The last few days haven’t really been great for me, sometimes it’s a struggle just to function as a human being. I don’t want to eat anything, I don’t want to speak to anyone and I don’t want to have to get out of bed. If there was a button I could press, to just not exist for a day I’d of pressed it. So I’m writing down a few of my behaviours along with suggestions which might help someone who’s going through similar things to myself. It may also help to know what behaviours to look out for if you have a friend who’s struggling.
I just want to stay in bed.
It can sometimes seem pointless getting up for the day. I’ve things to get done but nothing that really matters, then things happen that make me feel worse and I wish I hadn’t bothered. It sometimes helps to give myself just one thing to do that will make a difference to how I’m feeling. That minor little thing that needs done in the house that keeps annoying me but I can never be bothered to do, or something positive like going for a short walk or spending an hour on a hobby. Whatever it is I make it something small and achievable. Get up and do it and then I can always go back to bed or have an early night if I still want to later. It’s important to have a sense of achievement and this small goal I’ve set myself helps with that.
I don’t want to speak to anyone.
When I’m having a bad day, which is quite alot of the time I really don’t feel like speaking with anyone. I’m too exhausted to bother with a conversation and my brain tells me that the other person isn’t really interested anyway. Anyone tries to speak with me and I find myself switching off mid sentence. That little voice in my head saying “can you hurry up and finish whatever the hell it is you’re saying because it’s too much effort for me to have to listen to this pointless drivel.” When I’m feeling this way I try and reach out to someone either by text or if it’s easier a message on an internet forum. There’s lots of groups online for people like me who find life difficult at times. It seems easier for me to speak to a stranger about things because I don’t feel like I’m being judged or dragging people down. There’s no pressure to continue chatting if I don’t want to and it’s reassuring when I’m understood and there’s other people who feel the same way. It has the added advantage of helping someone else too at the same time, giving them someone to confide in.
I’m not hungry or don’t have the energy to cook.
When my mood is low I get stuck in a vicious cycle of not feeling hungry, not having the energy to cook a meal and then feeling even more drained because I haven’t eaten. I try to keep quick and easy snacks in the cupboard for when I’m feeling like this because it’s important to eat something. Yes, they aren’t the most nutritious or healthy options but it’s much better than eating nothing at all. I always have dark chocolate in the cupboard too, as it helps lift my blood sugars and feels a bit more filling than normal chocolate. If I had a big bar of milk chocolate it would be gone in one sitting resulting in me feeling even more miserable about myself when my clothes no longer fit!
I can’t concentrate on anything.
Depression makes it almost impossible to concentrate on anything. Even writing this piece, I’ve needed to take a few breaks in between to clear my thoughts. Books have to have short chapters and I don’t even attempt to watch a movie anymore. They take far too long. So I try to allow myself enough time to do things and attempt them in short bursts. I’ll watch my favourite TV show and then switch off the TV and give myself a break before I watch anything else. I’ll choose books to read that have short chapters. If I have something to do that I know is going to take a while I’ll do it in short bursts over a few days. That way I can give it my best effort and not get bored or distracted half way through. This isn’t always possible, especially at work. So I change my work activities when I can throughout the day and return to longer tasks a bit later in my shift. I can still do everything I need to do, but just jumbled about a bit rather than finishing one task before I start the next. It seems to help, so long as I don’t forget things! (see next point).
I have a memory like a goldfish.
This may be related to my lack of interest in anything and everything or it could just be a side effect of the medication but I can’t seem to remember things as well as I used to. It’s especially frustrating when it’s only just happened and already I’ve forgotten. I could write a shopping list and then 2 minutes later head out to the shops and only remember I wrote a list once I actually get there. Damn it! It can be scary sometimes too, like the time I got out of bed and showered and then proceeded to return to bed thinking I’d just got up in the night to go to the toilet and forgot all about the shower and the fact it was almost mid-day! That sudden feeling of being lost and having a mind blank was frightening for me. So I invested in a diary with plenty of space to write down my tasks for the day and what my goals are. I use a Happiness Planner as I thought it might help to keep me focused on the positives. Although admittedly, I sometimes find it difficult to list the things that went well during the day, but I guess that’s just because of my illness.
There’s many more behaviours I could list so I’ll continue my experiences in part 2 of this post which will be published over the next few days. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions from your own experiences and give me a follow to keep up to date with my posts. Thankyou for reading.