Friday, 10 May 2013

And now back to mental health. Here's one of those 'day in the life' posts.

So, let me talk you through a day from last week, which was a not uncommon kind of day for me.

03.30: Finally fall asleep having spent the night panicking about work and paying my rent.

07.00: Alarm goes off and wakes me up. Instantly burst into tears because I am so tired.

07.30: Still haven't got up, too tired. Can't stop thinking about how awful I must look with eyes red from crying and that dreadful 'haven't slept in days' grey tint to my face.

08.00: Still not up, and I need to leave now if I am going to get to work on time.

08.30: Drag myself out of bed. Need to take medication, am meant to take with food. I have no appetite but I know I need to eat anyway. Skipping one meal for me often turns into skipping several and ends up kickstarting my binge/purge cycle.  Try a small bowl of cereal. Get a few mouthfuls in then throw up. Take meds anyway.

08.45: I should be starting work in 15 minutes. I'm not dressed or showered. I've just been sick. Work is 45 minutes away. I'm clearly not going in today and should probably let work know. Get as far as picking up the phone. Stare at if for a bit. Feel kind of blank. Put phone down and go back to bed instead.

11.30: Wake up again. Missed calls on phone from work. Can't breathe. Some time passes.

14.00: No idea what I did in the last couple of hours but I am now curled up on the sofa with the telly on, staring into space. Watch telly for a bit.

17.00: Have accidentally spent all afternoon watching telly. Have failed to eat, shower or get dressed. Feel sick, headachey and faint. No idea if this is from hunger, anxiety or some kind of terrible disease. If there is a possibility of the latter being fatal then I wish it was that. Feel guilty for this thought.

17.30: Have a shower and throw some clothes on.

18.00: Partner gets home. Asks about day. Explain I felt ill but don't mention the not eating, or not getting dressed until just now.

18.30: Make pasta with partner. Panic at thought of eating it. Manage a few mouthfuls then cry off, citing feeling sick.

18.40: Argument about how I'm not looking after myself and need to start doing so. Infuriating because partner is right but it's just not that easy to look after myself. Particularly when his idea of doing so is all the things my illness says is bad. Like eating. Or leaving the house, where people might see me. Or going to work where I might make mistakes.

19.00: locked in bathroom crying.

19.30: Coaxed out of bathroom. More sensible, less screamy conversation about how we can make it easier for me to look after myself. Secretly feel like this is all doomed to failure but it's nice to feel supported and partner seems so positive this will help. Don't want to let partner down.

20.00: Smiles and cuddles on the sofa. When partner isn't looking, smile drops. The snuggles are nice though. We watch a film together. It's nice, doing things together. Particularly things which don't involved leaving the house or making decision which could be wrong.

22.30: Partner suggests early night as I've not been sleeping well. I hate early nights. Early nights mean extra hours staring into the darkness with nothing to distract me from all those thoughts. Anxiety loves the night time. Don't want to upset partner again, too worn out for another discussion and fear will say the wrong thing and start another argument. Brush teeth, get into pyjamas and go to bed.

23.30: Partner is asleep. Lights are off. Everything is quiet. There is nothing to distract me. Was the door locked? Can't remember. Get up to check. Unlock it completely, open and shut it and lock it again. Did it definitely shut properly? Unlock it again and repeat the process.

23.45: Prowl around the house making sure all the light switches are in the same position. This involves some running up and down stairs putting the hall light on and off until I am sure it is right.

00.00 Put telly on, find some old repeats of American Dad. Not my favourite show - Seth McFarlance is kind of awful - but it's better than nothing. Find a book to read. TV noise drowns out random noises in the darkness which could be threats to my safety. Book gives me something to try and focus on. Can't focus. Throw book onto floor and cry instead.

01.30: Creep upstairs to bed hoping to avoid waking up partner. Lie in darkness, heart pounding, soaked in sweat and feeling sick. Feel physically numb and full of pins and needles. Consider possibility I have arsenic poisoning, MS or am having a stroke. None of these things seems likely.

02.30: Doze briefly, wake up feeling sick. Oh god, I'm going to lose my job. I have to get up in the morning and go to work. Decide I will definitely do this, just need to ensure I have a good night's sleep first.

03.00: Can't sleep. Decide I will be able to go to work without any sleep, just this once. Get back up.

03.30: Fall asleep on sofa.

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