How Cleaning My Room Helped Ease My Depression

IMG_6805 I have been deep deep in the throws of depression lately. Barely able to move or breathe, wondering if there was any point to moving or breathing. I haven’t gotten out of bed much in the last week. Even with Christmas around-usually my favorite time of year-there just hasn’t been much to celebrate. I didn’t even bother decorating this year. Every Christmasy thing I did this year basically felt like I was going through the motions because I knew that I should.

I haven’t even been reading much. I feel bad that I haven’t been reading much but I haven’t.  Even doing that effortless thing that makes me happy has just felt like too much lately.

Yesterday I didn’t go to work. I should have. I need the money with all of my medical expenses climbing through the roof and me unable to pay my rent this month. But I couldn’t drag myself out of bed.

I stayed in bed most of the day. I played games on my phone and slept. Tried to not think about how much I really should have gone to work while also relieved that I didn’t. Yesterday would have been Hell at work because of the holidays.

Late in the afternoon, my boyfriend-who recently lost his job-left the apartment to go apply for a job he found that he wanted to apply for in person. He asked me to vacuum while he was gone.

 

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I haven’t cleaned much lately. I love having a clean apartment. I feel really stressed when the apartment is dirty but, just like everything else, I just haven’t been able to make myself do it lately. But he had shaved his head and there was hair all over the floor. So I vacuumed. But I wanted to put down carpet powder first and that takes a few minutes to saturate. So, while I waited for it to permeate the carpet I started cleaning my room which I had not cleaned in a year.

It started out doing little things. I was only going to clean the side of my bed because there hasn’t been a walkway there in months so I was always tripping over trash and clothes and whatnot. Then it grew and grew and soon-with a small break to vacuum the rest of the apartment-my room was spotless. I cleaned out my bedside drawers. Took out about eight Walmart bags full of trash, dusted, cleaned out under my bed, vacuumed, found clothes that I had been wondering where they had gone, unpacked a box that has been sitting in my room since moving here which gave me room to put my clothes hamper so its not in the middle of the floor, hung up my Oblivion map, hung up my calendar, made my bed and when all was said and done I felt better.

I need to do the rest of my apartment. I’m going to do it in stages over the next couple of days. Probably my bathroom sink today, my living room tomorrow and my library the day after that.

I still feel heavy. I have a knot in my chest and stomach that won’t go away and a huge part of me just feels like everything I do is just going through the motions because I don’t have a choice.  But waking up this morning and not having to hopscotch across my floor made me inexplicably happy.

Sometimes all you have is the little things, I guess. And sometimes that’s enough.

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#Project Semi Colon

 

 

2016 Here I Come

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2015 has been a rough year. 2014 ended with my long time, love of my life boyfriend leaving me for someone else. 2015 didn’t start any better. Within a couple of months I developed health problems which kept me (and continue to keep me, though to a lesser extent) from working. Which means that I have been living paycheck to paycheck and not always able to pay all my bills. I was put on a medication that, when not destroying internal organs, made me gain a ton of weight I haven’t been able to lose yet and I’ve always been self conscious about how I look but I’ve never hated how I look quite so much as I do now.

Seriously. I sit in front of my full length mirror and cry because I know I used to pretty-ish and I used to be skinny. Objectively I know that I am more than my weight and more than what I look like but that’s not much comfort when I look in the mirror.

So I am not sad to see 2015 go. I will celebrate it’s end. I know that nobody wakes up on January  1st different than they were the night before, but new beginnings matter. Yes, you can have a new beginning on a Tuesday in the middle of the month-it’s just a mindset. But, for a lot of people, January 1st triggers that mindset. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

That being said I have some small goals for 2016. Nothing extreme. Things I am already working towards that I just want to renew my passion for. Some things I hope that saying out loud and sharing them with people will help me with.

 

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1. Find something that fulfills me.

This is both an easy and a difficult task. I find that it’s hard for me to make time for things I really like an am passionate about if they require a lot of work. It’s a lazy, destructive mindset and it’s one I am working on changing. I don’t know what that extra hobby that is going to fulfill me will be yet. I want to be creative of some sort but I lack skill in most areas. Maybe I will find a class to take that will teach me something I want to learn or sign up for an online course. I find that my depression is somewhat abated when I am learning new things but typing “learn something new” into Google isn’t all that effective. I downloaded an app that was recommended on a Reddit thread that is pretty effective at teaching you a language (more reading than speaking)  so that’s a start. I just need to find a crafts hobby that can fulfill the creative side of me that I might be able to be good at.

Maybe I’ll start making candles or something…

2. Find a job that I don’t hate going to.

I know that unless you have your dream career very few people like getting up in the morning for their jobs. I’m not looking-at this point-for a job of my dreams. I just want a job that I don’t feel is taking my soul to go to. One that I don’t find it so hard to get up for. I haven’t liked a lot of my previous jobs but I have never been so stressed it made me sick or felt so okay about not going in to a job before. Before my current job I never called in sick. Ever. But I was never as sick as I have been since starting here. I need a change. Badly.

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3. Read more.

I’ve been in a bad reading slump for this year. Like I said, it’s been rough and, as much as I love reading, with how depressed I’ve been it’s been hard for me to focus on a book for very long.It’s much easier to lay on the couch and stare at the T.V. than to read.  This is the first time in years I have read as few books as I have this year. It’s actually embarrassing for me. I have a plan, though. For 2016 I am participating in Pop Sugar’s Reading Challenge (you can find it here) I am doing the 2015 one because I liked it better than their new 2016 one.  I printed out a copy and stapled it to pages I printed out where I can write down all of the books I’ve read for the year. They’re set up like this:

January

_______________ by____________ finished on __________

I can write down the details of the book after checking them off on my list. One thing I learned from NaNoWriMo is the satisfaction of doing updates like that. Of working towards a goal and knowing how long it would take me to get there if I wrote such and such words per day. I’m trying to adopt that into other facets of my life where I want improvement like reading, writing the rest of the year and exercise.

 

Most of my goals-which can be broken down beyond the above categories-just go to feeling better about myself and my life. I want to stop feeling useless and stupid and lazy.

My depression and anxiety will not be abated by  these small changes I know but, I’ve noticed, when I am doing things like the above-things that make me a better person in my own eyes, my depression has a harder time getting a debilitating hold on me for very long.

So those are some of the things I will be working on as we end this awful year and start on a new one.

Here’s to new beginnings.

-M-

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