November 28, 2018
I cut this off the back of my head yesterday.
Depression doesn't have a lot of visible symptoms, but that right there is one of mine. Day after day of unwashed, uncombed hair, convinced that no one will notice if I just pull it up and cover my greasy, knotty tracks with a head band and messy bun and the tried-and-true aesthetic of "I AM WEARING WORKOUT CLOTHES SO THEREFORE I MUST HAVE COME FROM THE GYM, CAN YOU NOT FEEL MY BURN?"
Between the amount of time I spend piling on the dry shampoo and extra hair spray, getting the shower and actually washing my goddamn hair would probably be a timesaver, but then I'd have to fully confront all my other self-care failures: the weight gain, the muscle loss, the unshaven...everything, my neglected skin and nails. And I'd have to argue with the mean little voice berating me for spending money on nice shampoo. I could shave my legs if I changed out the razor blade, I think, and the voice immediately tells me "you don't even deserve a new razor blade."
And so another day, another ponytail.
I went to brush my hair yesterday because -- oh the irony -- I had a therapy appointment. I've started working with someone new, but she already knows enough about my bullshit I figured she'd wouldn't be fooled by the week-old rats' nest. And that's when I realized chunks of my hair were matted and tangled beyond repair.
I went to therapy with them still attached to my head, and showed them to her when the self-care subject came up. "I'm going to have to cut it off," I said morosely.
"So you'll cut it off," she responded. "You'll get a cute new haircut and that's that."
It's a little thing, really. just a couple snips of hair, could've easily happened to anyone with superfine hair after tossing and turning too much in bed one night, or getting it tangled against the neckline of a coat. (Why does it always do that?) Plenty of people don't bother washing their hair that often anyway. Plenty of people decide long hair isn't worth the hassle anymore and cut it off. A cute new haircut and that's that.
But I couldn't shake the embarrassment that this was something I'd done to myself, to the hair that I've always loved and taken care of, because... ???
(Mean voice: Because lazy. Bad. Gross. Dumb. And so on.)
"You have an illness." she reminded me. "You are managing it."
She brings this point up a lot. A chronic pain sufferer will always have good days and bad days, and I wouldn't get angry or blame them for having the bad days. I wouldn't blame a cancer patient for losing their hair, why I am I blaming myself for medication side effects, or for actually having physical symptoms in the first place? I wouldn't blame a diabetic for a diabetic coma, why I do I blame myself for not realizing my medication wasn't working last June?
(Mean voice: OH DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THAT ONE.)
I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my hair. Maybe nobody will really notice the missing chunks. Maybe I'll get some layers, or maybe I'll just have to go shorter for awhile.
But today I will wash it. And comb it. I'll probably put it back up in a ponytail, and that's okay. That's manageable.
Hugs, Mama! You will look beautiful no matter what option you choose, the true beauty always shines through! One step at a time, one second at a time, just keep swimming and you will get there!
Posted by: Martha | November 28, 2018 at 12:44 PM
Ugh I’m so sorry. Depression sucks. On the plus side I had a chunk burned off about that size in my own thin/fine hair and I never noticed it after the immediate what the fuck moment.
Posted by: Sam | November 28, 2018 at 12:45 PM
Because "suffering from clinical depression" is the end of that sentence. I don't have any great advice except, dude, TAKE THE FULL ON SHOWER, if only because showers are wonderful therapy all by themselves. If you wanna wash your hair while you're in there then bonus!
Posted by: Sarahd | November 28, 2018 at 12:45 PM
I have at times had my hair cut significantly to mark the end of a bad period in my life - I suppose it was a way of giving myself a fresh start. You deserve to give yourself a fresh start, however you decide to do it.
Posted by: MJ | November 28, 2018 at 12:46 PM
I think we have similar hair. I completely rely on this overpriced detangling spritz "It's a 10," and so does my teenager. It's at drugstores. That stuff, and Prozac must be packed in all my carry on bags in life. I hope this tip helps, as well as the knowledge that somewhere a fan of you and your writing is trying to hold you up with good thoughts of better days ahead.
Posted by: Springsteenfan | November 28, 2018 at 12:50 PM
Posted by: Righteous Rage (@chisherman) | November 28, 2018 at 12:51 PM
I'm so sorry to hear how awful this struggle is. Don't give up. You've got this, you do.
Posted by: lizardek | November 28, 2018 at 12:59 PM
Ohhhh....this got me in deep in the feels.
I completely get this. That mean little voice can be ridiculously loud - but not yelling, just managing to drown out all the other stuff in my head. It sounds so logical and right, even when i know deep down it can't be. Self care is hard enough at the best of times. My depression likes to make me INCREDIBLY tired, so even if I want to take a shower or wash the dishes, I have no energy to do so...and then that voice says I'm being lazy and stupid, and how can i be tired when I haven't done anything?
