My blog for The Counsellors Cafe about a day in the life of me and my mental health
So a day in the life of me and my mental health . . . Well let’s just start by saying it is TOTALLY
Struggling with anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder is like having a war going on inside your head all the time. It is one big constant rollercoaster that never gives up. It is a full time challenge that you have to fight daily – one minute or day you can be OK and the next curled up in a ball unable to do nothing.
You do not know how you will wake up or what triggers you will have to face during the day, which can be anything from words to sights to thoughts. You have emotions flying into your head so hard and fast at every moment and have no idea the effect it will have on you or those around you.
It is so difficult to keep up with all these varied emotions and thoughts.
On those days when you cannot muster up the energy to get out of bed you feel pathetic.
You beat your self up about for not being able to do it, making yourself feel more pathetic.
Then beat yourself up for beating yourself up about it. Then starts the huge vicious cycle that you can never win, but yet it goes on and on with an unstoppable force!
On the days you do manage to get up, firstly getting up and dressed takes hours. You then have to build yourself up to leave the safe bubble of your home. I need to check my bag to make sure I have everything I need, in particular my headphones (these are a must have!!), I also need to make sure I have different sensory things (something tactile, something smelly), these help ground me in anxious situations that I cannot avoid.
You leave it right up to the last minute to leave the house.
Once out the house, just standing around people can be overwhelming. Seeing people functioning normally when you have all these thoughts and feelings flying around in your head makes it even harder.
The slightest noise, a slight push from another person, a person looking at you in a certain way or a certain thought and anxiety is triggered and you have to run, find the fastest way out.
Though now I am slowly learning how to fight these feelings some of the time, at the height of my struggles I could not leave the house. Scared of what might happen. Unable to breath. Heart racing. However many times I was told “anxiety will not kill you, it will pass”, it never felt it. It felt as if I was going to pass out and die there and then. The worst thing is, on the outside, a lot of the time no-one would even know it was happening unless they really knew me.
It can feel isolating. Unintentionally you are pushing everyone away but then you feel so alone. However much you do want to see people, you also just want to curl up in a ball and hide yourself away. So some days you want that company and others you just want to be alone – you just cant predict how you will feel on a daily basis, so really no-one can win!
All this makes planning arrangements in advance so hard. Because you don’t know how you will be from one moment to the next you feel bad for making arrangements in case you have to cancel at the last minute.
Currently (now I am making the slow sludge to recovery) I need a routine, and one I can and have to stick to. If arrangements or appointments change it throws me – everything has its time and place; work, studying, appointments, life admin etc. This makes weekdays more bearable as I have a plan I have to stick to so have to fight my mood and try my best to function. But then the weekend comes and the real unpredictability of mood begins again. . . . . .