Depression doesn’t discriminate. Nor will it dare be scared off or squelched by your successful career, fancy house, hunky husband, or adoring family.
You can have it ALL, and depression will still ensure you that your mind is in shackles and your life is in shambles.
For some, it looks like being bed-bound for days, too gripped by sadness to tackle the reality of waking up. For others, it’s staring at the overflowing trash and mounting dishes, unable to lift a finger to deal with the mess. It can look like drinking to drown the sorrow; bingeing on pizza and donuts to numb the pain; or partying ’til 4am, praying the distraction will act as a bandaid for the gaping wound inside.
For Ali Claydoll, it looked like not showering for six days.
“This entire shower took what’s left of me and exhausted me,” explained Ali, after she finally mustered up the strength to get in the tub and turn on the faucet.
“Mental illness sounds so cute when you put it on a post with a person staring in the distance saying they’re ‘depressed.’ But depression is more than just sadness,” she continued. “It’s raw… it’s not showering for 6 days… then collapsing in your bed exhausted when you finally do.”
Ali’s viral Facebook post detailing the raw reality of depression has struck a chord with thousands of people who have been in her shoes.
Read Ali’s post in full below, and be sure to share it with the friends and family in your life facing their own battles with mental illness:
“I haven’t had a shower in 6 days.
Today I finally took one, not because I smelled but because my mom took me home and told me to go take one instead of hanging out with me more today.
I’ve been changing my clothes, using dry shampoo, keeping my smelly parts wiped down, but I haven’t had a shower in 6 days.
My husband looked at me and asked why I was home so early and I told him, he didn’t even know, because if you didn’t know, married couples with jobs often take separate showers, and people with depression are super good at hiding it.
I turn the shower on to warm it up, the pipes are a bit old in this house so I take a second to get myself amped for this shower and let my hair down from its two-day old bun.
My hair tumbles down my back in a tangled mess as if to remind me that it too has seen much better days.
I step into the shower with anticipation, my stomach is filled with anxiety like this water will make me melt.
I begin with shampoo through the knotted brambles of my naturally thick and curly hair. I haven’t combed it, oiled it, nothing. My hands fill with strands of dead hair falling from my head.
Depression causes hair loss.
Stress causes hair loss.
Not taking care of your genetically beautiful curls causes hair loss.
I keep them from going down the drain and clogging it by sticking the hair to the wet walls, the globs of hair that I will grab and throw away at the end of my shower.
I run conditioner through my hair and let it sit. It’s been 6 days. My hair is in need of moisture.
The time I dread is here. My body is oily, the water practically is gleaning off of me. It’s disgusting, disappointing. I have armpit hair. Other hair.
I lather up my loofah and begin my work. Between my toes, behind my ears, under my buttocks, in my groin area, under my breasts, inside my belly button, and behind my ears. Anywhere bacterial overgrowth happens is where my scrubbing intensifies. The water is scalding hot, because I know I’m disgusting right now. There’s no other way of saying it. It’s been 6 days since I last took a shower.
I rinse off my body, watching the water twirl down the drain.
I grab my face wash, desperate times call for desperate measures. I also haven’t washed my face in 6 days or longer even. They don’t reccomend using it in the shower but my face is so greasy from not even showering.
I pump it in my hand and massage it into my face.
The oils and debris was so gunked up my face became a cool rush. My entire face was being attacked by this face wash, I could only imagine. I splashed cool water on my face and then turned the shower completely off.
This exhausted me.
This entire shower took what’s left of me and exhausted me.
It had been 6 days since my last shower….
Mental illness sounds so cute when you put it on a post with a person staring in the distance saying they’re “depressed.”
But depression is more than just sadness.
It’s raw… it’s not showering for 6 days… then collapsing in your bed exhausted when you finally do.