Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If Only Swiffers Came in Industrial Strength

Lately I have grown to appreciate the simplicity of the kitchen floor. It's easy to tell when it needs attention -- the more crumbs and bits that stick to the bottom of your feet, the dirtier it is. It could stay dirty for a long time, too, as you could just put on some slippers or not turn on the light to avoid having to think about it. And you only ever really notice it when you are standing directly on it, like when going to fetch a glass of water. Other than that, the kitchen floor doesn't really bother me at all, not when I'm at work, not when I'm driving around -- it pretty much does not bother me more than it should. And I like that.

On Sunday, I took to doing right by it. I swept it and then Swiffered it down. Then afterwards, I stood and marveled at how clean, smooth and shiny it looked. It was as good as new and it took only 5 minutes to get it that way. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and called it quits for the day.

About the same time that I came to appreciate the kitchen floor was the same time that I began wishing depression was more like it. Sure, depression and the kitchen floor have their similarities, but one is much easier to fix than the other (surprisingly, I found the easier one to fix was not depression). Maybe its the startling similarities between the two that trick some of us into thinking they are both quick fixes -- a quick sweep here, the swallowing of that pill there -- but we would be fooled. Like the dirty kitchen floor, depression starts off with just a few crumbs here and there. At first, we try to brush them aside, and since they are out of the way enough, we keep going about our daily lives. Then the crumbs start to accumulate, but because you have trained your eye not to notice them too much, this accumulation goes unnoticed as well. It is not until you can't walk out of the kitchen without rubbing your foot against your leg to get the debris off of it that you realize you have a real problem, a crummy kitchen floor or a very depressed boyfriend.

The challenge is that I want to ask him to take off his jacket, walk outside and shake off all the negative thoughts, fears and feelings clinging to it, but not everything can be solved by Swiffer sweeping cloths.

12 comments:

Chloe said...

Oh, you are such an amazing writer. Do you know that? I always love staying up late at night and seeing what you post. ♥

Depression is hard. So hard. It's even worse, I think, with men. Because most men are fixers, and they want an EASY FIX, and there is no "EASY FIX" to depression. As you said- there is no Swiffer cloth to sweep it away. It is much more taboo in society for men to talk about depression or even treat their depression. It is the toughest of all cookies, if you ask me.

Just hang in there with this, lovely lady. ♥

kanmuri said...

I hope that kitchen will get cleaner soon... Hang in there *hug*

Ashley Joy said...

Hi there. I'm a new follower. My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you and the very nice man that you live with are experiencing obstacles most people in their twenties don't have to face. I've battled depression and anxiety my entire life. Trying to stay out of the pit right now, in fact, and I have nothing like cancer to blame. When I've been in the hole, what I've needed most from my companion is simply their love and presence. And a guilt-free pep talk every now and again. Hang in there, dear. This too shall pass.

2busy said...

The best things in life are never easy...Hang in there! I love how you start talking about one thing and bring it around to something else. Very cool!

Katherine said...

What an amazing post. You are right, there is no easy fix.

Little T said...

I think Chloe hit it on the head. Men don't talk things out and are always looking for a fix. There is no fix to Cancer. Keep your strength up so you can keep pulling him back up too! You are a fantastic girl;-)

The Bug said...

Wow - I've read two posts on depression today (both of them written beautifully). Perhaps I need to look more closely at my clinically depressed husband (he takes the pills, but that's not a cure-all)...

Sobrina Tung said...

Thanks all for the very, very sweet comments -- a very nice way to start my Thursday. And for those of you who've experienced depression in any form, I will let you know when I find the swiffer to fix it. They invented the Internet, I'm sure a depression cure is coming soon! (fingers crossed)

Lyndsay said...

I wish there was an easy way to make everything shiny for you...

Razzberry Corner said...

Hang in there, darling! You're a tough girl. I'm sending a hug your way, and some ice cream, too! Ice cream always makes me feel better, at least for a little bit! ~Lynn

gladys said...

depression does get us all, doesn't it? you'll do well sobrina. just keep your mind stronger than your skin, your soul tougher than your sole. am sure allan is also trying. :)

Erin P said...

Another beautifully written post. So sorry to hear that Alan isn't getting any better with the depression. Wish there was something I could do to help you. Have the doctors given him a different medication yet? I know how hard it is, and how helpless the "other" feels. Hang in there!!!

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