Thursday, 18 June 2020

Letting Yourself Go

by Matthew Johnstone
When you're in the grip of the horrors of depression it can be very hard to concentrate on mundane things like personal hygiene. Family and friends may start to notice that your appearance may be deteriorating or that flies are starting to follow you around.

I remember that when I was under the cosh I often forgot to use antiperspirant. I also stopped buying clothes. This was partly due to the thought I wouldn't be around for much longer. What use are underpants to a dead man? In three years, I think, I only bought a pair of trainers, a shirt and a fleece.

I also stopped shaving and grew a beard. This wasn't because I was going all hispster but merely because I didn't have the energy to shave anymore. I did manage to buy a beard trimmer however which, with the guard removed, I would use to hack off as much as possible every month or so. I also struggled (for various reasons) to make it to the hairdresser and the dentist.

In fact, everything becomes a struggle with depression. Even getting into the shower - a normally pleasureable activity - becomes a chore. Fortunately I had a partner and two daughters who tactfully reminded me when I needed to reacquaint myself with some soap.

But depression extends its malaise to all things that need sorting: lawns that need mowing, cars that need MOTing, hedges that need cutting and bins that need putting out. Everything weighs you down.

One of the best ways to deal with this never ending list of requirements is to try and break things down into manageable chunks. Just do one thing a day if you can. (And if you can, congratulate yourself.) Pesonal hygiene is particularly important though and should be a way to boost your self-esteem. It's good to be a sharp dressed man from time to time. While you're at it -  smile at yourself in the mirror too.

No comments:

Post a comment

Please feel free to comment.