A short story about Depression & Anxiety

 

Sensible

 

 

She woke up with a full bladder, remembering a dream just had where she had wet herself in public. The same urge woke her up frequently, and wondered if this was just life now. Throwing off the covers she went to the bathroom nearly tripping over the cat on the way.

 

8am. Her phone said it was 8am. Why the hell am I awake at 8am’ she wondered? It was her weekend; those were the days she was allowed to sleep late. Just another thing she would have to get used to, along with spotting a few new wrinkles on her face earlier in the week and the constant pain in various body parts, I guess it was inevitable, getting older.

 

It was cold in her tiny flat, so she went back to bed and nestled back in the warm space she had created over night.

 

What shall I do today, she pondered, writing a list in her head of all the things needed to be done. It was a full days work and it would pay to be prepared. Organisation would be key. Because today was the day she was going to be sensible and took pride in that fact.

 

She lit up a cigarette thankful that there had been some left and a mission to the shop hadn’t been on the cards, and looked at Facebook, hopeful of any notifications, that someone may have thought of her overnight or perhaps an invite somewhere.

 

The little red notification was missing, ‘well it is 8am on a Sunday, I guess no one else is up yet ‘she mused.

 

Its not like I can go out anyway, I don’t have the money to spare and I have so much housework to do today. It’s best if I was sensible and stay indoors. This seemed to be becoming a mantra lately.

 

It was too early to get out of bed and start the housework, if it was finished too soon then she would have nothing to do the rest of the day, and if that happened then boredom would set in, and she knew if she was bored her mind would take over and all those negative thoughts would start picking at her again. Its best to be busy, so they all said, so she would keep herself busy… later.

 

Her stomach rumbled, and decided she should get up and make some breakfast. Knowing that the kitchen was full of food was a comforting idea and imagining all the yummy things she could make made her mouth water, there was bacon and eggs and bread.. a fry up might go down well.. or perhaps an omelet, something a little healthier, it was definitely time to eat healthier. Though it was very cold in the flat, and she wasn’t quite ready to put herself through that ordeal yet, plus the kitchen was a mess, and it would have to be tidied it first. It was definitely too much effort for 8am in the morning.

 

She lit up another cigarette, that should take care of the hunger for a while, plus its good to wait until I’m starving, I could do with losing a little weight anyway. I really should start doing yoga again. Maybe Ill get the mat out today. Another mantra she had started repeating.

 

Staring at her phone, scrolling through the hundreds of posts on Facebook only made her envious of the many people doing so many pro-active things, wishing she could be so motivated. Perhaps I’m just lazy she thought. Lazy and fat. I should definitely do something about it. I have the whole day ahead of me. I should be sensible, the thought resonated in her head, drowning out anything else.

 

 

9am. A whole hour has passed and she had done nothing but peruse Facebook and play some candy crush. Her stomach grumbled some more so she begrudgingly decided to brave the elements of her arctic flat and navigate through the rough terrain of her kitchen and find something quick to pass the time until the energy manifested to get up and tidy the house. She found the remains of an Easter egg and some hula-hoops and decided that would be adequate sustenance for the time being.

 

Once back in her nest she decided she needed a new show to watch. She had gone through almost the entirety of Netflix already but there must be something she hadn’t seen. It seemed to be one of her only pleasures, watching a series. A great escape to vicariously live through the characters on a TV show, wishing she was as glamorous/fit/interesting as the people she coveted. She supposed she could be if she could only find the motivation to get up. but it was warm in bed and cold out there and the flat felt empty and devoid of any character. It would be more depressing to venture in there. It would only remind her of how she couldn’t afford anything nicer, and how she wasn’t successful enough to provide a more welcoming environment for herself. It was best to stay where it was warm and comfortable right here in bed. Perhaps I could have worked harder to make more money. Perhaps I could have tried harder, her mind mocked again.

 

She found a show she hadn’t watched yet. It was show about superheroes. She liked that genre, it reminded her of being small, imagining that one day she might discover a family secret and that she had been gifted with a power. She never knew what power but it was always a power to help people, it seemed a fulfilling power to have, helping the needy and less fortunate. It was wonderful just to pretend for a while that there was a great purpose for her out there. There was a great catharsis in watching these shows, and it would ignite a small bit of passion inside her.

 

She often wondered if she was depressed. Though never feeling very sad, she just never felt very happy either. It was mostly a feeling of nothing a lot of the time. She imagined that was probably better then feeling sad and decided that was the best it was going to get, besides, she really had nothing to moan about, there were millions of people in the world that were worse off. She should stop complaining really.

