Depression is one of the most misunderstood ailments that plague the world today. Not everyone can process how silently depression can make a home in someone’s mind and claim them. Nor is it possible for every depressed person to ‘snap out of it’ as easily as some others claim possible.
The need for mental health awareness has never been greater, what with it affecting everyone from celebs to regular people and even claiming precious lives, as we saw in the recent cases of chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade’s suicides.
Amidst it all, many people have shared, spoken and written about what battling with depression really feels like. And this Facebook post written by this 25-year-old mother from Indiana, US, hits right where it hurts.
We all sometimes get too lazy to do the chores around the house or maintain our personal hygiene. But for Brittany Ernsperger, it wasn’t laziness, it was her depression that kept her from accomplishing even basic chores.
“This is what depression looks like.
No. Not the clean dishes.
But that there were that many dishes in the first place; that I’ve gone 2 weeks without doing them.”
Brittany hated how her kitchen looked. But somehow, she couldn’t muster the will to clean it up. And believe her, she tried. She tried a lot.
But depression pulled me under. It sucked me in. Like a black hole. Rapidly, sinking quick-sand. I walked by them morning and night and all day long. And just looked at them. Telling myself that I could do them. Telling myself that I would. And feeling defeated everyday that I didn’t. Making the depression only that much worse because not accomplishing something that needs to be done is failure.”
What was going through her mind every single time she saw the mess her home was in?
“Worthless. Failure. Piece of shit. Incompetent. Stupid. Lazy.
All things that roll through the mind of someone with depression. All. Day. Long.”
But depression wasn’t Brittany’s only kryptonite. There was anxiety too, lurking just there and constantly reminding her of everything she needed to be scared about….
Being scared your husband will leave because he thinks you’re lazy. Being scared to let people into your home because they’ll think you’re nasty. Feeling like you’re failing your kids because for the 3rd night in a row you don’t have any clean dishes to cook dinner on… so pizza it is. Again.
It was bringing to front a woman, a wife, a mother’s worst nightmare….
“And the worst part of it all, it’s not just with the dishes. The laundry, cleaning, dressing yourself, taking a shower, dressing your kids, brushing your and their teeth, normal everyday tasks. It all becomes a nightmare.”
Anyone who has suffers or has suffered through depression, or is tactful enough to try and understand what a person goes through at such times, will know the amount of strength it takes to accept what you’re going through.
At this juncture in her post, Brittany makes a very powerful point about strength and weakness and how depression makes you distort your understanding of the two.
“Depression is something that ‘strong’ people don’t talk about because they don’t want people to think they’re ‘weak’.”
As she concludes her post, Brittany, who herself is struggling to keep her strength up, offers some of it to anyone else who might be going through the same.
“You’re not weak. You’ve been strong for so long and through so many things, that your body needs a break.
I don’t even care if the only thing you did today, was put deodorant on. I’m proud of you for it. Good job. I’m in your corner. I’m on your side.”
For her, it’s not about seeking attention or getting people to feel sorry for her. Believe me, nobody suffering from depression wants THAT from others. All she’s trying to do is share the real deal and be there in solidarity for others like her who might need a little assurance.
“I’m not looking for sympathy, not in the slightest. But I am letting everyone know that I’m here for you. I get it. If you need someone to talk to, I’m always here to help.”
Brittany’s Facebook post has gone viral, as it rightly should have, for describing the struggle in such a real way.
Many people have shared how this is exactly what they’ve been going through, what they’ve done to get through it, and thanked Brittany for laying her heart out like this.
Thank you, Brittany, for sharing this. The fact that the dishes have been washed proves how strong you are. And here’s hoping you find all the strength and support to get through this.