Just to give you all a bit of background about this post – The charity Rethink Mental Illness recently advertised for people in the UK with a mental illness to participate in a nationwide project that they are running called A Day in the Life. They have chosen 4 dates over the coming year, 1 in each season for all of us who’ve signed up to blog up to 700 words about our day. We were asked to say what we did that day, what went well and went badly, and what helped our mental health and what made it worse, so here’s mine for the first day, the 7th of November.
Today started like every other day with me waking up pretty tired after another night of medication induced energetic and exhausting dreams. I was cheered up though by my lovely boyfriend making me a cup of tea while I woke up properly. I’m pretty much housebound with anxiety so it’s the little things that make a big difference at the moment. Today was one of his days off work so he went out for the day Christmas shopping (very organised and totally out of character!). Last year we went together and had so much fun buying Christmas decorations for our first Christmas together in our flat, we bought everyone’s presents and went out for lunch. This year I’m trapped at home feeling sick at the thought of doing any of that but feeling so sad inside that I can’t be with him having fun like last year. I love the lead up to Christmas – my birthday is during Christmas week so I look forward to it all year and just love the festive countdown filled with Christmas carols, decorations, present shopping and visiting as many friends and relatives as possible. Today I’m dreading the lead up because I won’t be able to join in with most of it. I’ve been off work for 7 months with no end in sight and Christmas just feels like a cruel joke this year.
Anyway, I kept myself busy and tried to keep my wandering mind away from negative thoughts about all of the things I’m missing out on. Since becoming ill I’ve taught myself to crochet and spend many hours each day creating crocheted animals. Today I’ve been making a penguin. Unfortunately, the weather has been so grey and rainy that I can hardly see my stitches in the black wool and the medication is making me super dizzy too so eventually I just gave up. I watched some tv but I find it hard to make decisions at the moment so it took me ages to settle on a program to watch and I was reminded again that I really shouldn’t watch things with suspense or gore in when I’m feeling fragile with the anxiety because it takes an age to calm down again.
The weather, topped off with missing out on going shopping really kick-started my depression today and I just felt rubbish. Side effects from the medication meant that I wasn’t able to successfully distract myself and do crochet or any housework so I felt thoroughly fed up and low. After taking my 2nd lot of medication at 5pm I had a nap because I could barely keep my eyes open – this happens regularly as I’m only getting 5 hours’ sleep at night.
My boyfriend came home and bless him, he’s such a star, he always knows how to cheer me up! He’d brought home lots of Christmas catalogues from the shops so I can write a present list without having to try and trawl through their websites and he brought home a beautiful cake for me too (see photo above – it didn’t survive the journey brilliantly hence the slightly dodgy photo). He managed to get my birthday and Christmas presents and even wrapped them as soon as he got in so I’m not tempted to have a sneaky peek at what he’s got me while he’s at work! He knows me far too well! We had a chat about how much I’m dreading Christmas this year and all of the things I’m going to miss out on and we came up with some suggestions to make some of it better. He gave me lots of hugs which always make me feel better and I started to calm down and my mood lifted over the evening. He made us a lovely curry for dinner while I looked through the catalogues and then we sat and watched a film – I struggled to keep up with what was going on because my concentration and memory are poor with the anxiety disorder but he kept filling me in when I got lost.
Tea, cake and my lovely boyfriend helped me get through today despite the weather, medication and things I’m missing out on trying to drag me down. Today we just about won!