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, 3 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 second day, the 10th of February. My first post for the 7th of November can be found here.
Today has been a day of two halves. I woke up exhausted after a night of very broken sleep but I was excited too because today a friend who I lived with at Uni and haven’t seen for 18 months was coming to visit. I spent the morning cleaning my flat and trying to get as much tidied up as possible – my anxiety causes me to worry a lot about what people think of me and where I live so I always make a big effort to make everything look nice before someone visits. My friend arrived and it was so lovely to see him. We spent hours talking, laughing and reminiscing about our time together at Uni and we did lots of baking as you can see in the photo above. We made some coffee cupcakes with coffee buttercream which were really delicious and some chocolate and pecan blondies which looked and smelled amazing but tasted unbelievably sweet and sickly. We had a great time making them though and it was a great distraction for me as I’m currently withdrawing from the medication I’ve been on for 6 months that’s not helped my anxiety and has just made me worse. The time flew by and before we knew it it was time for him to go home.
I felt very flat after he left. I always do when I’ve had visitors. It’s so exciting seeing people and having company and not being on my own. I don’t get visitors that often and due to being mostly housebound I’m pretty much reliant on people coming to me rather than being able to visit them myself. I’m always really busy before they arrive making sure that things are tidy and clean and that I’ve made an effort with how I look and I try to be as fun and as well as possible when they’re here because I worry that I’m bad company because I’m ill and don’t have exciting things to talk about or stories to tell. When they leave again it’s very quiet. I usually turn the tv on so that there’s some noise but it’s just me left with my thoughts and remembering all the things we’ve done during their visit. I really do love seeing people, I’m a huge extrovert and one of the hardest things about being housebound is the lack of contact I have with people and that means it’s always difficult when they leave again and I’m back to being alone.
Thanks to all the sugar I’d consumed by eating too many cakes and licking too many bowls of icing, I was well into a sugar low when he left so I curled up on the sofa and eventually ended up falling asleep. The withdrawal kicked in with full force by the evening and I was in a lot of pain and very disorientated and sedate. It took me until 9pm to go and make myself some dinner and I was wrapped up in so many jumpers because I was freezing cold. I don’t really remember the rest of the evening because my tummy hurt so much and I felt sick and confused. I tried to distract myself watching tv but I have no idea what I even watched because I was exhausted and poorly. Thinking through the time with my friend made me smile though and a couple of other friends are visiting later in the month which I’m really looking forward to. Their visits mean so much to me and keep me going even when I’m feeling really rough. My bed is calling me as I ache all over and really need a good night’s sleep!
Today, seeing a good friend and having lots of fun and being normal for a while really helped my mental health. Withdrawal is horrible and after 7 weeks and counting of it, I’m really ready for it to be over but nonetheless, today has been one of the best days I’ve had in a long time and it just shows the benefit of good friends, laughter and cake!