There’s an ever-increasing pile of laundry at the foot of my end of the bed. It started out small, just a few pieces of underwear and socks, remnants of a few days. It’s growing bigger and bigger, as each week goes by and James does more and more laundry, and I continue to not put it away. I know I should put it away. Every time I see it I think about putting it away. But that would take minutes. Several minutes. Minutes that could be spent on other things, like hiding under a blanket and feeling terrible.
Depression is an obsession turned inwards. Some people are obsessed and begin collecting, like that one former neighbor of James. Or they are obsessed with a certain ritual, like washing their hands or passing a threshold a certain way. Sometimes they are obsessed with a person, like that one lady who was an extra in that zombie film I was in. She was obsessed with Marilyn Manson.
When I was nine years old, I was sitting in the living room after school watching cartoons. Suddenly something went off. It was like a lightbulb in my head or something. I can’t get rid of it. For nineteen years now.
I’ll sit there and I have to flick my eyes like that. Four to the right, two to the left, three down, two up. And of course if you flick your eyes one way to have to flick it back and so you have to start the whole process over again. It hurts if you don’t. I don’t know what exactly hurts. I have to do it physically too. Even as I’m typing this I have to twitch my pinkies if I feel off-balance. If I type too much with my left hand or something, I have to twitch my right pinkie four times to fix it.
To be honest I have never, ever talked about this because I feel it is genuinely something insane about me.
But depression is an obsession with feeling negative about yourself. So this pile of laundry grows (waves her thumbs four and two) and I won’t do anything about it (twitches her thumb knuckles three and two) and I won’t do anything about it. Maybe because I need to feel bad about myself. Every time I look at that pile of laundry, I think, aha, look, there’s proof that you’re terrible, you won’t even put your laundry away. Like my mind feeds on that negativity. (four and two, four and two, four and four) (one two three)
Sometimes lately I’ll be working and all the sudden the thought will pop into my head: Aren’t you tired? Yes, I am tired. All the sudden I’ll feel absolutely exhausted and I’ll literally sigh out loud from how tired I feel all the sudden.
There was a list of things I was going to do today:
1) Work from 6:30-12:15
2) Take a shower
3) Eat lunch
4) Refill prescription
5) Call doctor, confirm time with therapist
6) Read, take a nap
7) Work from 5:00-10:00
1) Worked from 6:30-11:45
2) Ate lunch
3) Paid student loan
4) Took a shower
6) Worked from 5:00-10:00
Today was a good day nonetheless. I think because I read in the middle of it. A good day.
(pokes to the right four times)
(flicks thumb down three, right four)
It is lovely to get messages from people saying that they love me but really the problem is that I’m having trouble loving myself. I should start by putting away that pile of laundry. Tomorrow though. Tomorrow I will put away that laundry.