Just managing depression and the very basics of life (like breathing, or eating on occasion...not to mention keeping your kids from going feral) is a TON of work. There is nothing lazy or shameful about it.
I'm so glad you are working with a good therapist and are doing your best (whatever that might be today) to take care of yourself. Now give yourself a break and go snuggle those fur monsters.
Posted by: Connie Bowers | November 28, 2018 at 01:01 PM
Just sending an internet hug. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Chris | November 28, 2018 at 01:02 PM
Do what you can do today. Every step counts, even the small ones.
Posted by: ccr in MA | November 28, 2018 at 01:02 PM
I have to cut bits out of my hair pretty regularly, and it has nothing to do with my depression and anxiety. It's that I have stupid-thick hair and only wash it once a week anddddd I can't brush the curl or it poofs. It gets tangly when I sleep and I'm not the best about running my fingers through it enough to work out the tangles, and ... yeah, I feel this!
BUT we love you and we love your hair in any state, tangles or missing bits and all. Thank you for posting because we worry when you go too long without blogging.
Posted by: Heather Laura Clarke | November 28, 2018 at 01:03 PM
I think this post hit me just as hard or harder than any of your others, or anything else I've ready about depression. It's a THING, and it's REAL, and it's different for everyone, and it sucks. You are so brave for putting this out there, and amazing for continuing to address issues and take care of yourself the best you can, and put into words for yourself, and allowing others to get a glimpse into what you are dealing with. I'm babbling. I truly, truly think you are amazing, even on the bad days, and I'm sending some love out into the universe for you today.
Posted by: Elaine C. B. | November 28, 2018 at 01:14 PM
Oh, my heart...I feel your struggle so much. After months of ponytails and sporadic shampooing and tangles galore, I realized this week that I'm going to have to get a pretty severe haircut to get rid of the matted parts of my hair. My daughter has been going through a hard time, and this has amped up my own depression to a whole new level as I've totally given up on self-care in favor of worrying about and advocating for her. Thank you for talking about something that's on my long list of "secret shames" and helping me feel less alone.
Posted by: Jenny | November 28, 2018 at 01:14 PM
Sending so much love. The fact that you can discuss this so openly shows how strong you are and how well you are handling this. You ***have*** this (I am British, so if I saw “you got this” it sounds weird...)
Posted by: Nikki | November 28, 2018 at 01:20 PM
Sending you hugs. I'm sorry you are struggling. I don't shower as often as I should and had a big cry before I took a shower this morning. I can't believe life has gotten so hard and scary.
Posted by: Gina | November 28, 2018 at 01:30 PM
Not much to say except hugs and you are worth it!
Posted by: Lindsey | November 28, 2018 at 01:33 PM
Hang in there. You are tackling stuff and that voice can suck it. Just read an article about special needs mom and mental health issues, because we come way down on the list. And got diagnosed with diabetes that any fool could have seen coming, but I am over here in puddles because I honestly do not know how I get myself out of this and keep myself there (not looking for advice. I've been down all the weight loss roads, I just can't sustain them worth a crap. I take my eye off the ball and blow up like a balloon.)
But I got this, because I have to, and I'll hang if you will, whatever our hair looks like.
Posted by: kim too | November 28, 2018 at 01:40 PM
I am struggling right now too. And though I don't know you, I'm so grateful to you for sharing your journey as it unfolds. The shame of the self-hatred can -- and often does -- feel crushing and isolating. But in sharing your truth, you're fighting through the shame. And you're inspiring me to do the same. Thank you, Amy. I'm so happy you are here.
Posted by: Jen | November 28, 2018 at 01:42 PM
Have you read about the "impossible task" thread on Twitter? It made me feel a lot better. My current impossible task is washing my freaking face and putting on moisturizer. Which I've been doing every single day since I was a teenager. The past three weeks? Nope. Not once.
I'll wash my face. You comb your hair. We can do this. <3
Posted by: Meg | November 28, 2018 at 01:44 PM
I'm so glad to hear from you -- and I bet your hair will always be cute -- the cute shines from within you.
Posted by: Elizabeth_K | November 28, 2018 at 01:57 PM
Have you read The Bloggess? At times like this, I'll remind you of her words and hopefully they'll help.
Depression is a fucking liar.
And lying liars lie. That's what they do.
Posted by: Sheri Bheri | November 28, 2018 at 02:12 PM
Amy thank you for continuing to trust us with you story. I see you. I wish I could do more than proffer an awkward Internet 🤗 and my words, but here they are for YOU. XOXOXO ❤️
Posted by: Lorrian Ippoliti | November 28, 2018 at 02:21 PM
Depression is a lying son of a bitch. Try not to listen.
Posted by: Lori | November 28, 2018 at 02:27 PM
This spring I went shorter... a lot shorter. I'd damaged my hair with bleaching and coloring. I love it, however I do have to wet it down every day and comb it because otherwise it looks waaaay more crazy than it did when I had long hair. Cut Amys like us can pull off short hair though, so if you go there, it'll totally be good.
