Lately, I’ve been a bit depressed. I mostly attributed the downward swing in my emotions to having covid, which I contracted over Christmas, but I think that may have only exacerbated my feelings about a string of things that were happening in my life at that time. Climbing out of that hole has been hard, and for me, that’s unusual. Unless something really harsh has happened to me, I tend to be pretty peaceful about life in general. So, dealing with bummer feelings brought on by what I consider life’s equivalent of paper cut wounds, kind of sucks.
Yesterday, for the first time in years, I found myself living alone. My brother has his new job and his new place now, and Dj is in Colorado, and I sat in the home that I’ve shared with other people for so long, and I felt happy for the first time in a while. Don’t get me wrong. I love both of them. I really do. But as people tend to do, we all ended up in some friction about our places in these relationships, and since mine was always primarily the financial and housekeeper roles, I felt relief. I’m cheaper, cleaner, and not struggling with anything life-altering at the moment. Instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour since I had to work today, I began cleaning, organizing, moving, packing away and as each room started to transform, I could feel layers of depression slide away. Over time, I’d been shouldering responsibilities that weren’t within my control, like my son’s will to live or my brother’s happiness. I’d been ever so careful to not point out things that were causing me a lot of stress in case that small criticism might cause someone to want to drink again or give up on life. And as time went on, I’d eaten a lot of that stress; it’s manifestation was that I was becoming depressed.
I guess if we have any wisdom in us at all, we learn from each and every failure. What I’ve learned from this particular lesson is that I’m not God, and if asking anyone who is dealing with a chronic illness or a drinking problem to clean out the microwave is enough to cause them to relapse or want to go ahead and die, there are much more serious problems going on, and it isn’t you or the microwave that’s going to be the reason they don’t succeed. I think it’s okay for me set standards and expect them met; if they aren’t, then it’s okay for me to not have those people live in my home. My home is the only safe place I have in the entire world; no one has the right to taint it. Most of all. it doesn’t actually help any relationship to let resentment grow in the dark. It was almost lazy of me to not stay on those guys about what I wanted and expected. I was inconsistent, so for them to be confused now is fair.
Oh well. Lessons learned. The happy news is, the simple act of beginning my spring cleaning last night really helped my emotions stabilize, and today, though physically tired, I’m really, really happy.