I got out of bed today.
Oh, sure, I know, big deal.
Well, yeah. It IS a big deal. There's this Thing in my psyche that doesn't WANT me to get out of bed, or do anything, so it can tell me how useless I am. When I disobey the Thing and get up, it gets angry and yells at me.
So I got up and listened to the Thing grumble and complain about what a waste of time it was.
Then I did things.
The Thing doesn't like when I do things. It wants me to curl up and stare at nothing and do nothing and feel like nothing. The Thing feeds on all that nothing, and it's always hungry.
So I got up and did things. Maybe it won't seem like much to anyone who doesn't have a Thing in their psyche, but it felt like moving mountains to me. I took trash out. I cleaned a cat box. I swept cat poop up from the floor in the room they've decided looks enough like their toilet to suit their needs because I left the cat box I cleaned for too long. I did dishes, and then some more dishes. I fed the outdoor kitties and pet them. Then I did more dishes because there are always more dishes. I cleaned my toilet. I cleaned the toilet in the hall bathroom. I took a nap. I shuffled through the leaves on the driveway and crunched them under my feet. I made a lap for the indoor cats to claim in the name of Kittykind. I am writing this blog post.
All the while, the Thing is grumbling and growling and telling me how it's too much, it's not enough, it's pointless and useless and so am I. It's not a very nice Thing. It doesn't like for me to feel good about anything, to be proud of myself. It hates my music, photography, art. It hates when I sew. It hates that I figured out how to watch Netflix via the Wii because the Evil Genius's PS2 crapped out on us, and I figured it out on my own.
The Thing likes to hit below the belt. It tells me I'm a horrible mother, that homeschooling my kids is is ruining them, that every person who tells me I should put them in public school here in Redneck Central is right and I am wrong and that I'm not smart enough to teach them. It tells me I'm going to be lonely for the rest of my life because really, look at myself, who would want anything to do with that mess? It tells me everything, everything, everything is futile.
Despite the Thing in my psyche, I got up today. I get up every day. Maybe not for long, but I get up. I wash a bowl. I make breakfast for Sprout or encourage her to make her own. Maybe I sweep a room. Maybe I do a load of laundry. Maybe I run an errand. Something. I do something.
And then maybe I go lie down again, because Thing wrestling is exhausting. And maybe I think about all of the nothing I got done and feel bad. But maybe I don't lie down, because Thing wrestling is constant and I have to remind it, remind me, who's running this show.
Happiness is not a choice. Depression is not a choice. Dragging my tired, depressed self through one day and into the next IS a choice. I don't always want to, but I choose.
Every time I get out of bed, the Thing loses. Maybe some day, if the Thing loses enough battles, it'll quiet down and let me have a few minutes of peace in my head. I'd like that.