Posted by: Amy in StL | November 28, 2018 at 02:34 PM
You likely already know all about this, but just in case it's a tool you don't already have -- my daughter has found it to sometimes be useful to personify the mean voice. When she thinks of the mean voice as separate from her core self, as the voice of a nasty judgemental neighbor named Brenda, she can hear it and then say "Thanks for your input Brenda. Go F yourself." Depression lies.
Posted by: Elizabeth | November 28, 2018 at 02:53 PM
Type comment, erase. Type comment, erase. Type comment, erase...
I left the house today for the first time in 5 days. Five good days, in which I showered, brushed my teeth, got dressed, cooked, cleaned, ate AND didn’t self medicate with wine. In order to do so, I needed to talk to my sister on the phone first, cry a little bit and then have my adult son walk with me to go out for a coffee...because anything besides isolation...total fight or flight. For me it’s PTSD, major depressive disorder and severe anxiety disorder.
Not like ANY of this matters because, (dude...who cares about you and your struggles? No one. Hahaha...that’s who..now fuck off, loser)
Type comment, erase....Type comment...send...panic. GAH.
Anyway....I feel you. I read and I sit and honour you and I am present with you. ❤️❤️❤️
Posted by: Deanna | November 28, 2018 at 02:55 PM
Okay...panic. That was MY OWN mean voice...I hope that was obvious....
Posted by: Deanna | November 28, 2018 at 02:58 PM
Ok, so this is way beside the point, but I also have superfine and greasy hair and recently discovered Bumble & Bumble Don't Blow It Fine Hair Styler which I can finger-comb through wet hair straight out of the shower and it dries decently presentable. Better in the summer when there's humidity to help my natural limp waves have a little more curl, but not terrible in the winter. I have a baby and a toddler and if I get a minute during afternoon nap past the time it takes me to shower, there are a million things I'd rather do with it than blow dry and flat iron. I find I shower more often now that I know it can just be a shower and doesn't have to be shower, blowdry, flat iron. So maybe that would help a little?
Posted by: Lori | November 28, 2018 at 03:05 PM
I'm sorry, Amy. I don't wish the hell of depression on anyone. During my worst battle with depression and anxiety (postpartum) showers were actually one of the only things that helped. The unshowered/greasy hair feeling made my anxiety go even more haywire. Try to do ONE thing each day for yourself. Shower. Brush your hair. Take a walk. Even if it sucks at the time, it eventually helps. You and your family are in my prayers.
Posted by: Emily | November 28, 2018 at 03:07 PM
I'm so sorry you're going through this. Depression is no joke. I'm just glad you're still fighting. Please don't stop. We love you.
Posted by: Joni | November 28, 2018 at 03:12 PM
Nothing to say, but commenting to show support. Keep talking! We’re here!
Posted by: Hez | November 28, 2018 at 03:22 PM
Hugs. I hear you. (Just shaved my legs today for the first time in two weeks. It took some work.)
Posted by: Becky | November 28, 2018 at 03:30 PM
Love and light to you, Amy. Your words and your stories echo so many truths in my own life and I thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities with us.
Posted by: Zoot | November 28, 2018 at 04:06 PM
You deserve a new razor and expensive shampoo. Repeat as necessary. xo
Posted by: Camille | November 28, 2018 at 04:18 PM
I don’t personally know you but I love you. I don’t know what else to say but I feel like you should know that and even when your mean voice is being an ass, you’re still a shiny spot in my day, whether it’s on IG, FB or your blog. So now I sound like a total stalker, but I still love you.
Posted by: Lindsey | November 28, 2018 at 04:26 PM
I don't know if this helps, but as a chronic pain patient (for over 20 years) I still get mad at myself for bad days--especially ones that I couldnt manage to predict would be so bad, or could tell you why are bad. I've had to spend a lot of time reframing how I talk to myself, because I too would never talk to anyone else the way I talk to myself.
I hear you. Just do every day to that best. Because it is all anyone can do.
Posted by: Bridget | November 28, 2018 at 04:39 PM
Go do something nice for yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. Get a mani. Get a mani/pedi. Get a new outfit. I’m here to tell you that it’s the little things that will help. You deserve to treat yourself every now and again, and don’t let that negative self-talk get in the way of doing so. BTW—that negative self-talk? That right there needs to be ignored. That’s that bitch depression talking and you just don’t pay it any mind. It may seem that that’s all you can focus on, but ignore that beast. I promise it shall be quieted. Hugs and love to you.
Posted by: Amy A | November 28, 2018 at 04:48 PM
Deodorant Wars Amalah doesn't like to shave, shower or wash her hair? WAHHHHHHHHHHHH??????
Be good to yourself.
