Monday, December 18, 2017

The Most Important Thing I've Done Is Survived; and Sometimes, I Even Live

When you battle depression, you know that often the best you can do is just get through the day. You may not be breaking any records, or busting through your to do list, or even showering. Some days, getting through the day is what matters most. If you lay your head down at night in order to be here tomorrow, you've accomplished the most important thing you can - you've survived.

For those who don't battle depression or chronic illness, I think this is a difficult concept to truly understand. For them, surviving is second nature. They don't have to think about it, wonder if it'll happen again tomorrow.  They don't go to bed at night with the sole accomplishment of still being here. Instead, they look at the things they haven't accomplished: the house needs to be cleaned, they need groceries, they have to do this or that chore or task. And don't get me wrong, my anxiety rails through all of that too. Repeatedly. But the thing is, if I weren't here, if I hadn't made it, it wouldn't matter one bit how clean or not the house was or how full the fridge was.

And so, I admit, that sometimes my priorities seem a little "messed up" to the observer. The house desperately needs to be cleaned and I'm planning a hike or a day trip or a drive to the beach or something of a similar fashion. Or I'm relaxing, listening to the rain or enjoying the sunshine on my face. Sometimes, I go for a drive simply to enjoy the warmth of the sun (streaming through my new panoramic sunroof!!), the open air, and the musc. And understandably, people probably feel, If you're going to be out on a drive, could you maybe stop and pick up xyz while you're at it, because you're running out?! And yes, I probably should. I probably need bread or beans or a replacement light bulb or something from CVS or whatever it is. And I may stop and pick it up (ok, usually just the CVS, big stores give me anxiety). But you know what I really need? I need to have these happy, sun and fresh air filled moments  to pull me through when I cycle back down. If not, I'm spending all of the times I actually feel ok filling obligations, only to slip back into depression without being able to remember what in life there is to truly enjoy.

And so I perhaps do not make a very good adult. I do not see the point of spending the majority of my time doing the mundane things that will never be my legacy. I'm not saying I'll live in a pigsty or starve, but I just simply don't get the need to have this all perfectly done, all the time. And maybe there's a compromise. Maybe I can run into Whole Foods once a week, spend 30 minutes tops  (I can honestly get all my shopping done in this time), and have had healthy meals all week. And when I am running out of TP, I can stop at CVS for 10 minutes max. No need fora full day dedicated to these things.

I realize this is frustrating for people in my life. I wish I was content to do the everyday adult life things. I really do. It would be so much easier on those around me. Not to mention I'd have a full fridge on a regular basis, and a cleaner house. I know it seems irresponsible. And I'm trying to find a balance, I really am. I'm not sure where that lies.

Maybe it's just me. And maybe it's the fact that I feel my time to actually feel alive is limited, since illness hits me so often. But I just don't think I'm going to lie on my deathbed wishing I'd done more chores. I do think, though, that if I stick to those "have to"s, that one day I'll look back and think, What did I do with my life? And moments of life can be so precious, that I can't imagine why I'd want to live that way.

Me in Ronda, Spain, after a sunrise hike. The ultimate in enjoying a good day!

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