A shower. Water pouring over us, in order to remain clean for society, and ourselves. It takes walking into the bathroom, undressing, turning the water on, waiting till it’s the right temp, making sure there is a clean towel nearby and clean clothes. It then takes stepping into the bathtub/shower, grabbing the body wash, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. Then it requires using all of those items. Afterwards, you step out of the shower, use your towel, put hair product in your hair (if you do that), dry off, put your clothes on and then prepare to get ready further.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds exhausting! Utterly exhausting! Now, imagine- your suffering from a mental illness and your already expending energy to just stay alive. A shower! That seems absolutely impossible. “How am I going to do this? But it’s Wednesday and I haven’t taken a shower since Sunday! What is my class going to think if I show up with greasy hair!”
Yes, a shower. Seems like a simple ordinary task- but to many it’s, what seems, like an impossible one.
On a personal note, showering is a huge challenge. Not because I don’t like to be clean- but because it is utterly exhausting. And because even when I have gotten ready for the day- I still feel “not good enough” for society. I don’t feel pretty enough, clean enough, or normal enough.
I wish this was a thing of the past and I could tell you, “ well, years ago this happened”. But, that’s not the case.
I regularly go two to three days without fully showering. I clean up and put my hair in a bun, clean my old make up off with some toilet paper- wack some make up on and call it good. but, when I do shower- I jump in the bathtub and I sit in there for HOURS. It’s like I only have enough energy to sit but not to do the “hard work”. Eventually, I’ll get up and take a shower or sometimes I’ll just give up.
I write this because it’s the reality for many out there. It is the truth. And when people know the truth, there is often change in how society as a whole sees people.
I also wanted to throw in some tips for showering with Bipolar/Mental Illness (that I rarely do myself, but I strive for daily).
1. Set a timer : Set aside a designated time to get ready or be in the shower and try to stay with that time. You could also have a friend or loved one call you at a certain time.
2. Use special body wash and shampoo : It is always nice to have nice smelly items to infuse your shower time with; make your shower enjoyable!
3. Smear essential oils on the shower walls: peace, serenity and much more is what we all need! A little essential oil for calmness could help ease the anxiety!
4. Positive Affirmations : after your done getting ready, tell yourself you did a good job, that your beautiful/handsome, that you are capable and that you are an overcomer. Tell yourself you can take on the day!
I hope this blog was insightful, authentic and helpful to you! Now, go take on the day!