First I Cried on the Pants, Then I Cried on the Dresses | My Depression Secret

Ok. I’m about to get extremely open and honest with you.

Ready?

I’ve gone back and forth between being public about this and not, and after the last few minutes I’ve decided it’s time I talk for my own mental health.

My husband made a conscious decision to go to grad school and live as far away from his parents as possible. Me? I chose a school and bought a house within 30 minutes of my parents because of my innate guilt and apparent self-hate. Since my husband’s parents are so far away, he only sees them about once every 3-4 years. (You see who the idiot is here.) My family traveled to meet his family in 2014, so you can guess whose turn and what time it is now.

We invited my in-laws to stay with us this summer; and due to guilt and the amount of time that has passed since we saw them last, we decided that it should be a lengthy trip. Well, the magic number we ended up deciding on is two and a half MONTHS – the entire summer. I knew we had made a mistake when my husband had not even an inkling of excitement leading up to their arrival, and when we laid in bed that first night staring at the ceiling together in silence and regret.

Fortunately they’re great people and I really am lucky to have married into the family that I have. But that does not mean that living with other people doesn’t come with its challenges. I really do enjoy their company; they’re very simple and easy to please, and they don’t complain about anything. Quite honestly, it’s not them – it’s me.

Truth be told, they’re practically strangers to me as I’ve only spent three weeks with them previous to this. Living with ‘strangers’ is difficult because you have different eating demands and schedules, preferences, hobbies, etc. to get to know and accommodate – and there’s also a lot of pressure. Being the ‘traditional woman of the house,’ even more pressure is placed upon me that is practically invisible.

It is my unspoken duty to clean the house, do the dishes, plan meals, do the laundry, vacuum, pack for trips, change the linens, etc. – things that are necessary but not everyone thinks to do. That’s disregarding that I also own a business, run a blog with multiple social media platforms, write for other blogs, and more.

Uh, plus I also have really fucking debilitating depression.

I could barely keep my head above water before they arrived when there were only two of us to worry about, but now I must admit that I’m struggling. (I can’t even imagine what parents go through on a daily basis.) Every single day is a challenge for me, and my morale is not improving.

As an empath, being around so many people all the time is constantly draining me. I have truthfully felt a difference in my exhaustion. Even at times when I don’t necessarily feel like talking to anyone, I can’t be rude to my guests and must engage with them. I feel terrible because it’s not that I don’t like them – my depression makes me feel most comfortable alone and I sometimes have to force myself to speak to people. Times that I just can’t engage, I guiltily work in our bedroom and hope no one notices me gone. I constantly feel as if I’m in a play. Like I’m an actor going through the motions and hiding in my green room until it’s time for my next scene.  What’s worse is I have to hide my medicine from them – they don’t know that I use cannabis.

So I’m just not comfortable in my own home.

The pressures of being a wife are challenging enough, but the added depression is really weighing on me. Even on days that I can’t possibly imagine getting out of bed, I still have to force myself. Not only that, but I have to look presentable by putting a bra on, getting dressed, doing my hair, and brushing my teeth before I greet them every morning. For some people with depression, that’s about as easy as solving world peace. But somehow I’ve done it every single day for the past 37 days.

I keep an orderly house, there’s no junk – but there’s usually dust on picture frames, cat hair in a corner or two, and probably a sticky juice droplet somewhere in the kitchen that someone failed to clean up. However, before they arrived, the house got a complete makeover and was thoroughly cleaned top to bottom – I have to make a good impression on my in-laws their first time at our house, right? I even had the couches steam-cleaned. But even as prepared as I was, unfortunately, I’ve pretty much failed at everything I’ve tried to do since.

I totally had a plan to dust, mop, change linens, etc. once a week, vacuum every other day, and keep the place spotless every day. Well, we can dream, right? That plan fell flat on its face after about two weeks. My husband even helps with cooking and other tasks, but I just mentally can’t do it all along with everything else.

