I should be at the local installment of the March For Our Lives today. I should be out there, supporting those kids and raising my voice for a cause I believe so strongly in.
I’m not. I’m in my living room, in my pajamas and bathrobe, drinking one mug after another of hot tea while I blow my nose raw, racked with disgusting coughing fits, shaking with chills.
This isn’t my fight, though. In fact, I’m part of the enemy.
I am 100% on board with these kids, but I am guilty of not having done enough to protect them.
I’ve been able to vote for over 20 years. I was already twenty-three years old when the Columbine shooting occurred. I have watched silently as one shooting after another has occurred.
I have been outraged. I have voiced my anger and frustration on social media. I have voted according to my beliefs. I have argued when an opportunity arose. I have gone along on the sidelines of the movements, amplifying them in the small ways one can.
And today, when I could be out in the crowds, lending my body to the attendance counts, doing something more, I’m at home.
I wanted to walk in the streets. I even wanted to write a story today. Instead, I’m in my pillow fort.
I know I’m not only sitting this out because I’m sick. I know I’m having a pillow fort day. My body and mind have decided it’s a pillow fort day.
Thus, instead of marching, I sat in my living room and live streamed the Washington Post’s coverage on YouTube. I cried at every speech and every camera pan of the crowd.
I wished I were more than I am and beat myself up for not being enough.
I boasted earlier this week that I had three dates lined up. I only went on one of them. The other two didn’t happen, and I was relieved.
The idea of setting up dates sounds wonderful. The idea of going on them sounds delightful. The reality of doing them, on top of having a busy work week and other social engagements and obligations already planned, threw me into a stress spiral and I think led to my immune system failing on me.
It was too much to have on my plate at one time. I couldn’t do that much. I wasn’t enough.
I’ve entered another depressive cycle. It’s been a lovely month of feeling better, but I’m back to feeling low again.
My cousin is moving in with me in a few weeks. He moved away for a bit, but now is moving back and is going to rent my guest room for a few months.
I know I’ve entered another depressive cycle because my place is a mess and the idea of doing anything about it is positively overwhelming. He’s coming over tomorrow to help me clear out the guest room and prep for his stay a little, so I wanted to spend today tidying up the rest of my home and running errands.
The idea of lifting a finger to try to tidy up at all makes me want to go curl up in bed. Sure, part of it is that I’m sick, but the state of my home is clearly the accumulation of more than a couple days of clutter.
The state of my home screams, “Someone who struggles with depression lives here.”
I know he would understand. If anyone understands how I get during a depressive cycle it’s him.
The only person putting a ton of pressure on me cleaning my house is me.
I’m not a good housekeeper. I’m not enough.
Leaving it messy is a sign of failing at life. It’s a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of how much power I’m allowing depression to have. It’s a sign of me not fighting back.
It’s a sign I’m not fighting depression and I’m allowing it to control me and my behavior.
Wait. NO. I’m not doing it again. I’m not giving in to it again.
I might be sick, but I have enough energy to tidy up a bit. And if I do, if I conquer this challenge, I’ll feel less depressed.
I’ll prove to myself that in this, I am enough.
Fuck depression. I’m not letting it have me this time.
Fuck you, depression. I am enough. And I’m coming for you.