If you or someone you know is in need of immediate mental health assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
A year ago, I was quite sick. I didn’t want to admit to anyone how sick I was, including myself, and it wasn’t until I almost drove myself to the hospital that I realized how sick I was.
As I was stopped at a red light, deciding whether to turn left and drive home or go straight and drive to the hospital, I knew I needed more consistent care.
Every other time I’d gone to therapy, I realized, it was for an acute, immediate need. And once that need seemed to resolve, I’d shake hands with the therapist that helped me survive, and move on, never addressing the larger issues at play with my depression.
Somehow, (friends, family) I got through the one-two punch of holidays and the musical, and once the show closed, I set about finding a therapist that would treat me for the long haul.
Last night before I went to bed, I looked around my home. No dishes in the sink. No clutter on my dining room table. Blankets on my couches neatly draped. Laundry washed, dried, folded and put away.
I thought about this time last year, and while I was never living in squalor, I wasn’t taking care of a lot of small things that add up to making a big difference in my quality of life.
I hate doing almost all of those things.
So in the spirit of this post that has gone somewhat viral off and on for the past couple of years, I present you with:
A List Of Things I Hate Doing But Do Anyway Because They Help Keep Me Alive (not-comprehensive).
- Using a meditation app morning and night.
- Doing my dishes every evening.
- Creating daily to-do lists of 5-7 tasks, and completing all tasks.
- Planning all meals a month at a time.
- Meal prepping on Sundays.
- Budgeting once a week.
- Putting away my shoes every night.
- Only spend two nights a week at home.
- Forgiving myself for creating lists that aren’t in multiples of 5
Holidays are hard. Life is hard. And when I look back on the past decade, one triumph is our collective culture’s admission that talking about mental health helps to destigmatize it. It’s easy for me to write posts like this; it’s harder to click ‘publish.’
But I’m publishing anyway, because right now, at 8:05 p.m. on a Friday night five days before Christmas, I don’t feel like I want to die. Despite this year’s heartbreak, despite major personal shifts, despite not accomplishing everything I wanted to this year (and decade), I’m feeling okay.
But I know someone in this world might not be feeling okay. And I guess I hope that this, or some other brave writer’s work, finds its way to that someone, and that they hang on for one more second, one more minute, one more hour, until those time segments become days and weeks and years.
For a great podcast doing excellent work to destigmatize mental illness, check out The Hilarious World of Depression.