I know this is going to sound strange, (and i know it’s definitely something i shouldn’t put on the internet), but in my life i have this weird battle with bathing… (yes you read that right) let me explain. You see if I’m really particularly depressed i won’t bathe for a long time. I just can’t do it. I know there’s some of you out there who will understand this. I think i can explain why i have this odd relationship with bathing, but I’m more than aware I’ll sound crazy… (or crazier at least).
Okay so my attempt of explaining goes as follows, i get into this slump where i just can’t face doing anything. Decisions are crushing me from every direction. I smell bad, my bed smells bad, my hair is a horror show. All of this adds to my self hate, and my self worth falls through the floor. The bath is my enemy… this is where it gets weird (if it isn’t already).
I am scared to have a bath, because in my head a bath represents the cleaning of my soul, not just my body. I can sit in that bath i feel refreshed, ready to start anew. However after so long of not bathing i fear it. For doing so, stepping in that water means i can’t dwell and hide, and be a coward anymore. I have to push through, clean off this sadness. Feel the life and freshness of the water. Feel positive and at peace.
I just can’t do that when i feel truly down, because i don’t have the mental capacity to deal with what comes after the bath. Styling my hair, finding new clothes, changing my bed sheets. That’s just the immediate future. As for successfully reintegrating into real life and facing the world, in the days to follow. If you aren’t in the right head space, you can’t possibly comprehend undergoing such pressure… nevermind focusing on keeping positive. If I’m not in the right frame of mind, it just gives me more time to hate myself, a free for all for all the bad thoughts to seep into my naked skin. Then it’s too exhausting and i resent the idea all together.
That being said i feel as though there’s no point in leaving my bed and washing. I’ll bathe and sort myself out, but the next day i won’t have the will power or mental strength to do anything productive. It would just be an endless loop of bathe, bed, bathe, bed. In this instance the bathing part would do nothing for me, it would be forced. Which would be completely detrimental, because it’s often one of the only things that can push me back into the light. As i before mentioned, the idea of it washing away the darkness and sins, releases me into a new day and a new way of life. Until of course the next time i get depressed.
So I’ve rationalised that i need to wait until I’m in the correct mindset. Only then can i get myself out of this rut. To be able to follow up on it, and persevere. This way having a bath actually helps thrust me deeper into that positive frame of mind. Until then i don’t feel worthy of bathing. Only when i feel I’m ready to face things and power through can i allow myself too.
The thing is… once I’m in that mind of, “i can do this, life is well, I’m not going to drown”. I can have so many baths. I want them twice a day sometimes! I cannot identify this as normal behaviour, it is however a behaviour that keeps me on track. Every day that i have a bath, I’m still winning. It’s different from before with the forced baths, when I’m sad. In this instance i desire to bathe, because my whole outlook has changed. The implications in doing so have switched, i no longer associate the bath with negative feelings.
I’m sure this whole post appears as ramblings of a mad person. I’m positive its utterly illogical, but i also know what works for me. I know it’s possibly a terrible way of coping and functioning. The key aspect of it all though is, i am somewhat coping, i think. As for functioning, that’s something we all do in our own special way.
So for me, this is a the story of my never ending conflict of emotions regarding my bath. Sometimes it’s my saviour, sometimes it’s my enemy. It sees the real me, the raw me. It sees my truest self. Fancy that, an object knowing me better than any human. I guess that happens pretty often actually, something inanimate knowing our real fears, moreso than humans. For me it realises my setbacks, and propels me into the world again after being in the darkness for so long, and for now I’m okay with that.