Get in the shower. Feel the luxury of warm water, sweet smelling soap and the slinkyness of freshly shaved legs. Hit it all up with a nice luxurious body lotion. Style your hair and not in a pony tail. You deserve it. If you can't convince yourself to do it, listen to Mary Martin in South Pacific..."I'm gonna wash that depression right outta my hair!"
You are worth everything. EVERY. THING.
And I've had to cut little chunks out of my hair. It grows back. You can get a new 'do. Do something for YOU that feels GOOD, not wallowing in your own quagmire of doubt and dark thoughts.
Weight comes and goes. Muscle tone comes and goes. Pick one thing and work on it. Clean hair and a clean body is a good first start. Then go for a walk. You need to be able to tick a few successes off a list every day. Baby steps are still steps forward, right?
Hang in there. We're all rooting for you and we all have our burdens...and how we face and tackle them is always a choice.
Posted by: Kathleen Wickman | November 28, 2018 at 05:02 PM
Amy, I had the weirdest thought on Thanksgiving...things I'm grateful for...and I'm grateful that you are here. I've never met you but I've followed you since before Noah and you've touched my life in so many ways, your honesty and your spirit have made me a better person and a better mom. I wish I could help more than just these words but we are here and are rooting for you every day.
Posted by: Paige | November 28, 2018 at 05:03 PM
Oh, Amy, you poor thing. That’s all so difficult. You’re doing an amazing job of working your way through it, and a very kind job of sharing with other people. It really does help to know that other people share these struggles.
One thing, though: the love you have for your children is not because they deserve it; you love them anyway. (I’m not suggesting for a moment that they don’t, but you’d love them even if they did.). You do kind things out of love for them.
Right now, Amy needs a lot of love. It is an unnecessary philosophical question to decide whether or not she deserves a new razor blade. A new razor blade would help her to shave her legs and make her feel better, so you should give her a new razor blade out of kindness and love, whether she deserves it or not.
Life is much easier if you take “deserving” out of the equation. Just don’t worry if your kindness goes in a direction which might not feel deserving: just spread kindness as you can, and make sure you aim plenty (as much as you can; maybe a bit more!) at yourself.
(For the record, I think that you probably do deserve a new razor blade, and so many other wonderful things (I’m not qualified to make a judgment, actually, because what makes one deserve a razor blade? It’s a philosophical distraction which I don’t feel the need to examine); but if it turns out that you don’t, I still really want you to have the razor blade, and the many wonderful things.)
Posted by: Abi | November 28, 2018 at 05:07 PM
I'm so sorry, Amy. I was getting worried about you when you didn't post for a while. That feels kind of weird and stalker-like, and I don't mean it that way. I've been a reader for a long time, and even though I don't *know* you, I care about you.
I like Elizabeth's suggestion to name your mean voice "Brenda" and tell her to eff off.
I think you could totally rock short hair, for what it's worth.
Hang in there. You matter, to a whole lot of people.
Posted by: Stephanie | November 28, 2018 at 05:10 PM
So there's this theory, and bear with me here because I know how it sounds, that past emotions, specifically pain and trauma are not only stored in our bodies, but stored in our hair. At a certain point it weighs us down, it drowns us, it effects our site and our level thinking, it's HEAVY. So if you think about it that way, if your emotions and your fight! over these past months are trapped in your locks, you just took your first step in freeing yourself. Maybe those knots were your body shedding what it no longer wants to hold onto because right now, you have enough to deal with. Maybe something short and sassy where all you have to do is run some mousse through your airy fringe, giving you something punk and edgy and new, is exactly what you need? And my god, does anything look better with statement earrings than spiky hair and lip gloss? No it does not. Simple, clean, kick-ass. Stay away from the news, stay away from social media, go kick-ass.
Posted by: Stephanie | November 28, 2018 at 05:28 PM
As a mom of an adult child suffering from depression and anxiety, my heart breaks reading this. I wish I could wave a magic wand and remove this from your life and my son's. Since I can't I will just send love and light your way.
Posted by: Deanna | November 28, 2018 at 05:51 PM
Mine grew. Yours will too. We need someone to come to our house and be as gentle as the lady who untangled and saved my long curly hair. Because yeah, we deserve it. You deserve it. Keep talking, we're all here to keep the love flowing, and drowning that mean little voice.
Posted by: cris | November 28, 2018 at 06:38 PM
What Stephanie said! I remember reading a lenny kravitz interview after he cut off his dreads, he got lighter. And you would look kick ass short and sassy. Stay away from the news for a bit. XO take care of yourself like you are one of your kids.
Posted by: Ann Foley | November 28, 2018 at 06:45 PM
A big hug and sending you love and light.
And with this, I'd like to tell you, we do not have to shave, we do not have to paint your nails, we do not have to be chub free. This is so much maintenance even those not suffering from mental illness can find it tedious. Who's got time for that, what with childcare, work, the daily chores and endless little things we think we have to do. Frankly, we just need to be clean and combed. That should do.
