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 chose 4 dates over a 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 third day, the 10th of May. Here you can find day one and two.
Today I woke up late. Only by an hour but it always throws me off kilter as I like to keep to my routine. I got up and weighed myself which I do every morning as I’m on a diet. I’d put on weight, only a little but still, my heart sank. I showered, dressed and made myself a cup of tea. I’m on the 5:2 diet, though in my case it keeps turning into the 4:3 diet because I struggle to lose weight when I’m so sedentary due to being virtually housebound. Every time I gain weight I get anxious and feel like I’ve failed. This is the instant reaction thanks to the leftovers of an eating disorder that I had when I was 18. I try really hard to not obsess about my weight and food because I know that’s my passport back to anorexia but it’s hard to keep those thoughts at bay, particularly when I don’t have much else going on in my life to distract me. I’d already decided that today would be one of my low calorie days this week so I drank lots of water and tea throughout the day and waited til dinner to eat. I kept myself busy enough and tried to ignore the fact it’s a weekend which means my boyfriend is working and there’s nothing decent to watch on tv. Weekends are so boring when you’re home alone all the time.
Anyway, I did what I could to keep myself busy. I’ve set up a new blog which I published today which I’m using to post reviews of adult colouring books. I’ve found them to be one of the few things that really helps keep me calm and my mind occupied and when the craze exploded a couple of months ago I was really pleased to see that so many other like-minded people were popping up online. It’s hard for me to choose which books I want to buy because I can’t leave the house and flick through them in bookshops and so I searched online for some reviews but couldn’t find anything detailed enough to be able to commit to buying them (money’s tight so the last thing I want to do is waste it on a book I don’t like). I’m reliant on the “look inside” feature on Amazon but many books don’t have that and it’s just not the same as going and looking at it yourself. So, I came up with the idea to contact publishers and ask if I could be sent copies of their books to review so that I can give an accurate portrayal to all of my mentally ill readers on my blog, particularly those who might be housebound and so far, a couple of them have agreed. I spent a lot of today colouring in one of my new books and then writing and posting the review which can be found here if you’re interested https://colouringinthemidstofmadness.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/the-cant-sleep-colouring-book-a-review/
I spent the evening having a lovely chat with my mum on the phone, putting the world to rights and having a really good catch up which really cheered me up and then had a delicious dinner and spent the evening watching tv with my boyfriend. I was very distracted and found it hard to focus on things because I’ve got a lot going on at the moment that I need to keep on top of with contacting publishers as well as lots of crafty projects and doctor’s appointments and other things I’ve probably forgotten. I felt quite wired in the evening but did manage to settle once I’d sent some emails, blogged and done some more colouring so I’m hoping I’ll get to sleep at a decent time tonight.
Colouring, blogging, my mum and boyfriend helped my mental health today. Boredom, as usual, was my nemesis as well as memory problems and general anxiety but I did ok and I kept on top of it all. The battle begins again tomorrow.
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!
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!