The pressure has become so immense that I’m instantly in a bad mood the second my husband asks me about our next meal. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to leave. I feel like I’m not in control of my own life anymore. Everything I do is dictated by making the next meal, keeping things clean, and making sure everyone is happy. I’ve got too much going on. I am overwhelmed.

And when I am overwhelmed, I am depressed, and I do nothing.

What prompted this post, however, was me crying on my closet floor before 10am this morning. My poor husband asked something simple of me, I got overwhelmed, so he did it himself which caused me to feel useless and guilty. I immediately had this overwhelming feeling to close myself in our walk-in closet and cry in complete darkness. So I did.

I can’t explain it, but it is immensely comforting to me to sit in the dark. The last time this happened I was sitting on my husband’s side of the closet and remember clinging to his pants on hangers above my head as I cried. Today I wept clutching the chiffon and satin of my low-hanging dresses. I sat there in complete darkness sobbing with my eyes closed and ruminating on my failures; frustrated from being paralyzed by simple, everyday tasks.

I’ve slacked on my Big Cleaning Plan, I make it downstairs later and later each day, dinner sometimes isn’t served until 11pm, I snap at my husband for asking for breakfast pizza, I struggle to make conversation, I spend too much time isolated in our bedroom, and I’m no longer my cheerful self.

But I swear to you, I am sorry.

I want to be an amazing wife.

I want my in-laws to be proud that he chose me.

I want to keep a house that I’m proud of.

I want the strength to handle my responsibilities.

I want to be happy.

 

I’ll get there.

27 thoughts on “First I Cried on the Pants, Then I Cried on the Dresses | My Depression Secret

  1. Oooh 😲 boy..
    You are putting too much pressure on yourself…
    and I do understand that feelings so well..
    It’s hard when you feel like a stranger in your own home 🏡..
    When you can’t be your true self..
    you feel an invasion of privacy .. and you are trying too hard to impress your inlaws..
    Hopefully they leave soon

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  2. I understand completely. I find when I am overwhelmed I get extremely anxious and then very tired. All the things I needed to do do not get done and all I feel I have the energy for is to climb back under my duvet. Sending you positive vibes, however bad you feel you are doing, it’s our own worst critics perspective. You will be doing absolutely fine. Sending positive vibes your way. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m sure it’s amazing!

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  3. First of all- great piece, secondly Amen. I understand depression and anxiety, I understand being an empath and only feeling comfortable in your own home, although I don’t run a business to boot. You must be truly exhausted! Sending you energy and positivity 😊

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  4. I feel your struggle! Before my husband and I got married we lived with his parents in their basement. We moved there, mainly because my depression took over my life so I quit my job and we started our one income household. There was nothing wrong with the way his parents did things, but I did things different. I struggled going upstairs to eat while my husband was at work because I wasn’t comfortable enough going through the cabinets. We lived there for about 8 months and my depression did not get better, nor did my comfortability. Even after 5 years of marriage I still struggle looking in their cabinets when we visit them on weekends. You are so not alone here!! I feel you! I also know what you mean about not sure about sharing or not because I don’t know if they would see what I said and be upset by it. I don’t want my issues to cause them issues, ya know? Great post, I am glad you shared.

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  5. My daughter (20 y.o.) suffers with crippling depression too. I don’t have words of encouragement (because they can’t undo what you’re going through), but I do offer my compassion. Thank you for putting this to words.

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  6. Even without crippling depression what you’ve opened yourself up to is overwhelming. Your home is YOUR home. Having to cater to the in-laws for 2 1/2 months is no easy task, regardless of their demeanor.

    Sorry you’re going through this.

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  7. There’s an old Italian saying. Guests are like fish. After 3 days they stink.
    2 months is way too long. Stop being so hard on yourself. No one is perfect even though we are told we should be. Get a calendar and mark off the days until freedom. Do your best and that’s all you can do.
    Depression fucking sucks, that’s all I can say about that.

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  8. Struggling to get out of bed; wondering if getting cleaned up is worth it; being overwhelmed by the simplest tasks – these are all things that define my own life right now. I started reading your blog because of your openness and honesty about your depression, and reading my own actions, thoughts, feelings today . . . I don’t feel “better”, but I do feel less alone. My wife, she tries to understand but doesn’t, dealing as best she can.