 

Whilst watching another episode her phone beeped at her, a message from a friend asking if she’d like to go to lunch. It was a warm feeling being invited out and that someone was thinking of her but also left her with a feeling of dread. She would have to clean the bathroom before having a bath, and then have to dry her hair, which was a loathsome task. Besides, she didn’t have much money and would have to think of interesting things to say to people. She never had anything interesting to say anymore, and then they would think she was boring and most likely not invite her out again. If she had a few drinks then she would loosen up but there was work in the morning and after a few drinks she would probably not stop. She wished she had more self control like others had, plus there was a lot to do around the house today. She made her excuses and decided to be sensible. It was always good to be sensible.

 

By the time the 5th episode of the series has started she realized it was 1pm. Netflix had already taunted her by asking if she was still there, ‘Yes Netflix I am binge watching a series and I don’t need you judging me.’ Perhaps this would be a good time to get up and start tidying the house. Cleaning the house always made her feel better about herself. After deliberated for a while she realized she was sleepy, waking up at 8am was at least 3 hours earlier than she had planned for the night before, which justified the need to nap. That way she would be well rested and ready to go make the house beautiful. A tidy house = a tidy mind. It was very true but the house never really stayed tidy for long, and neither did her mind.

 

Waking from her nap at around 4pm the imagined feeling of being well rested was the direct opposite of what she felt. She lit up a cigarette and debated getting up and starting her chores. Lethargy swarmed around her head so she concluded the best cure for that was to watch another episode of her show until fully woken.

 

She felt bad about wasting the day. She should have gotten up at 8am and completed all her tasks, perhaps read one of the hundreds of books about the house, maybe educated herself more, done some yoga like previously had planned, that would have helped focus her tangled mind. She berated herself for not doing more. Now there were only a few hours left before her partner came home from work and if she didn’t do anything then she imagined he would be bitterly disappointed in her, and she hated more than anything the feeling of letting people down. She was such a waste of space, lazy, unmotivated and unattractive. She figured it was only a matter of time before he realized that and left, it was inevitable. Next weekend everything would change, she would get up and do all the things she had planned to do, it couldn’t be that hard could it? She realized that the same theory had crossed her mind the last few weeks in a row, but next week was different, wasn’t it?

 

The struggle was ongoing in her mind and as only interrupted by a phone call. It was a surprise as her phone barely ever rang these days. It would be easy to imagine that no one really wanted to talk to her, but she decided to accept that real life conversation was a lost art form and it probably wasn’t just her..…She hoped. It was her best friend calling. It made her smile to know someone was thinking of her enough to pick up a phone. She thought about picking up but somehow just couldn’t answer it. Her mind raced, what do I have to say, I have no news or anything to add to a conversation, what if I’m invited out, Id have to think of an excuse not to go without making them think I don’t want to see them, I’m too busy today, I have to tidy the house, plus I don’t have the money. So she let the phone ring off. Ill message her later she thought. It’s better this way. I have too much to do. I have to be sensible.

 

The cats came in and jumped on the bed trying to get her attention, making her known that it must be dinnertime, which was 6pm. How did the day pass so quickly. There were only a couple of hours to get everything done so it looked like she had been a normal human being on her weekend as opposed to a useless slob. She had gotten used to getting everything done in a short space of time to cover the tracks of her sullen existence. It was struggle to keep up those appearances and the mask was constantly slipping. She knew ultimately that her partner wouldn’t judge her, but had an ingrained fear of failing that it made it impossible for her not to care, so the battle continued.

 

The thought of this exhausted her, and made her feel like crying but the cats were relentless so she got up and fed them, realizing that she herself hadn’t eaten anything more than a packet of crisps. Well at least I will lose some weight that way, there’s always a silver lining, the thought made her smile for a second.

 

The cat’s never seemed to pay her much attention anymore, aside from feeding time. Maybe they were bored of her too. She knew it was her own fault, they were kept cooped up in a tiny cold flat and she never had the energy to play with them. It seemed hard to care for something when she didn’t care for herself. She always fed them though so it was a small victory knowing that she at least had mastered the responsibility of keeping something alive, unlike the herbs that were dead in kitchen. If only herbs could let her know when they were hungry by repeatedly jumping on her until she gave in.

 

Looking at the state of the kitchen made her even more unhappy. Why do I live like this, ‘why can’t I be normal, everyone else seems to be able to function like real adults’, the thought made her want to run away, to escape though the only place she knew where to hide was her bedroom so she did the only thing she knew that would protect her, and went back to her duvet cave. It felt warm there, the walls of the duvet acting as a shield from the outside world, where there was a magic box that helped her escape from her thoughts for a while.

 

She surrendered herself to the fact that today just wasn’t the day that she was going to be a champion. Perhaps next weekend was the weekend to wake with the vigor needed to achieve the mammoth tasks set out for herself. There’s always next week, which seemed to be her strongest mantra of all and even though she hadn’t done the housework or any of the things imagined of her day, she hadn’t gone out and spent money. And that was sensible. It’s always good to be sensible.

 

 

 

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