Trigger Warning: The content in this article contains instances of depression and might be triggering. Reader discretion is advised.
Depression is not just a morose “low-phase” in your life, it’s much more than that. From mood swings to curbing the ability to carry out everyday tasks, depression is an ailment that has the force to affect each and every aspect of your existence.
Depression commercials always talk about sadness but they never mention that sneaky symptom that everyone with depression knows all too well: the Impossible Task. pic.twitter.com/lPix73WO2d— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
She particularly talks about one of the most challenging symptoms of depression, the inability to carry out small tasks. In the series of tweets, she terms these as the “impossible tasks”.
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.— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
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.— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
The thread also addressed how the “impossible tasks” can change with time. She further explains how you can suddenly become uncomfortable with doing a task that you just finished.
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.— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
Backes goes on to advise people who’re dealing with depression to be gentle on themselves. She further requests people how to help their loved ones who’re suffering from depression.
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.— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
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.— M. Molly Backes (@mollybackes) August 28, 2018
Twitter users from all over the world resonated with Backes’ explanation of the “impossible task”. They thanked her for putting these feelings into words:
I would retweet this a million times if I could. Great explanation, thank you.— Loretta A. Stradley (@readlorey) September 1, 2018
The worst is when an impossible task is something I usually *like* doing.— Melissa Flora (@spunkyblah) September 2, 2018
All of this. Every last word of it. Trying to explain it to people is humiliating, which only makes me feel worse about myself. Cannot thank you enough for putting this into words – sharing it far & wide.— CK Dexter Haven (@FamouslyWrong) August 29, 2018
This!! Thank you so much for this thread. In my case, I feel overwhelmed easily, then freeze up and shut down. Nothing gets done, and I can’t even make a simple decision. It’s terrible.— Ann Wagner (@AnWag1) August 29, 2018
If you know a loved one who’s battling depression, ask them what their “impossible task” is and help them get through it.