-A student. A cheerleader. A party girl. An anxious ball of moodiness. But, I grew out of that kind of suicidal depression as I grew into adulthood. Thank God.

Now, I struggle with a new flavor of depression. It's the one that stops me from getting out of bed, prevents me from doing laundry, buying groceries, or taking a shower. It is the kind of depression that isn't filled with sadness as much as disabling my ability to function--to do.

This new depression does not follow me to certain places, which I was unable to figure out until a little ah-ha moment today. At BlogHer, I didn't feel that inability to get up, even after 3 hours of sleep. I didn't fall to that overwhelming need to nap the day away. I didn't feel the need to hide in my room, even though I knew none of the 1,000 attendees when I arrived. I wanted to go, and do, and be with the people. I wanted to look nice, smell good, participate in life.

Why? Perhaps my depression was lifting. Right?

Wrong. When I got home, it was back. I retreated to my room. The laundry piled up. The fridge remained empty. The sleepiness returned. My suitcase remains unpacked, the swag strewn about my room, the hair unwashed, and the kitchen filled with dirty dishes.

I muster up the energy to do small bits, less than the bare minimum. I start a load of laundry that might make it to the dryer in a day or two, sooner if the kids or Hubbby step in. Same for the dirty dishes, the mail, the piles that surround me.

Then, today, I realized, my depression lifts when I am away. Not away from my family, but away from my stuff. My house. My chores.

Something about all of this responsibility overwhelms me.

We do not live in a large house. It is small, even by Bay Area standards. So, it is not the scale that makes it overwhelming--it is the stuff, the disrepair, the home improvement projects that I started and never finished.

My house is my albatross.

I don't know how to fix it. I just know how to stop trying. But, I also know that when I stop trying, it gets worse. And so goes the cycle of my depression.

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