*Trigger warning

I’m sitting here at my computer alone in my house weeping because of this article I just read called Life Hacks For The Depressed Amongst Us.

Number #6 on the list reads as follows:

“Hint 6: Want to do it? Do it.

If at any point during your depression you discover that there is something you ACTUALLY want to do that is not:
a) cripplingly expensive
b) involving mind-altering substances
c) harmful to recovery
JUST GO DO IT. Wanting to do things is so fucking rare during depression, it’s not even funny. Want to on-demand that film? DO IT. Want to try on hats? DO IT. Want to eat frosting from a jar? GO TO TOWN. Your mental illness and all the shit you have to do will keep.”

I kind of can’t stop crying because of this hint for two reasons:

1. I don’t remember the last time I did anything that I wanted to do. I don’t remember wanting to do anything. I remember doing stuff because if I didn’t I would feel bad. I remember doing things that I have to do or feel I should do. I remember doing stuff that other people want and I feel an obligation to accompany them. I can’t even come up with something that I want except…

2. The one thing I can think of that I wanted to do and just said “Fuck It” and I “Just Did” was have a bun with my cheeseburger on December 26th which pretty much led me down a path of relapse faster than I could have imagined. Do I not get the luxury of being able to do the thing I want because I’m an addict? Did I forfeit my right to “eat frosting from a jar” because it would be “harmful to recovery”?

I think the answer to both of those questions is “yes”.

It feels so freaking unfair. Yeah I could go do the thing that I want but the consequences would just set me up for another more arduous journey in a few months. Every winter that I’ve suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder (which is probably every winter although some years I’m managed without medication – like last year when in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have gone without) I gain weight. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, but always something. In March or April as the depression starts to lift I just hate myself for having put on the weight and I struggle to get it off again.

That’s it’s own kind of pain, distinctly different from the depression, but it’s still pain.

What do I want to do?

I want to get a cheeseburger and fries for lunch (with the bun).

I want to eat the last two pieces of birthday cake in the fridge.

I want to not go to the “Meet the New Principal” event at my daughter’s school that starts in 10 minutes (I guess I get to do that “want”!)

I want to get back into bed and sleep even though I am not sleepy.

I want to eat cheetos and chips and a loaf of warm sourdough bread with butter spread all over it.

I want to eat cookies and frosting from the jar.

The only things I want to do I can’t do. No wonder I’m depressed.

I think I should end this post on a positive note. Finding the grace and peace to do so is just beyond me right now.