The following recounts my experience of 7th November 2014. It was written as part of the ‘Day in the Life‘ project, which aims to capture the ordinary daily experiences of people living with mental health problems. You can read more stories on the project website.
“My alarm goes off. I feel like someone’s whacked me over the head. I’m always pretty groggy, but today’s worse. I slept badly. Sleep’s so important to my mood. A bad night is a bad sign.
I’ll have to wait for my brain to boot. I grab my phone, check the news, scroll through Twitter. 30 minutes goes by.
Yikes! It’s Friday, I need to work!
But first I need the toilet. My tummy hurts. It always hurts in the morning. I have irritable bowel syndrome. I sit on the toilet and wait. Another 30 minutes goes by. Damn irritable bowl.
I’m feeling pretty stressed. An hour’s past and all I’ve done is visit the toilet. Depression does that; steals time.
I’m supposed to go running. I need to keep up my running. But it’s raining. And I’m not sure I can face it. Running helps with my anxiety. But I’ve got so much work to do. I better just get on with it.
I post a tweet. I get a sympathetic message, that’s nice. Doesn’t get me anywhere though. Stop procrastinating!
The kitchen’s a mess. There’s no clean bowls or spoons. I wash some up, put on some porridge, and stack the dishwasher. I’m relieved that’s done. How would I cope without it?
Turn on my computer to work. My tummy hurts. And I feel sick. And tired. Oh, and low… The brain fog must be clearing. I feel really really low. Wish I could go back to bed.
Not sure I can face work. My illness has put me so far behind. Now it’s crunch time. Two months left on my contract. How will I cope with unemployment? The anxiety’ so bad.
I can’t work like this. I’ll eat my porridge and distract myself with Twitter. The porridge is nice. I’m usually in too much of a rush. Definite bonus of working from home. Some nice and supportive comments on Twitter. But it’s no good, I’m feeling desolate. This is the worst I’ve felt in ages. I lie on the sofa.
What’s happened to the time? What’ve I been doing? My partner is up, she’s working on the table. It’s so nice to have her around. But it’s nearly lunchtime and I’m running late. I’m meeting a friend. There isn’t time to shower. I wash my face, clean my teeth, and run.
Why am I always running? Normal people don’t run in the street. I must look so strange, in my shoes and coat.
I meet my friend. She understands depression, thank goodness. It’s so much easier, not having to pretend. It’s a while since we last caught up, she seems much better. I’m happy for her. It’s nice to be distracted. We talk about work. And how we’re both about to lose our jobs. Don’t get ill, that’s what I say.
The time has flown, it’s time to go. The food was horrible. I’m feeling even sicker. I’ll treat myself to a coffee. And one for my partner too.
I’m home, my partner is happy with her coffee. She has such a lovely smile. But where has the time gone? I’ve got so much work to do! I’m really anxious. I take a diazepam, sit down, and drink my coffee. Then I start work.
The diazepam’s made me sleepy, but I’m less agitated. At least I can concentrate now. I really need to finish this by the end of today. It’s dragged on so long. Hours pass, I barely move, the work gets done. Hyperfocus: the upside of ADHD.
I send it off. It’s mid-evening. I need the toilet again. I hadn’t noticed. Hyperfocus: I’ve been embarrassed by that before. Another 30 minutes goes by.
It’s Friday night, my partner’s stopped working, we treat ourselves. Pizza takeaway and Scott and Bailey. The pizza’s yummy. Good food always lifts my mood. But it’s not enough tonight. I’m so tired. And low. I’m finding it hard to follow.
We’ve watched two episodes. It’s best I go to bed. I’m desolate. Days like this are best abandoned. I take another diazepam, and give my partner a hug. She smiles. She has such a lovely smile. I’m so lucky.”