I took a shower today.
Why is that notable? Most people do that daily. Well, I literally can’t remember the last time I showered. I could check the chart I keep in my journal that helps me to maintain some semblance of being a functioning human being… but I don’t suppose truly functioning adults need a chart, do they?
But I do.
I do because I can’t recall when I last ran a brush through my hair and now it’s so matted that the bun I twist it into everyday is basically it’s permanent position.
I do, because when I finally got under the water today, all I could do was cry.
Look, we all know it’s normal to be a little bit of a mess. There are Facebook posts and relatable-mom videos that remind us that it’s OK to not have it all together. But let’s face it, it is far less acceptable to be unable to wash your own body. And here I am, a loud voice for mental health awareness, still pretending every day to be far less mess than I really am. I try so hard to hold all my broken pieces together, yet inevitably I fall apart. I don’t say the word depressed, not even to myself, until I’m sobbing in the shower under a mass of tangled red hair. And I think part of the reason that I don’t admit it, that I don’t show the world exactly how much of a disaster I am, is that I then have to listen to all the reasons I shouldn’t be depressed. The rational part of my brain already knows how good I have it, ok? If I could fix my mental illness by sheer willpower I surely would have done it by now. Yet, as I fear the judgement of everyone around me, including myself, there is this incredible, unshakeable man in my life who sees me at my absolute worst and doesn’t bat an eye. He finds his wife crying in the shower of her dream house that he worked his ass off for and somehow “How is she still not happy, dammit” is not even in his realm of possible reactions. Instead, he washes my body and soothes my soul and accepts me in a way that I cannot yet accept myself. He reminds me a thousand times that he adores me, and makes me extra-large ice cream cones and he doesn’t expect me to explain why I’m crying.
And that, my friends, is everything.