Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Feeling accomplished

I have to admit, it doesn't take too much for me to feel like I've accomplished something. Having lived with depression for 18+ years, I've learned there is no accomplishment too small to celebrate. When I feel like crap, getting out of bed is an accomplishment. But I'm feeling well now, and I'm feeling accomplished tonight.

It's a bit silly, actually. And for most people my accomplishment could be looked at as more of a failure. But not to me. It may have taken 7 years, but now it's done, so rather than flog myself for 7 years of procrastination, I choose to celebrate. And it's not artificial celebration, I truly am feeling accomplished tonight.

So what's the big accomplishment? I finished painting my lower level bathroom.Yup.That's it. Not a very big deal, and certainly something I could have been finished 7 years ago, but I finished it today instead. And I'm not talking about bare walls, either. Literally, I finished painting walls which have been half painted for seven years!

Of course there's a back story, and here it is. My basement flooded 12 years ago. At the time I had a partially finished basement, which included a 3/4 bathroom. I had to tear it all out. Every single piece of stinky, moldy drywall, lumber, carpet, flooring, and fixtures, I took a sledge hammer to it all. I heaved each piece out a small open window into my driveway. When that pile got too big I borrowed a truck, loaded it, and unloaded it all at the local dump. It was a ton of hot, dirty work.

At that time I had just enough money to have my basement waterproofed. That's all I could do for several years. Then I got a loan from the county, a loan for people who had property damage and planned to stay in their homes for at least 10 more years. I didn't think I was going anywhere for 10 years, and the terms were favorable. So I took it. That was about 11 years ago. I'm still here.

I'm still here, and my basement is still unfinished. Being a single woman in a community with a non-stop housing boom, I was wary of hiring somebody off the street to remodel my basement. I figured I'd get overcharged for questionable work. So I waited. Eight years ago I discovered the husband of one of my best friends used to be a contractor. He came and looked. And while he decided it was too much for him, he suggested his father-in-law, my friend's dad. Though he was officially retired, he and "his crew" still did projects like mine occasionally.

With my friend's eye for project design, we designed a remodel which included a large family room, a larger-than-before 3/4 bathroom, a utility room, a laundry room, and storage space. It took Dan and his crew over 6 months to do the work, and I eventually ran out of money. That was seven years ago.

All of the rooms had insulation and walls. The ceilings were finished, the doors were roughed in, and I had new plumbing and electrical throughout the basement. To finish it off, I needed a floor, trim, doors, and bathroom fixtures. I didn't have the expertise for any of that, but I did what I could in the meantime.

After I painted the large room and all of the ceilings, which took a very long time, I started on the bathroom walls. Those walls have had one coat of paint, which stopped just short of the ceiling, for seven years. It's silly. I'm not sure why I never finished them. I didn't have money to finish the remodel, but I have no reason as to why I didn't finish painting the bathroom walls!

Well, they're painted now, two coats all the way to the top. I finally have some extra cash to (hopefully) finish what began over 7 years ago. I found another retired, honest handyman who comes highly recommended. He quoted me a price I can afford, and I'm hoping to have a fully functional, beautiful finished basement within the next few months. That will be weird. Imagine how accomplished I'll feel then!


Paul Lamb said...

We've been in our house for 32 (!) years, and we STILL need to put a coat of paint on the walls in our bedroom.

etta said...

@ Paul: Somehow I knew you'd get it! No rush...those walls will get painted in due time.

Camille said...

Good for you!! So proud of you. Sometimes having depression means leaving projects unfinished, struggling with motivation. Plus there is always work to do when you own a house. I love how you choose to see this as a success. I am celebrating taking risks, meeting new people, moving forward in career. Good stuff

Katy said...

I appreciate your blog. I just cleaned my kitchen by detailing it. Detailing just means I actually put everything away and really cleaned it. It was quite an accomplishment for me. It is so difficult to do the daily, weekly, monthly chores that a normal person needs to do. I love that you said it is important to celebrate every little thing.


Katy said...

I cleaned all of my floors today, and I used my sister in law's special vacuum which washes rugs. I used it for our big rug. I am so proud of myself. Usually I am unable to do things like that because I feel so overwhelmed by household chores.

I went on a 7.5 mile run with my running partner on Saturday. Then I returned and was able to finish two loads of laundry. Usually I am unable to do things like that!

I am holding a little celebration for myself in my mind right now!