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What Happened When I Cleaned the ‘Dirty’ Parts of Depression

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Let’s talk about the dirty parts of depression. Not only can it cause you to neglect your body, but it can also cause you to neglect your household. That sink-load of dishes. The mounds of laundry you manage to wash, but can never seem to put away. The dusty corners that constantly compile clutter. That annoying little crevice against your walls and furniture that hold debris, to the point of literal infuriation, but you still have no will to detach the hose from your vacuum. You may not even realize your depressive episode is causing you to neglect these things until it is so overwhelming you see no way out.

When I am experiencing depression, I spend a good portion of my days zoning out on social media, binge watching and playing this one silly game on my phone. I have very poor time management and often find myself doing a quick pick-up of the house once a day, though sometimes I skip a day. I do the normal day-to-day tasks of making sure everyone has clean clothes and a dish with which to eat their meals, but I do not efficiently keep up with my house. I have been stuck in this particular funk for quite some time now, so not only has my body and mind suffered; the house has suffered right along with me.

A few days ago, I had one of those great epiphanies; you know, the kind that make you wake the hell up and actually look at things. I believe some people refer to it as a “coming to Jesus moment” — maybe if I really clean my house, I will feel a little better about life.

So, I started cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning. I folded and put away just about every bit of clothing my family of five possesses, I am now the proud owner of a nearly empty sink and my bedroom is no longer a hoarder’s paradise. I say that last part jokingly, but it really was getting rather out of hand. I even went through a few of those dreaded clutter zones and organized my office space. I have been cleaning for days and I’ve just about got everything back in order. Tomorrow, I will be putting that vacuum hose to work, tackle those aforementioned crevices, and all will be right with the world. Well, the part of the world my house occupies.

I am exhausted, but I do actually feel better about the current state of things. I feel less weighed down by my surroundings and can breathe a little easier, knowing I finally accomplished a few things I had been putting off. I am still searching for the end of this mental tunnel, but having a clean physical path is definitely helping.

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

Originally published: April 2, 2019
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