Depression comes in many shapes and forms.
It can have triggers. It can be seasonal or chemical.
In all of its forms, it's a beast that wants to take over your life. This is not a fairytale cartoon. You can't just kiss this booboo.
The beast is not waiting for a rose petal to fall so that life will return in full glory. Sadly, depressed people often make their spaces into dark cocoons. Closing the blinds. Letting dust gather. Piles of put off decisions gather. This might make the sufferer feel better but...
However, I'm not here to put you to shame. I'm here to offer you grace. The grace that I needed not so long ago.
My name is Ruth and I've suffered from postpartum depression and mild SAD. Both had me diving under the covers not wanting to face life. I couldn't be bothered to feed myself or answer the phone during the hardest moments. After seeing a doctor it was discovered that I needed chemical help to fix the first and sunshine in regular doses to fix the second. I learned more about depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts than I care to admit.
I'm a piler. When I don't want to deal with something I stick it in a pile and call it done. Before I knew it my dining room table, kitchen counters, dressers, and every other surface of my house was covered in piles I had no intention of dealing with.
The more piles I made the more out of control I felt. My surroundings were feeding feelings of chaos.
At the time my husband was in the military. Instead of getting me the help I needed, we got orders and moved again. Which actually eased the depression for a while, because it got rid of the stuff I couldn't deal with. It made all the unopened letters something I could throw away guiltlessly. After all, they were mostly bills for a place I no longer lived.
Which brings another huge stressor. Not paying bills drives up depression and anxiety levels. However, you don't actually need to be depressed to get anxious over this one.
I was trapping myself in a cycle of clutter. My sick mind was feeding my sick mind.
When I feel tired, worn, or am getting a cold today, I can see it in my surroundings first. I unconsciously start to pile again. It's plain as day. Today I know that this means I need to take better care of myself. I need to take a moment to deal with stuff. Simply putting things away, throwing things away and clearing my kitchen counters, dresser tops, and dining room table gives me peace. Peace of mind and of heart. Soothes the Beast.
Years later (over ten), my husband got out of the Army and suffered from PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Which in his case was also tied to survivor's guilt and depression. His issues were not chemical but stress and trauma related. Time was needed to heal his unseen wounds.
We quickly discovered that a tidy, slightly empty bedroom made him feel safe and calm. While a cluttered living room could trigger stress. Bi-polar disorder, general anxiety, and depression have all been shown to improve in peaceful, uncluttered, non-threatening environments.
Create a space that is clutter free. Minimalize rooms and items. Just the basics to start. See if your anxiety or depression symptoms ease. Add or take away objects and furniture as needed. Find your happy place. You might discover you have triggers that you can control. Allowing you to come back to life.
Depression is no laughing matter but I hope this can be a piece of your puzzle that leads you to heal.
Asking for help can take courage. If you're suffering from depression you don't need to remain alone. Now is a good time to reach out for help. Whether to talk to someone or to get organized. Please seek help.
Suzanna Kaye is a professional organizer and owner of Spark! Organizing, LLC.
She has special experience with organization for office, financial, ADD/ADHD, elderly, disabled, overwhelmed and special needs. With the belief that cluttered people are some of the most creative and interesting people she knows, she loves working with her clients in a supportive and loving environment. For more information about Suzanna visit our about us page, email info@SparkOrganizing.com or call 321-234-5499
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