Day twenty-six of the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge asks:
How is your day-to-day life effected by your mental illness(es)?
Ten ways my mental illness(es) effect my day-to-day life
~ in no particular order ~
1. Social Inclusion
One of the worst things about my mental illness(es) is the immense loneliness I feel on a daily basis. It’s difficult for people to understand how painful it is to be on your own for as long as I have (coming on six and a half years!) And it’s just as problematic for people to understand the difficulties this can cause; “forgetting” how to be social, problems expressing basic needs, the inability to express emotions, the crippling pain of lack of nurture and so much more that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
2. Shop Assistants
This is tied in to point (1) above. My lack of social skills which have arisen from such an elongated period of isolation means that heading to a shop counter to purchase products (be it food, medication or clothes) is immensely difficult. In fact, I plan my shopping trips around stores which have ‘self-serve’ counters so I don’t find myself in a situation where I have to talk to a stranger, even if this means travelling several kilometers out of my way.
Due to my body image/body dysmorphic issues I will not look at myself in a mirror or put myself in a position where I see myself naked. Therefore, shaving is an extremely difficult action whilst having a shower is a painfully anxious procedure of closed eyes, swimming shorts and T-Shirts.
Whether it is a result of my bipolar, an innate inability to be financially aware or just a product of living in abject poverty, one of the primary problems I have on a day-to-day basis is balancing the books. Saving for the future, paying bills on time and keeping a stocked larder are all immensely difficult for me, regardless of how embarrassing that is to admit.
My cooking is entirely dependent on my moods. If I’m manic, I won’t cook, in fact I’ll rarely eat. If I’m depressed, I won’t cook, but I will binge of unhealthy junk food. If I’m stable I’ll spend hours in the kitchen experimenting with all manner of new recipes and foodstuffs.
The problem is, I’m rarely ‘stable’! :/
One of the most important periods of any day is the period that we spend asleep. It recharges us, reinvigorates both mind and body and grants us the ability to face another day with a smile on our face. My sleep is scattered and uneven, rarely restorative and fraught with nightmares, random sleepwalking and tears. It’s a pain in the arse…and not of the kinkily pleasurable kind!
7. Living in a Heightened State
In order to protect myself, I live in an eternal heightened state of anxiety; constantly aware of everything that is going on around me and the possible dangers these things (may) hold. As such, I am constantly stressed, never relaxed. It’s bloody exhausting!
8. Psychosomatic Symptoms
As a result of living in such a constant state of stress, the psychosomatic symptoms I experience (namely headaches, body aches, sweating, hiccups and digestive issues) will often govern my actions. They will stop me going out, lessen my enjoyment if I do go out and rarely leave my mind at any point during the day.
9. Isolating Myself
As a result of a number of the above items (such as: 8, 7, 6 and 1) I will hideaway, even if I have important things to do, which often causes problems with daily errands and lessens the chance of combating my social anxiety.
They say you need 30-40 hugs a day to survive…I’ve had 3 in the last five years! Enough said.