- A Day In The Life MH Part One (Friday 7th November)
- A Day In The Life MH Part Two (Tuesday 10th February)
- A Day in The Life MH Part Three (Sunday 10th May)
Friday, 28 August 2015
A Day in the Life MH Part Four: A Day in My Little Life
It’s Wednesday 26th August and this is the last of the four days I’m participating in A Day in the life MH. I’m still ill, struggling with persistent low mood over the last three weeks more intensively than I have in the last year, which doesn’t make any sense to me because it’s summer and surely I should be happy in the summer? The sun is shining (well, some of the time), the trees are green (the grass is yellow, despite the fact it keeps pissing it down) and I have September to look forward to, one of my favourite times of the year, when I can wear winter colours again. It reminds me of new shoes, shiny and smelling strongly of leather from their box when I put them on for the first time, the scent bursting out of the tissue paper and up my nose as a symbol of going ‘back to school’. It's good to imagine that actually, to know that I can feel things outside of the numbness, even though rarely.
You can read my other posts here:
I've been struggling to write because of being ill, but I really wanted to contribute to the last part of the Day in the Life Project, so here is my entry. My short term memory is completely shot to pieces at present. My short term memory is completely shot to pieces at present. But I wanted to finish this, and since I took the day off and filled it with not much, here it is, my fourth and last entry for this project. It feels good to finish something even though it feels like I'm not up to much right now.
Done! It feels good to have completed this project. Completing things can be hard when I'm ill.
Today I took the day off from work because things are quiet and I thought since I had holiday left that it might be useful to rest.
I am always trying to get the balance right between resting and being active, because on the one hand, if I do too much (work, socialising ,running, running around doing errands, tidying, cleaning (yes, I actually clean sometimes) then I risk making myself so stressed and exhausted that I feel overwhelmed and the next day, and the next, and the next start to feel harder and tiny little tasks impossible.
To promote my activity, I went for a run first thing, just under six miles, to try to take advantage of the time to do a long run in the week without having to get up at 5:00am to do it. I washed and changed and put on lovely crisp clean clothes, then went out to the shop to post a card and buy a sandwich. But when I got back to the house and through the front door, I was too exhausted at the thought of picking up the single envelope on the mat to reach down and get it, so I left it there. This wasn’t the six mile run. It was the depression. I’d got through two, three maybe, hours of activity, and after that I was done for the day.
The day before I had given a talk at work as part of a new programme being piloted to help people understand what resilience means and how they can support others. I knew I’d be fine to give the talk, and I was.
At the end, though, I was struggling a bit to hold back my emotions and from crying and when I left work later that day I was reminded of my own sadness about the life I’ve had and its downs. I was sinking again. Even though people said that it was good, that it was brave, I was still sinking, weighted down by the anchor of all my memories.
And I was still swimming upwards, but I was caught in the whirls underwater and couldn’t move much in either direction, away from the harmful, hateful thoughts or towards the good.
I stayed in bed for most of the rest of my day off. I read “ALittle Life” by Hanya Yanagihara. This is one of the saddest (if not actually the absolute saddest) books I have ever read. One of those books that takes my breath from me, winds me almost, and when I look up from the page the world takes a couple of moments to come back to me, so lost was I in the world the author had created. I probably shouldn’t have continued reading it.
It resonated with me when the main character says, “I feel like all I do is disappoint you, and I’m sorry for that, I’m sorry for all of it. But I’m really trying. I’m doing the best I can. I’m sorry if it’s not good enough.” I’m talking to myself here. “Why then does he insist on revisiting and replaying events that happened so long ago? Why can he not simply take pleasure in his present?” Why do I? Why can’t I?
All I did for the rest of the day was read the book. It was relaxing and it was saddening. In fact at the end of the day I had allowed myself to be drawn into the world so deeply that I was picking myself apart for all of the failures I could find in myself. I cried over my inability to get better and all the things in my past that had made me what I still consider often to be ‘defective’ and weak and broken and a failure. I rationally know I’m not but sometimes rationality doesn’t win. I wish I could end this Day in the Life process saying that it does, always, but for me riding the waves of depression mean a lot flotsam and jetsam when I expect it and when I don’t. So to bed. And hoping for a better day tomorrow.