"The Shower Thing"
September 2, 2021
So, my shameful shower secret is that I don't want to take them. Only a few people know about this problem. Well, now everyone will know.
When you're depressed, everything seems a monumental effort. The things that used to give you pleasure, feeling shower fresh and ready to dress and be off to work to start your day, none of that exists any longer.
It's not only the joy of feeling clean that no longer exists. Now, you really think about all those basic hygiene tasks you took for granted all your life. You always did them before because that's just what you did to care for your body. You never had to think about them and it never occurred to you to question them.
Now, anything that requires any effort, and everything requires effort, spawns an extended process of pondering. You lay in bed and ponder and ponder and ponder on how hard it is going to be to actually do that thing you know you're supposed to do, you know you have to do, before you get up and do it.
And the more you ponder, the more overwhelming it all seems, and you become exhausted just laying in bed thinking about how you have to get up and take a shower. And after that, brush your teeth. And after that, get dressed... And after that get in the car... And after that get gas because you're on empty... That's a lot. Way too much.
So, you continue to lay in bed and force yourself to stop thinking about the thing that is causing you such distress, and do whatever it is you need to do to keep from hating yourself so much you want to die. Because how twisted do you have to be to not want to take a shower? And the easiest thing to do is to simply roll over and go back to sleep.
I need to shower today. My friend is coming from Louisville and I'm picking her up at the airport. It will be nice to feel fresh and free of any worry of body odor. Or.... maybe I'll just use my wipes all over and wear a hat to hide my unwashed hair. Which, by the way, takes just as long as a shower. But no. I'll take a shower today. It's time. It's been a while. Less than a week, but more than a few days. It's time.
Showering, which used to be a joy in the morning, which I used to do without even thinking about it, has become a hated thing. A thing I actually have to psych up for. A thing I force myself to do. I try to tell myself I'll feel better after. And I do feel clean after. But I don't feel better enough to want to repeat the same behavior again tomorrow.
Depression will steal your dignity, your personhood, and your life.