Posted by: TanjaK | November 28, 2018 at 07:01 PM
I cut my hair off about a month ago because grad school has driven my anxiety to new heights and washing and conditioning is haaard. So is shaving and lotioning and the doing of the makeup. So I empathize.
Cutting off my hair was therapeutic though (we have very similar hair). It was one less obstacle to face everyday. So I completely support the idea, if you decide to.
Take care of yourself!
Posted by: Jenn | November 28, 2018 at 07:12 PM
So many hugs. Just, all of them. I’m unspeakably grateful that you keep edging your way past the awful lying bitch that is desperation, because the world is so very much better with you in it. So thank you, and extra adulting points for the shower...
Posted by: Julie | November 28, 2018 at 07:24 PM
Hang in there, chickadee.
Posted by: Laura | November 28, 2018 at 08:18 PM
It's so damn hard to love yourself sometimes, isn't it? Maybe you should try to imagine Amy as Ike's baby sister -- in need of love and attention, help with bathing and shampooing and stuff like that. In a way you are. Somebody needs to take care of Amy and I bet Noah, Ezra and Ike's mom would do a great job.
When I get depressed I can tell -- I don't want to do anything, I let things slide. Last week was the pits for some reason. When I was at the market last Monday I bought a family pack of chicken breasts on sale - $7.88. I kept meaning to take them out and wrap them in freezer packages for the two of us. Tuesday I said "tomorrow." Wednesday was "tomorrow." Then Thursday, then Friday and on Saturday and again on Sunday. I knew then they were past date and would have to be chucked. I felt so damn guilty and finally today they went into the dumpster. I'm over my depression for the past couple of days now, it seems that realizing on Sunday that I couldn't use that chicken set me free.
What I'm trying to say, Amy, is "this will get better." You're sick, your body chemistry is messed up and you are feeling guilty about it. You can't help it. Take your pills, realize the world isn't going to end, get in the shower and maybe even go to a walk-in hairdresser and get a pixie cut. You'll look cute as a button and feel so much better. MUCH LOVE to you.
Posted by: Leslie | November 28, 2018 at 09:22 PM
I missed you and I’m glad you’re back. And I’m so sorry, and a little angry on your behalf that this is so hard. And I can really relate to little things being unreasonably hard, and the mean voice. This is an illness a lot of us know well, and it’s just bizarre that the illness tells us we’re the only ones (or the worst ones). I’m glad you took the step to see a new therapist. You deserve credit for that hugely important and difficult bit of self care.
You don’t owe us any posts but I’ll be glad to see you again whenever you come back.
Posted by: Lindsay | November 28, 2018 at 09:48 PM
Hugs. We love you. We hear you.
Posted by: Carrie | November 28, 2018 at 09:56 PM
I wish the voice in your head wasn't such a LIAR. You are none of those things and you deserve a new razor and so much more!
I have endometriosis, I have good days and I have bad days. I am chronically tired, almost always in pain, and have so much brain fog that I'm defintely dumber that I used to be. And I hate myself for not being able to live my life the way I could five years ago. Which is stupid and makes no sense but... it's what happens. And then I try to remember to hate the endo instead. Maybe I shouldn't be hating everything and try to be a positive person... but I'm so tired. And frustrated. And angry.
I have super fine and very curly hair. I have ABSOLUTELY gotten into dreadlock situations after not combing it for a week at a time. It ABSOLUTELY made me feel like a hot mess, and not in that cute way I was in my twenties. But then I learned the Spoon Theory and started to take it a bit easy on myself. So my hair is messed up? I ate that day, I managed to get out of bed, maybe I worked or went grocery shopping. Maybe I didn't. But I did survive. And sometimes with chronic illness like endo, or anxiety, or depression, it takes all available energy to survive that day. And it's hard to be proud of that when you used to be a fully functional person who could do anything and everything on the to do list. But times change. You woke up, you took care of your boys, you survived the day. It's ok if the hair fell down the priority list to a point where it didn't get done.
All this blah blah to say, you absolutely have the right to lose the grip on some elements of your life as though you had chronic pain, because you do. Depression is no lesser a physically draining illness than endo. I've done both, they both suck. Being on medication drains you, not your fault. The voice in your head is a dirty liar, not your fault. I hope you have more good days and I hope you get that cute new haircut if that's what you want! You definitely deserve it!
Posted by: Jen | November 28, 2018 at 09:57 PM
Thanks for opening up. I feel your pain and know lots of people feel this too. I hope you feel better and take steps to take care of yourself. Sending you healing and positive thoughts your way.
Posted by: YP | November 28, 2018 at 10:08 PM
Long time reader but have never commented. I like you! I want to hear what you say.
Posted by: Rachel | November 28, 2018 at 10:14 PM
Thinking of you
Posted by: Liz | November 28, 2018 at 10:19 PM
Sending love. And detangler.
