Weekly Column

This is What Depression Looks Like

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Posted By christyadams008

I stood in my bathroom staring at the overflowing trashcan. How long had it been since I actually emptied it? Then I noticed the bottle of bathroom cleaner with a fresh rag on top. A well-intentioned effort from two months ago with zero follow-through. This is what depression looks like.

Clothes in traveling bags laying in corners from so long ago the kids have outgrown the contents. Shoes scattered through the house that fit no one, but too lazy to pick them up, find their mate, or get rid of them. Piles of clothes that need to be put away, but instead get moved around from surfaces to beds until they’re all used. This is what depression looks like.

Trash around tables—knocked off, neglected, and ignored. Lost mail on piled high counters with random toys, receipts, and junk spilling over the edges. A couch covered with blankets, backpacks, toys, and clothes that no one cares to put away. This is what depression looks like.

I can make excuses all day long that I spend so much time working on the new house that I don’t have time. But what about the last decade before the house project? What about all those wasted days wearing pajamas and laying around? This is what depression looks like.

As we finished installing the floor in the master bedroom today it was as if my eyes were awakened to the depression that has existed in our old home and lives for way too long. It snuck in over time and excuses, justifications, and good intentions made the non-productivity okay. Wishful thinking,  talking a good game, and last minute shove-and-clean-because-we-have-company-coming-sprints kept us convinced we were doing okay. But we weren’t, because this is what depression looks like.

As I stare 2023 in the face and we are close to cleaning out the old house and starting fresh, I’m glad I find myself saddened by the depressed state of my home. Awareness motivates me to seek accountability and watch for signs of depression sneaking in. Each junky, neglected room will remind me of the need for assigned places of items and routines to keep the house in order.

I don’t want our new house filled with hard and sad. Instead, I desire joy, hope, laughter, and fun. And clean. And organized. And no longer an embarrassment.

How about you? In what ways is depression present in your life and what are you planning to do about it?

(for more conversation on depression, read my blog post: https://christybassadams.com/depression-call-it-what-it-is/ )

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6 thoughts on “This is What Depression Looks Like
  1. Kim Ligon

    Depression for me comes at the time most people find inexplicable–on the heels of my biggest successes. When I got my debut novel finally published last year, I went through weeks where I didn’t want to write a word and was sad that I’d already committed to a second one contractually. I was never depressed going through the submittal and rejection process. I told my husband and my closest friend. She thought it might be like post partum depression. All the planning and creativity and preparation and then it finally happens and there’s no more dream on the horizon. There’s what are you going to do next. Your new house is definitely a new start opportunity. Enjoy!

    • christyadams008

      That’s so encouraging to hear that. It doesn’t come when we expect. Thanks, friend

  2. Michael Keeler

    I believe depression can come in many different forms to different people. Last year I even got to a point of suicidal ideations. Thankfully I received the help I needed. These thoughts for me didn’t start from situations. As I said depression comes in many forms to different people.

    • christyadams008

      Yes it does. And learning what to call it and not ignoring the sign is huge.

  3. Lauren Johnson

    This is so encouraging. I just started a new job that required me to move everything I own. Ugh, the boxes and boxes. I knew that starting the new job and all the changes and upheaval would bring some days of sadness. And I decided that this is the year to embrace it. Instead of putting things in a box and saying, “I’ll deal with it later”, I’m committing to dealing with it now. Hanging on to so many objects was supposed to support me in reminding me of stories and people. But it has become a burden. I can remember a moment without the object. But if I forget the moment, its okay, because I am making room for new moments and stories. One example, I cleaned out the boxes with my old stuffed animals, some I had since middle school. I looked at them, smiled at the memory, and found a way to give them new life. The hardest part for me, and what adds to the depressing part, is that I hate waste. I can’t stand the idea of something that is still useful going to a landfill. So I found a charity that takes stuffed animals and gives them to kids in crisis. A teddy bear I got from someone that I can’t remember – will hopefully comfort a kid that was in a car accident or something. And every time I make the choice to clean out an object, I feel a little lighter. I hope that within 6 months – I will have a cleaner and lighter emotional (and physical) space.

    • christyadams008

      I really love this, Lauren. I, too, struggle with waste. Repurposing, donating, or whatever is better than the clutter and sadness looming overhead. Thanks, sister!

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