Cleaning used to be my thing. It was something I did a lot and it made me happy when I was done. I loved it. I know, I know, what an odd thing to be happy about. It was just something I could do extrememly well. Sometimes, I woul remove everything from a room, scrub the room from ceiling to floor, and clean everythjng I took out and put it all back. I called this a reset.
When people become depressed or go through a major life changing event, some things change and others just fall to the wayside. While a few of these things come back for the person, others never will or are never viewed quite the same way. I have said this before, when I began my own fight with depression, I totally “checked out.” No, it was nothing like I lost my marbles or anything. I just went inside my own self and didn’t do much of anything but work and breathe. I didnt read or write, I only kept the house picked up. It was no sparkling like I usually keep it. I didn’t even play my mind numbing puzzle games on FB. I was just a shell of a person. I felt bad and missed the things I enjoyed most. I missed the happy I enjoyed when spending time with Cal and the kids. I even failed to appreciate a breath of fresh air when you first step out into the sunshine. That is the best way to describe the misery one suffers inside when depressed. I know its not clear but lack of words and the ability to describe it are nonexistant for me.
Slowly, I have pulled myself out of the darkness. Alkng the way, I notice little things and say to myself “Damn, how long had I been checked out?” Or “Jeez, I was gone for a long time.” For a moment, that epiphany makes me see what I went through from an outside perspective. After that, one of two things happen. 1. If I am in the middle of something, it gives me inspiration to finish the task or, 2. I take a good look at my surroundings, become overwhelmed and tired, and want to about face to return to the darkness. One is a good feeling and two is horrid.
Yesterday was a mix of the two.
I had begun a reset of the kitchen. Easiest room to do. Not any furniture to move. No nasty bathroom germs. Easy as pie. Well until you get into the throes of scrubbing corners and areas you take for granted in every day life. Still, it was not so bad. I think I would have finished but the boys decided to have kne of those “I don’t like my brother today” days and l they kept me llaying referee every twenty minutes. After about the millionth time breaking up an altercation, I was done. I had about 2/3 of the kitchen done. I was utterly impressed with the progress I had made and up to that point. My brain was even doing a happy dance and singing joyously. “Guess who’s back! Back again? Michele is back! Tell a friend!” But that last trip to the boys hallway to pry them apart from a scuffle just poured ice cold water on that blue flame. It sucked.
I walked back into the kitchen and took inventory of what I abd already done. I even checked the cabinets I had organized to try to find the mental state I had only moments before. Gone. I felt I had lost a friend. The last third of the kitchen was before me. Sad and not complete. Whats worse is I could tell what was immaculate and what was undone.
I simply could not finish.
I took a class in college knce. I forget the name of it but it was a Crisis Management psychology class. The teacher was a social worker and had lots of real life examples she shard with the class. She told of a woman who had lost her children due to the housekeeping conditions of her home. I remember that she had some sort of mental disorder. They told her they would return her kids to her if she would clean and organize her house. Over the next month, she worked hard and when they called her for follow ups, she happily told them she was making great progress. When they went for the follow up home visit, she opened the door and happily took them to the kitchen. While the house looked exactly the same as it did before, she opened the kitchen junk drawer and began to tell the social workers that she was finally able to get it under control and the drawer was perfectly organized. In this womans mind, that was the only thing “wrong” in her environment. She eventually did get her kids back but ut qas a struggle for her because she was so overwhelmed by her surroundings that she only could force herself to do the drawer. (Ok…that was a BIG digression but there is a point.)
I am afraid of becoming her. After I lost the gumption to finish the kitchen, I became tired and sad. I have not had the “reset” bug in me for a long time and who knows when it will come back. I hate depression. I dislike the person it has made me and I want the darkness to give way to the light.
What do YOU think?