It’s not talked about enough – mental illness. There’s nothing to hide, though.
Yes, I have depression. Yes, sometimes the world feels so heavy that it is actually difficult to function. Yes, anxiety can be overwhelming.
No, it’s not just me whining or being lazy. It is truly debilitating and something that I know I need help with. I am not ashamed – I have a mental illness.
Through counseling I realized that I needed to find reasons to wake up and get out of bed. It’s a hell of a lot easier to stay in bed, face half covered, hiding from the world.
But dogs need to pee, rat needs to be fed and chickens need to forage.
And so I get up. The moment I stir, I get my face cleaned by happy Buckley boy and get pummeled by Kiba who is excited that I am alive. Tsuki and Kit take turns jumping on me as I make my way down the hall. Janie sits and watches, tail wagging. They opened their eyes today, to face the day, and I joined them.
Neville the rat runs back and forth in his cage because he knows he’s about to get his pellets, grapes and peanuts. He kisses my finger tips while I hand him his goodies, his little paws on my thumb and I feel his whiskers on my hand. He is alive, he is thriving.
I then force myself to go outside, even in cold rain, and hike to the back of the yard where three bustling, clucking ladies are waiting to taste the dew on the grass. They bust through the coop door as I open it and they’re off to live another day. I pick through their bedding and fenced area to clean out their mess and refresh what needs refreshing. New things, dry things, clean things.
Then the dogs expect their walk, in any and all weather, because this is what we do every day, and this is a new day… this is living.
It’s life, this beautiful chaos. Life is the reason I get up – their lives are the reason I wake up in the morning. Perhaps it wasn’t so subconscious that I surrounded myself with beings who depend on my ability to function. So even when I don’t want to, I force myself to move and breathe.
Somedays I rely on my partner to do what needs to be done for our furry and feathery family, and somedays he relies on me. Most days we do it together. It’s day by day, we can’t promise one another more than that.
It is for them that I continue, because I believe it will get better. I also believe it will get harder. But then it will get better. It’s cyclical, my depression, and I just have to learn to go with the flow… I have to remember to keep getting up because I have a reason to.