This one is cunning, because the lie here puts a spin on something that I actually believe. Something that I have read about, and put a bit of faith in due to personal experience.
This lie is cunning because it twists the idea of being kind to oneself, of taking care of yourself so you can take care of others.
Depression tells me that I deserve this break from handling my responsibilities. That watching one more episode of a show on Netflix is not only justified, but preferable to doing anything else. That I deserve to just sit and veg, and that I can get my obligations done another day. I can exercise later, and when the thought flits across my mind that exercise does make me feel better, the depression tells me “yeah, but you’ve already put it off so long today, one more day won’t hurt – you can do it tomorrow.”
And it should be no surprise that tomorrow my depression is back, telling me that one more episode (and maybe one after that), one more day of delay won’t really matter- because I’ve put things off for so long, and despite knowing from experience that I’ll feel better doing some of these things now, I deserve to take care of myself. And hey, I have depression, and I have to be aware of that, and sometimes a “me” day is just what I need, and tomorrow will be better.
And today I realize that I’ve been sitting in this “I deserve a break, I deserve to take care of my emotional state” place for days. That I haven’t moved from the spot, and have worn a nice spot in the couch I thought was self-care, but was really cozying down into my depression – heeding the subtext behind the loud call to take care of myself, unnoticed until now. The whispering voice that says that I shouldn’t bother doing anything else besides the “self-care” because I haven’t done it yet, and I’ll probably fail at it anyway. That I’m an imposter at the things I’m trying, and it is better to just duck away and ignore the things that I have identified as important -because they *are* important, and I’ll just screw them up anyway.
And even as I examine this tactic my depression has taken to hide it’s insidious side, I think “Wow, that sucks. Maybe I should just watch *one* episode of that show, you know, to cheer myself up.”