Posted by: Christine | November 28, 2018 at 10:53 PM
Long time reader just chiming in to send love and support. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now and I'm so grateful for your honesty in sharing it. I hope things get better soon. Thinking of you.
Posted by: Kate | November 28, 2018 at 11:10 PM
I'm probably never gonna get read, I'm way down at the bottom here but WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! After years, YEARS I TELL YA of reading blogs, (I started right after Noah), the only 2 bloggers i still read are you and Jenny Lawson. And all three of us suffer from depression. What the hell is going on? Was it the red M&Ms? Riding with our smoking parents in the car? Wait, wait...it was that fucking goo you stuck on the end of the straw and blew into and made colorful plastic bubbles! I knew that shit smelled funky! Anyway, I'm a year healthy and among the living after a serious 4 year battle of finding the right cocktail. I'm actually happy! And you can be too. Please keep searching for that chemical mix that connect the blue and red wires in your brain. Its so hard, its I cant take another fucking side effect roller coaster hard. But it's out there. I'm proof. I love you and the boys and I'd like you to want to stay.
Posted by: Tammy | November 29, 2018 at 02:26 AM
You know what? You deserve a cute, easy to manage cut so you have one less hassle to worry about. It will be a relief and a great way to give your hair a healthy new start. You will always be a rock star to me xxxx
Posted by: Serina Tocock | November 29, 2018 at 02:42 AM
I feel you, honey. Mine got so matted that I couldn't get the comb through it and we had take the clippers to it a couple of months ago. Didn't shave it bald, but I only had fuzz left. It was so embarrassing and just...heartbreaking. Hair and makeup was always my thing, until depression decided to ruin me.
The good news is it's growing back. Really quickly, actually. I am very surprised, since my thyroid is kaput.
The bad news is it's growing back. And it's still too much trouble to take care of it. After all I went through I swore I'd comb and shower every day, etc. etc. But I still can't bring myself to do it. Or much of anything, for that matter.
I'm very proud of you for going to therapy and still trying. That is huge, and hard, and you are strong. Please accept an internet hug from a long time reader who truly understands what you're going through.
Posted by: Major depression buddy | November 29, 2018 at 03:30 AM
Remember when Baby Ike cutted his own hairz and you had to take him to the professional and have it fixed? And Baby Ike's hairz grew back in and all was right with the world again? Well, now it's you. Go see a professional and get your hairz cut.
That voice in your head is a nasty LIAR. You ARE beautiful. You ARE worthy. There are a bunch of us rooting for you. Most of us have never met you and probably never will. It doesn't change the fct that we love you and are pulling for you. Your honesty throughout this journey has given many hope.
Posted by: Sue W. | November 29, 2018 at 05:40 AM
Your therapist's words are CORRECT. It's a chronic illness gurl. I know it's reeeeallllly hard to quiet those voices (I have them about body image), but keep letting the therapists words "answer" the voice in your head. You are doing AMAZING. So proud of you!!!!!
Posted by: Lauren | November 29, 2018 at 07:06 AM
Depression is definitely a liar (to echo one of the above commenters). So you know how you have the mean voice? There is another voice, a teeny tiny quiet voice that stands outside of the tornado of thoughts and the mean voice. It says things like "oh, I am having thoughts that are saying I hate myself" or "oh, I am having crazy whirling anxious thoughts" or "oh, I am super fucking angry right now" and things like that. It just... observes. I've found if I can hear that voice, it helps. It does not stop the hateful thoughts or the whirling anxious thoughts or the anger -- I still have to sit with those and feel them -- but it weirdly helps to hear that little quiet voice. Because that means that part of me is outside of the whirling going on in my head and that means that the whirling is not me. It also helps me institute one of me feel-better hacks.... like jumping in the shower. Dunno what it is about water, but it does make me feel the littlest bit better.
Anyway, those are just thoughts from my little camp over here where I struggle with this stuff sometimes, too. Loving and accepting you just the way you are on your good and bad days and no matter what your hair looks like! <3 <3
Posted by: Erin | November 29, 2018 at 09:26 AM
This makes sense to me. I struggle with self-care (if you can call basic needs self-care) and then struggle to put into words why I'm struggling. I so appreciate your openness and honesty because it has allowed me to understand myself better. Depression and anxiety are so tricky and manipulative. It's like they are a bad mother that is able to gaslight you into thinking otherwise of yourself in any given situation. Long time reader here (since before Ezra) and I have so much empathy for you because I know how hard it is. It's hard. It sucks. People around you don't REALLY get it. I'm constantly making excuses in my head for all my actions (or non-actions) for the attack that never comes. Anyway, thank you for being you. Your writing over the years has made me laugh out loud, cry, and reexamine my life. Keep fighting, it's worth it, you're worth it. Hugs.
