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M. Molly Backes
Depression commercials always talk about sadness but they never mention that sneaky symptom that everyone with depression knows all too well: the Impossible Task.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
The Impossible Task could be anything: going to the bank, refilling a prescription, making your bed, checking your email, paying a bill. From the outside, its sudden impossibility makes ZERO sense.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
The Impossible Task is rarely actually difficult. It’s something you’ve done a thousand times. For this reason, it’s hard for outsiders to have sympathy. “Why don’t you just do it & get it over with?” “It would take you like 20 minutes & then it would be done.” OH, WE KNOW.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
If you’re grappling with an Impossible Task, you already have these conversations happening in your brain. Plus, there’s probably an even more helpful voice in your brain reminding you of what a screw up you are for not being able to do this seemingly very simple thing.
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Anne Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
....I once sat on a bench 10 minutes from home, crying, because I just Could Not walk that distance. Complete failure. I have often wondered about that (and similar happenings). It has never occured to me it was related to my depression :/
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
Another cool thing about the Impossible Task is that it changes on you. One time it might involve calling someone, but maybe you can work around it by emailing. Another time it’s an email issue. Then when you think you have it pinned down, you suddenly can’t do the dishes.
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Mae Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
My mom deals with this all the time. Today, it was walking down to the mailbox. It breaks my heart.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
If you currently have one or more Impossible Tasks in your life, be gentle with yourself. You’re not a screw up; depression is just an asshole. Impossible Tasks are usually so dumb that it’s embarrassing to ask for help, but the people who love you should be glad to lend a hand.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
If you have a depressed person in your life, ask them what their Impossible Tasks are & figure out ways to help—without judgment. A friend once picked me up, drove me the two blocks to the pharmacy, & came in to help me refill a prescription. TWO BLOCKS. It was an amazing gift.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
The one good thing about struggling with Impossible Tasks is that they help you to be gentler & more empathetic with other people in your life, because you know what it’s like. You know. The trick is to turn that gentleness & empathy toward yourself.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @Aymsorb
Oh friend. 😢 I once slept on my couch for a month because I couldn’t manage to make my bed, even though there was a neatly folded pile of clean sheets sitting on the end of it.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @MaeNena73
I’m so sorry to hear that. In some ways I think it’s easier to go through it yourself than to watch someone you love go through it.
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Mae Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
It can be. But then there are times I do her impossible task for her & it's like she can finally take a deep breath & do an even bigger task on her own. So it's worth it.
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Marion Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
And sometimes your life becomes nothing but Impossible Tasks and that's a hard one to get out from under, last time it happened to me I upped my meds and my therapy and that boosted me for a little while. Thnx for your thread it got me thinking! 👐
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @MaeNena73
Absolutely. She’s lucky to have you!
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @nevermarion
Oh god, yes. I have been there. That’s such a rough place to be, but the beautiful thing is that tackling even one of them makes the others a little easier, so if you can just get started everything else becomes a little bit less impossible.
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alma riekert Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
This is so on the nose, thank you. Now I have a name for it, and that really does help.
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M. Molly Backes Aug 27
Replying to @AlmaRiekert
It’s not just you!
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(((miles from home))) Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
Thank you for this. I wish everyone would read it. I did one Impossible Task tonight. Cleaned all the dishes and even put some things away. Into the actual cupboards. And I didn't quit halfway thru. Yay me. Now I need to lie down.
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Katie Salo Aug 27
Replying to @mollybackes
Holy hell, it's me. Currently cannot pay my therapist bill that's due in two days.
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