I Got Dressed Today (and I Don’t Think That Bar Is Particularly Low)

I don’t want to brag, but I’m a big goal setter, and I usually accomplish my goals, too. Last night, for example, I thought about what I really wanted for myself today (it’s important to plan ahead, you know), and I decided I’d set a goal to Get Dressed. Friends, I DID IT. I got dressed today! All the way dressed, including panties and shoes, because when I do goals, I do thorough goals.

I realize this sounds like a Setting the Bar Low piece, and it is, I guess, but it also isn’t. It’s been hard lately to get up while it’s still morning, to wash my face, to brush my teeth, to shower more than once/week, and, frankly, even that often feels like a chore. I mean, I like being clean, it’s just that that’s becoming more of a memory or an ideal at this point and not so much a reality. 

I’m not worried, yet, about depression rearing its head. To be clear, that’s exactly what it’s doing, but I’m still winning, and this is just part of it. A new skirmish in an ongoing war, but I have depression outgunned for now.

Last night, I just wanted to lay on my couch, face down in smashed Cheerio shards and wispy dog hair, prone and unmoving, breathing through the corners of my mouth. I managed to make it through yesterday, but barely, and I wanted today to be better.

Now, if I had my druthers, I’d wave my magic wand and be All the Way Better, Right Now. Like the magician who reappears after her trick in a puff of smoke, a slinky sequined dress, and stilletos, hair perfectly coiffed and hand upraised. TA DA! Sadly, though, my wand is on the fritz, so I have to try for better the old fashioned way. Incrementally, which is a real bummer. 

So I set a goal. One thing about today that I wanted to be different than yesterday. I picked Wearing Clothes. I wanted to pick wearing clothes, grocery shopping, writing, actually responding to emails instead of reading them and intending to respond, showering, scheduling, budgeting, and cleaning my room, but I know better. One thing at a time, Beth, for sustainable change. One thing at a time for a lot longer than I would wish. One thing at a time because, in a shocking twist, Something Sometimes is often healthier than the All or Nothing I prefer

In conclusion, I got dressed today, friends. I planned it, I prepared diligently, and I achieved my goal. Rejoice with me! And feel proud of yourself, too, please. Sometimes, reaching for the goals that seem small to others are, in fact, making a choice to live. 

With love,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
10 comments
  1. Thank you for this. Just, thank you.

  2. *waving, with hopes that that’s the sunrise on the horizon kind of dark*

  3. I am sorry you’re going through this, again, but also so happy that I’m not alone! Reading your post I kept nodding my head saying “yup… me too” and that alone is so helpful. I’m not alone. You’re not alone. This is not fun but we’re not the only ones going through it. Thank you for that reminder…. I needed it.

  4. Pssst, if you fall asleep on the ground in your clothes like me, then you wake up already dressed! 😉
    Roofing contractor will be here in about ten minutes so I should at least go take a baby-wipe bath and follow your lead with new clothes. (Roofing contractor, because the hurricane was ONLY four months ago…that’s how I roll.) Probably should grab some protein, too; it turns out that half a bottle of flat Mountain Dew is NOT an appropriate complete breakfast, even if you do wake up with crashy blood-sugar but your husband doesn’t hear you ask for juice and cheese because he’s too busy freaking out that your kid is dismantling her adaptive bed precisely TWO nights after receiving it. That kid is more destructive than the hurricane any day.
    *waving in the dark*

  5. I was at a meeting today with a kid who isn’t doing well at school, and her mom said she comes home, takes a several hour nap, and then stays up late playing on her phone. The adults at the table all made concerned noises and started talking about “sleep hygiene,” then the counselor present wrote in the notes NO NAPS!! just like that in all caps.

    And I thought, “Shoot, there goes my plan for the evening.”

    I get dressed and go to work because I have to, but jeez, it’s hard to do anything else right now. I can’t blame it all on the current political climate but it sure as hell is this constant gray fog over everything.

  6. I like that you got All The Way Dressed. Lately I get out of bed, pull on a pair of jeans ( because it is COLD friends) and make my way down stairs to start the process of hounding the children to “stay focused, kids. Let’s stay on task, please!” It’s not for several hours, often when I’m in the check out lane at Walmart, that I realize I’m still bra-less in a pajama top. And gum and breath mints have pretty much completely replaced actually brushing my teeth. Not sure when that happened, but then I’m not sure when was the last time I actually brushed either. Not everything can make it into longish term memory, you know?

    Keep up the good work, ladies. *waving in the dark *

  7. I do worry about you. My mental health experiences compel me to ask, “Is your doc working with you to regulate your Meds?” Not being nosy, by any stretch – I just wish for some stability for your sweet, sweet spirit!

  8. I totally get this. I think it’s impressive you got dressed. I find that one of the hardest things to do unless I’m obligated to leave the house (and even then it depends on where I’m going). Well done! And frankly, you obviously wrote a little bit too, so it seems you went above and beyond!

  9. Congratulations!

  10. Yes! I too, made the lofty goal to clean the blob away from my side of the bed. I did it! And I made it out of the house today. Which lately, unless it is for doctors appointments or to take the littlest to preschool the two days a week (that feel like torture), I have been content in my hobbit hole. Minding my own knitting and waiting for the sky to fall. *waving in the dark

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