Posted by: Cara | November 29, 2018 at 10:13 AM
Sending much love to you, you brave girl. I am confident that one day you will remember how you feel today, but it will be so distant that it will be hard for you to imagine it was real. That is how it is for me.
Posted by: Mariya | November 29, 2018 at 10:42 AM
I am going to be about 67th in commenting and I read all the 66 before me. WOW!!!! What an outpouring of love, and mostly from people who never met you in person. I thought if each of us had mailed you a travel sized bottle of conditioner and a razor your mailperson would have quit from the physical wear and tear of dealing with it all. SO: picture that tall mound of conditioner and razors and tell the 'Brenda' liar that is concrete evidence of her lies. THAT YOU ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US AS WELL AS YOUR IRL FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!! You are not alone. We are in this together and so many of us are fighting in the trenches with you and for you. It will get better! You are fully as deserving and worthy and lovable as the rest of us. We are women and we stand together and hold hands, we are important and 'Brenda' lies. Hold on to us and keep saying the truth because, clearly from the 66 at least before me, you are loved and totally not alone. If you who has given so many so much hope and joy were not deserving... well, the rest of us would be in a terrible puddle. So hang in for you and for us also.
Posted by: rose | November 29, 2018 at 11:21 AM
I have fortunately never had long-term depression, but even short bits of brain-chemicals-going-awry are *horrible.* When I can identify that the Mean Voice is active, I try to swap to a different mode of living/thinking for a bit: low expectations, as many "happy" inputs as possible [purrli.com, music, reassuring familiar books, etc.], cut off from "unhappy" inputs [news; comments online; twitter; any books or other media that I could normally handle but will be used by the Mean Voice to tell me I'm terrible], and try to do and think the things that I set up for this case when the Mean Voice was not in residence.
I am not sure how to explain the last one, but if I decided rationally, when not in possession of Mean Voice, that the expensive shampoo was worth it, then the expensive shampoo *is worth it* (at least until re-examination of the issue at a time when I haven't identified anything out of the Mean Voice for at least 3 days and I'm feeling generally okay about myself) and I would definitely keep using it (because, c'mon, it doesn't even make sense, except when in possession of a Mean Voice, to not use up the open bottle of shampoo?) and try to keep buying it, if it runs out, as well. Basically, no real/new/different decisions (that can be avoided) are allowed when the Mean Voice is active. I don't think that would work as well if the Mean Voice visited for a longer period or didn't give itself away as being in residence, and it's still incredibly hard, but for me it does slightly reduce difficulty, and also collateral damage, if I can go "okay, I am on a long road trip, and I know the GPS is currently totally busted and urgently yelling gibberish that is more or less designed to take me off-road and crash me into a disused coal mine or something, so I should ignore the GPS and keep driving at a reasonable speed on the highway that I knew was the right highway in the correct direction until the GPS quits going bonkers" - yes, it may not be totally perfect and you might have to backtrack a bit if the gibberish lasts past a fork in the road, but staying on major roads where there are easy cloverleaf turnarounds is way better than ending up at the bottom of a disused coal mine, anyway.
This doesn't "fix" me, so I assume it wouldn't "fix" you either, but it sometimes helps me. I hope it might sometimes help you, maybe, but anyway, the main thing: no matter what your brain is telling you, you still have approximately infinite value as a human being, we care about you, and your family cares about you (and also needs you).
Posted by: KC | November 29, 2018 at 12:49 PM
I'm reading this in jeans that I haven't washed for two weeks. Wondering if I can wear them to work. Because laundry is beyond me right now. Sometimes it is showering, other times brushing my teeth, getting out of bed, leaving the house. They all take turns. When it's bad, they all show up for the party. It sucks. In my experience buying things, changing things, thinking good thoughts, going for a walk don't really work. But, kuddos to folks that find relief through those. It's really impossible to explain this to folks who haven't lived it. You do such a beautiful job of capturing the fuckery that is depression. Thank you. I've followed you since you were preggo with Noah. Thank you for sharing your whole journey here, it's so powerful, even though it sounds so so painful. You matter. Full stop. In this moment you are doing the best you can. When I get real bad I just tell myself to take one breath, and then one more. Sometimes that is the absolute best I can do. It's really shifted my baseline of a "good" day. Did I keep taking breaths? Yep. Good job. On to tomorrow.
Anyways, not to hijack your post. But I just wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest. It helps to know other people I really admire battle with this beast as well. Depression lies. It's a fucking liar. Sending you love.
Posted by: Deidre | November 29, 2018 at 04:20 PM
I love you, Amy.
Posted by: Jessie | November 29, 2018 at 05:19 PM
Hang in there, love. I think lowering the bar to what you can reasonably accomplish self-care wise, is totally acceptable and rationale. If the showering and combing is too much right now, no worries. Cut it off and roll with a hurdle you can clear. OR, lower the standard of what it means to have done something with your hair. If you're willing to shower, fine, comb it and let it just frizz and be weird. It's clean so that's good enough. I ask myself a lot lately, "what are the real consequences of doing/not doing ___?" Usually, consequences are in my head from that asshole voice. Reality me remembers to say, "eff you, mean voice." Lotta freedom in just recognizing what's made up bar to clear. Hugs, friend.
