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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A Day in the Life Part Three: An Ordinary Day Between Anxiety and Side Effects

It's that time of the year again - time for post 3 in the Day in the Life of MH series #dayinthelifemh. I found this one harder to write because I didn't really feel particularly like writing anything, and in any case the entire day appears to have been one I spent either eating or drinking, sleeping, or reflecting on the day gone and the day to come.

Still, I believe that in this week, Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 (#MHAW2015) which has #Mindfulness as its theme it's a good chance for everyone to think a bit about his or her days and whether they pass us by or are something that we take notice of, or do sometimes at least.

Find out more on how you can contribute to the exciting and 
important #dayinthelifemh project below

If you haven't already and would like to you can still post your entry for 10th May by clicking on this link. I encourage you to share if you have / or know someone who has a mental illness close to you so that we can all work together to raise awareness and understanding of this much misunderstood group of illnesses. Here's my entry. Tomorrow I'm off to Rome...expect #mindful posts on #gelato and #pasta. And then posts on doing a lot of exercising and juicing when I'm back. Till soon! x

I woke up feeling a little more rested than on some other days. Sometimes the medication means that my husband and I sleep in separate rooms because the level of snoring from the clonazepam that I take on and off to combat (partially) the intense restless legs syndrome that I used to think was some kind of made up condition, but actually is a very real and unpleasant one I have as a side effect of escitalopram. On this night my husband had the Hobson’s choice of napping with me or with his best friend from school. All things not being always equal where love and childhood friendships are concerned, in this case my poor husband was caught between a rock and a hard place – both of us snore like fluey walruses.

"Who me? No, I don't snore."

When I don’t take the clonazepam I find myself withdrawing on those in-between days, causing massive anxiety (or perhaps not combatting it…anxiety is also a side effect of escitalopram, which for an anti-depressant is kind of, erm, depressing…)

Because my depression has been very bad again recently I went to hospital for day patient care the week prior to this day in the life, completing treatment on Friday and going back to work tomorrow (Monday 11th). By today I’m feeling more normal again than I did a couple of days back. I’m looking forward to a slap up lunch which I’m helping aforementioned husband and friend cook. Not, though, before we go for a slap up breakfast to give us the energy to cook. They certainly can both eat, I’ll give them that.
Lunch is served. Pork belly for three. Needless to say we could have fed six.

On some days I don’t want to wear makeup or make an effort but I nearly always do because I feel better looking okay on the outside, even if on the inside I feel horrendous. Eating out can be an effort because it requires not only engaging with people at the table, but with waiting staff, greeters and potentially members of the public also. Sometimes the sound of plates clanking, knives and forks scraping and chatter and muzak above it all overwhelms me, but today, thankfully, it was relatively quiet in the restaurant.

Luckily it wasn't one of these days...

Added to which I’m thankful for a whole lot more: the fact that I was among close friends and with my husband; the fact that there was no expectation of me beyond being just as I was; the fact that I didn't expect anything of me than that. That last one’s the hardest, and one I keep working on. And on. And on.

I had to get something in about ice cream. It's on my mind...

After a big lunch and a few drinks I was ready for bed much earlier than usual, and aware how much I needed to get a decent rest before the day in the office ahead.

More lunch. It was that kind of a day.

I spent about an hour reading and resting before finally nodding off. It's good to have some down time when I'm enjoying reading. Sometimes I'm too distracted to work on it, but luckily today I was feeling just calm enough to enjoy rather than endure it - it can be a good distraction, but it's not fun when I know that distracting rather than de-stressing is what I'm doing.

Duck or you'll miss it!

As I read through this piece, I’m focusing on the day before and the day ahead, not so much on the day itself. All in all things went fine – I coped with socialising, having house guests, and managed to try and get some rest both before and afterwards. That’s a pretty good day. Not the most exciting, but I’m fine with that.

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