Thursday, May 26, 2005

Skeletons in the Closet

We all have them: those things that, if anyone else knew, we would die for the shame of it. Even those people we genuinely trust, we wouldn't want to see how we act sometimes when we're alone, or what we think. It's a helluva lot easier to adjust to something nasty in ourselves if we never have to tell anyone.

Over the past 6 years or so of my life, due to depression in some part, I have increasingly let my private life become a mess that I wouldn't want even my neighbor (whom I've never met) to know. At home during the day, I rely on the fact that I have no friends and nobody is therefore likely to stop by. This means (uncannily), that I can do whatever I want during the day and don't have to shower or wash breakfast dishes if I don't want to.

Yesterday the unthinkable happened. Yes, someone stopped by. I was feeling very sleepy and was coming down with a cold so I didn't want to do anything (yeah, that's why). I had just flipped on the television to catch an old "Matlock" episode, when my friend, Kari, stopped by to pick up my milk bottles (we take turns going to the farm for milk on Thursdays). I opened the door in sweatpants and a food-stained t-shirt; fuzzy, matted hair, unshowered. The living room was littered with toys and papers and Eliot, who is five, was still in his pajamas at 10:00 in the morning. The t.v. was on in the other room and I know she saw it. She acted kind of embarrased for stopping by unannounced.

Today, even though Kari got the milk this morning and had to pick up her daughter at school, 3 minutes from my house, she didn't stop by. (And it's too bad, too, because I spent all morning cleaning for her.)

This morning around 5 a.m. I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. I was thinking about how symbolic that experience is of the way I live my life (and always have, as far as I can remember). I do just enough to get by. I take a shower 20 minutes before I have to appear anywhere in public, I clean my house when visitors come from out of town. But I don't do these things for myself. It's almost as if I do what's right insofar as everyone is likely to see, but give myself allowance to indulge in every sort of wrong on my own time.

What I couldn't stop thinking about this morning is how deceptive and hypocritical I've been. And it goes so much deeper than a messy house or laziness; these things are only symptoms of the disease. These verses from John 3 kept running through my mind:

19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

It sounds very freeing. I'm going to try to get there.


laura said...

That's it! I'm taking a trip up to G Raps. How does July sound?

Michael Ciani said...

I know this was supposed to be a serious post, but I just laughed almost all the way through. Because of course I do the same thing. We can blame that on our blood relation, or we can blame it on the fact that we're both human. Right now I am the fattest I've ever been, because since I got to SF I've been eating like a cow (and eating out, at that, which probably isn't the best idea financially since I'm unemployed), and for the last week and a half, I haven't been exercising at all. Thus all my clothes are tight, and I have a visible spare tire for a belly. All I can say is, we have to keep reaching, if for no other reason than our own mental health...

Rachael said...

All humour was intended. All seriousness was, too.