Posted by: MB | November 29, 2018 at 05:29 PM
This is A Thing with my mental health/self-care too. Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to shower and wash my hair...even though the amount of energy and effort I put into making it seem like I am doing both is more than the actual activity would take. And it seems like such an easy thing, so it is great fodder for self-flagellation and self-blame and deep pockets of shame. Sending a hug your way.
Posted by: Mary | November 29, 2018 at 07:03 PM
I have a different chronic illness and I count on my husband to check on me every day ( he works outside the home) because one time I had a stroke. So now that I’m recovered from that, he still is looking constantly for symptoms. Now I don’t know your husband and he seems like a cutie-pie ... but isn’t he the person who will notice you are having a bad patch and point it out and help you up? Am I assuming too much because that’s the situation at my house ? If so I apologize .
Posted by: Tracie | November 29, 2018 at 08:01 PM
Not only are you amazing, you have some damn good online friends. I don't know any of them, but I feel like you have a tribe and I am part of that tribe. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only person worrying about you over the last week. As a depression sufferer myself, I found great ideas in the comments today, ie: that neighbor Brenda...… (I'm totally using that one) And as Jessie declared" I love you" too.
Posted by: Laura in Michigan | November 29, 2018 at 09:45 PM
Listen: with hairy legs, you are beautiful. (And honestly? That’s some fucked-up patriarchal shit that we have to go around scraping all the hair off ourselves. I’ll do it when men have to do it.)
At a heavier weight than you once were, you are beautiful. (Do I need to echo the same rant about the patriarchy and body image? No I do not.)
With shorter hair, missing hair, undone nails, unapplied makeup (ding-dong, patriarchy calling...) you are beautiful.
I echo the previous commenter that “clean” is pretty much the only goal you need to strive for here. Because clean can do wonders, psychologically. A little trick I used to employ when I was really in throes of some not good shit: Telling myself I could just sit down in the shower. Somehow not having to think about standing up for so long, and knowing if I wanted to just curl up in a ball and let the water run over me that way, then I could? Helped. And some days I actually did. But on other days, I was able to stand the whole time. And that felt pretty good too. Sending you love.
Posted by: K8NYC | November 29, 2018 at 10:07 PM
I'm catching up, because...life...anxiety...control issues...prioritization problems...and you know what? Go pixie. You would TOTALLY rock it. And if you don't want to go pixie? eff patches. Cut those fuckers off and rock what you've got, tangles or not. We are all behind you, and you are fighting the good fight, and fuck depression and all that jazz. You are my hero/rockstar.
Posted by: Squork | November 29, 2018 at 10:58 PM
Get up, Amy. Get UP.
(Channeling Trinity in the Matrix.)
Posted by: MAK | December 01, 2018 at 08:57 PM
Amy, are you possibly grappling with - what does it all mean? why are we here? do my actions have any meaning?
If so, keep grappling with that. Step into it. Keep taking care of yourself. But wrestle the important questions.
Posted by: RD | December 02, 2018 at 02:00 AM
All of us here in the internetz box love you, and we will take you however you come - fat, thin, bald, hairy, loud, quiet, I think you get my point. A coupla tangles ain't nothin - you can do this. I'm so glad you're here.
Posted by: Jamie | December 02, 2018 at 11:11 PM
Go get yourself a short little blonde bob. You always looked sunny and adorable with blonde hair. Realize this will all pass. This is the worst time of year. All the sads. Feel better!
Posted by: Meredith | December 03, 2018 at 11:09 AM
Depression is a b*&&. I know. One day at a time...
Posted by: Claudia | December 03, 2018 at 11:12 AM
Sending love <3
Posted by: Rachel | December 03, 2018 at 11:31 AM
If it’s the spendyness of the “expensive” on the shampoo and razors... hair gets clean with cheap shampoo. Legs get mostly shaved with old and cheap razors. Could you not wash your hair with the boys or Jason’s shampoo? Then you smell like the people who love you and who you love. I do that with my husbands soap sometimes.
Like- you have trouble spending money on yourself- okay. If that mean voice harps on that voice- fine- just sidestep that bitch, you know? Acknowledge it, but don’t let it keep you from the REAL self care that is being clean, with smoother non itchy legs (mine itch with stubble, nothing to do with patriarchy...), and toss clean sheets in there too. (Ask the boys or Jason to change the sheets- or do it yourself and feel like a rockstar and thank yourself for it when you climb into them that night.)
Just hang in there you- and no one EVER felt better feeling gross and unclean. And baths or sitting in shower... for real it helps to not stand.
Posted by: Lauren A | December 04, 2018 at 09:00 AM