This is a personal piece so please be aware content may be triggering.
I thought I would do a little post about a day in the life with someone who has severe mental illnesses, in particular BPD, depression and anxiety. So below is my day. It includes my thoughts and feelings.
7.20 am: Woken up by my mum. This is common as I don’t tend to wake up until late otherwise. This is generally because I take medication to help me sleep and I also don’t sleep well. My sleep last night was broken with me waking up continually. I could of done with longer in bed. I did not want to get up. My thoughts were that I wish I’d never woken up. I tend to start the day wishing I wasn’t alive.
7.40 am: Breakfast and medication time. I tend to have cereal for my breakfast. I’m a creature of habit so this works well for me as its easy to do even on the days when I’m feeling like I can’t be bothered. Today I was actually quite hungry. I then take my morning medication which is 100mg Lamotrigine, 300mg Venlafaxine and 6mg Clopixol. This is a fairly new regime as my medication has been recently upped. I take them with water as in the morning that’s all I feel like drinking.
8.00 am: Social media check. I go through my social media checking what’s happened overnight. I guess I’m a little addicted as I hate this time being interrupted. Today I also had to help with washing.
9.00 am: Go out. I don’t always go out at this time but my mum had a blood test and I needed to pick up a prescription from the Doctors and the chemist. Today I picked up my Mirtazapine and ordered my Clopixol from the chemist as they don’t keep it in stock.
9.40 am: Christmas shopping. Me and my mum went to a big out of town toy shop to buy some Christmas presents for the children in our lives. This made me a little anxious as it was somewhere new and I wasn’t sure exactly where it was and what the parking situation would be. I wasn’t even driving yet it worried me. The voice started it’s usual repertoire of telling me to die. This can be distressing when I’m out but I tend to hide it from other people. I manage to find a toy for my friends son quickly so I can escape the shop quickly.
10.15 am: Morning Walk. Some mornings we take the dog for a walk in a different place. Today we met my Dad with the dog and I went for a walk with my Dad and Bramble (the dog) and then met up again with my mum for a drink. I enjoyed this and felt happy for a while. Walking has only really become a part of my life in the last two months since we have been able to take our puppy out for walks. It helps me a lot having the dog with us as it makes me concentrate on something other than the anxiety of being out where there are lots of people. It also helps being with other my parents. Otherwise I tend to get scared.
12.00 pm: Lunch time. The voice is back and I’m back feeling incredibly low. I don’t want to be alive and am thinking of ways I could die. I manage to eat a sandwich but not my piece of fruit that I usually have. I’m exhausted.
1.00 pm: Nap time. I don’t always have a nap as I don’t always have time. But today I do and I’m grateful for the escape from my mind for a little while. People don’t understand how tiring it is to fight your own brain everyday. Plus the medication makes me feel tired.
1.30 pm: Ironing. One of my least favourite jobs. Boring but necessary. Though I fold a lot of things without ironing them as it seems such an effort. The voice starts telling me to use the iron to burn myself. Resisting it is hard so I use some of the distress tolerance skills I’ve learnt in my DBT skills group. I use the paced breathing and the paired muscle relaxation skills. This allows me to get through the ironing.
2.00 pm: I play with Bramble for a while and check social media. This isn’t my second check of the day but my more detailed check where I manage to reply to people and share things on Instagram. I feel OK. The voice is quiet.
3.15 pm: Walkies for Bramble. This time it’s just a short walk around the block with him but this time I’m on my own. This brings up anxiety about going outside alone. It’s easier having Bramble than being completely alone. This I can manage but completely alone I cannot. Completely alone makes me physically sick with anxiety. Getting a dog has been a great thing for me as I get out a lot more and do more exercise. It’s not a miracle cure but it does help, especially as my love of photography has been reignited.
3.45 pm: TV. Only for 15 minutes but I watch the end of the quiz show 15 to one. I like it and enjoy answering the questions. When I get one right it makes me feel like I’m clever. Something that is a very alien feeling to me now. I have a degree and am a qualified teacher but still I feel thick most of the time.
4.00 pm: I spend some time writing. I enjoy writing but depression has made it hard work. I lost all motivation to do any. My ideas dried up. I’m still not completely back to normal and can only write for a short while.
5.15 pm: Dinner time. Not much else to say. My relationship with food has become more healthy with age.
6.30 pm: Shower time. I enjoy my showers. It is a time for me to relax. I do however have to be careful that I don’t overthink. I can find myself taken back to times which were basically horrid. Tonight was an OK night though.
7.00 pm: Chill out time. I use this time to watch TV and go on social media. This is also the time the voice takes over. Tonight was pretty awful. The voice was constantly telling me to die and what method to use. It was a struggle.
9.40 pm: Bedtime. I also take my nighttime medication now. This is 100mg Lamotrigine, 45mg Mirtazapine and 4mg Clopixol. I then self harmed. I was struggling with all the thoughts from the day and needed to feel some control. After harming I lay down to try and sleep. This normally takes me an hour or so. Tonight was fairly good.
So that’s a day in my life. It varies a lot though and this was a pretty reasonable day. I may write again on a bad day or a therapy day. If you’re interested in my life you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Picture from Pinterest.