    So thank you for writing this. I know how hard it must have been – physically and emotionally exhausting! I guess I just wanted you to know that I KNOW because I read my life while I read your post this morning.

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  9. It’s so hard when being a guest or having visitors whilst having depression or anxiety. I struggle with a few days let alone two months! Honestly you need to take some pressure off yourself, prepare meals as a group and not just you, even suggest they should do some cooking to give you a break! When it comes to Laundry I would have let them know where the washing machine etc is and how to use it…if they wanted a housekeeper they could have stayed at a hotel! You’re also allowed time to yourself, it would be pretty outrageous to expect you to always be with them socialising. Hang in there!

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  10. Definitely not optimal and it usually does not allow for people to reach their potential, but it’s ok be depressed. It’s rather common. There are so many things one can do to counter it. Being open about it and with whatever so called professional will tell you, exercise and studying up on nutrition will always be anyone’s best option. You and everyone else will always be a work in progress, it’s ok. You’re ok, I promise.

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  11. I havent had the experience of such a long visit, that’s way too long for a visit. I have had the same feeling years ago during only a couple of weeks long from a couple. I had the same feelings, and would have ended up the same if it had been any longer.

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  12. I once crawled under my bed to hide and cry because I felt like I couldn’t possibly face a single person. Sometimes it’s doesn’t feel like enough just to close the bedroom or bathroom door, it’s not enough of a cocoon to feel like a safe space. Be gentle with yourself.

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  13. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have such crushing depression. But I very much enjoy writing and so know how cathartic it can be. I hope that it helps you put some order to your chaos. The strength with which you deal with your affliction is an inspiration, not just to those who have it, but those who wish to understand it so we can maybe help those we know that are suffering. I am constantly amazed with your candor in all your writings. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope that by doing so, you’ve found a measure of peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The closet is telling you that it is okay to take a time out. Even if it just 10 – 15 minutes a day, find a quiet place and just sit and breath deep. I struggled with this for years and unfortunately life put me on a time-out for a week. I can now recognize when I need one and am amazed each time how much calmer and relaxed I am when I take one. Be good to yourself!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Crying also lets out some of the stress chemicals that have built up in your body. Please, ask your husband to help with some of these chores that are weighing you down. Maybe you don’t feel like eating out, but what about ordering pizza or something else, so you don’t have to cook. I wish you could tell your in-laws that you have depression, then maybe you wouldn’t feel like you have to put on a smile & get everything done like a “normal” person. Everything is so much harder when one is in the middle of a depressive spell.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I tend to treat challenging situations these days as opportunities for growth. This one is like a Class A motherload of an exam for you by the sound of it. Take care of you and learn the lessons – I’m sure you will arrive on the other side as a stronger and more capable person. Much love ❤️🦋

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I get bad like this. Take care of yourself first, and if you can’t do that, then let someone else take care of you for awhile. Try not to feel guilty, this is an illness and not something you can control. You can do this! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Suggest something to take some pressure off yourself. Maybe a group meal with all taking part in the prep and cooking, takeout, or delivery. Even if just for a night, it’d give you time to breathe. It’s tough having company for even a day or two, much less 2 1/2 months. You deserve a break.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. My heart aches for your pain. I so get this. My own story has some similar traits, so I do understand this wrenching depression you are experiencing. I wish I could come and help you and I get how you can’t ask for help. So many ‘ways’ you could do this or that or whatever, when really, that advice sometimes doesn’t help at all. Sending you good thoughts and blessings from the north, like a breath of cool air on your heated cheek.
    You will be in my heart and prayers-

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I get you. My depression leaves me completely unable to cope with people, concentrate, or accomplish anything. I hit the bed only to emerge on occasion to shower. Severe depression is completely dehabilitating.

      I hate that you’re going through this. It’s pure torture. Fucking mental illness.

      Liked by 1 person

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