I’ve been having a very hard time making myself take a shower. There is nothing like knowing that your hair needs to be washed, trying to make that happen all day, and then realizing, at bedtime, that you’ve failed, again. Now, as I’ve remarked earlier, we don’t want to shower when we’re sick and this is just a part of the grand disease known as depression. I get that. But somehow, that doesn’t make me feel like any less of a failure.
It’s the Little Things that Seem Overwhelming with Depression
I have problems with lots of the little things. Opening mail, for example. You would think that tearing tiny pieces of paper and reading letters would be relatively simple, but it’s not – at least, not for me. For me, I just think about the mail and I get overwhelmed. I actually have to talk myself into actually opening little envelopes.
And while this could be driven by, say, an inability to pay bills, for me, it’s not. For me it’s just mail, in and of itself. For whatever reason, I just can’t do it.
Feeling Like a Failure at the End of the Day
And I know I need to do things like shower and open the mail. These are normal, everyday activities that need doing. But so often, at the end of the day I find that I haven’t done them – again. And this knowledge of failing at the little things is so depressing. I tend to beat myself up about it.
It’s a Symptom of Depression
As I mentioned earlier, feeling overwhelmed by even tiny things is one of the things that happens to people who are depressed. I totally get this. But this doesn’t make me feel any better. This intellectual knowledge doesn’t seem to seep into my emotional center. It doesn’t seem to chip away at the feelings of failure. But then, I find so often that intellectual knowledge is incapable of beating something as powerful as depression.
Don’t Let Depression Remove Your Compassion
What I think I need to remember, though, is that if I were someone else, I would feel compassion for that person. I would feel like being kind to that person. I wouldn’t consider them a failure. I would consider them someone with an illness that needed help.
And if I would exhibit that compassion and kindness for someone else, then I deserve it too. I need to not let my depression destroy my compassion – for myself. Because these problems really aren’t my fault. They’re an illness. And not overcoming a particular illness symptom on one day isn’t failure – it’s just admitting that the disease was more powerful than me – on that day. Tomorrow is another day. And with my compassion, I can view that day as a fresh slate onto which to write success.