Here’s two run throughs of a fairly normal day in my life. First how it goes when I’m coping okay, and then how it goes when I’m suffering more from my depression. That really is the only difference between the two accounts below, but you’ll see how different it makes the day.
0500 – my alarm goes off. I’ll probably hit snooze this first time.
0509 – my alarm goes off for the second time. I drag myself out of bed and head to the bathroom. I’ll run a little bath, and go through my morning ablutions.
0530 – I’m dressed, I head downstairs, turn off the alarm and pop the kettle on. I’ll get my lunch together. Once this is done I’ll either watch one of my shows, or pop the X-Box on for a quick blast.
0600 – I’ll pop upstairs, check H is awake, and close the window and curtains (we sleep with both open).
Up until 0645 – while H is getting ready I’ll make a flask of Espresso for work, and then read a book, play X-Box or watch the rest of a show.
0645-0700 – we both make sure we’ve both got everything we need for work. Head to the car and head off.
Up to 0715 – chat with H, and then drop them off at work. Pop radio on and drive myself to work.
0740 – normally, depending on traffic, arrive at work. Set up laptop and turn on my desk top. Due to start at 0800 but normally start early and get most of my first tasks done.
0800-1200 – my morning at work, deal with any enquiries, engage with business areas. Basically get on with it, normally very productive.
1200-1300 – lunch break. Take a walk, normally just over a mile. Head back, eat lunch and read.
1300-1630 – my afternoon at work. Productive, get lots done, even tricky situations and requests are fine and dealt with in good humour.
1630-1700 – drive to pick up H. Traffic can be bad, but is all good. Listen to radio/music.
1700-1730ish – drive home with H. Converse, talk about our days.
1730ish onwards – get home. One of us cooks, the other will do tidying, we’ll watch a show together then do some music. I may stay up later and play a bit of X-box, or we’ll both head to bed at a reasonably sensible time.
The same day, with my depression rearing its head:
0445 – wake up in panic that alarm didn’t go off. Check time, breathe sigh of relief as not late to work.
0445-0500 – lie restless, don’t feel up to getting up, but can’t drift back off, feel incredibly tired. Alarm goes off, hit snooze, then feel guilty about it until alarm goes off again. Repeat twice.
0527 – drag self out of bed, run bath, get dressed. Head downstairs, turn off alarm put kettle on.
0600-0700 – crap how is it six already? Check H is awake, run around like headless chicken getting lunch together. Run back upstairs to close window and curtains because I forgot. Lose shoes/lunch/keys any or all of them. Sit down to drink coffee and its suddenly 15 minutes later and I’ve only taken one sip. Panic, rush to car. Rush back into to house to pick up what I’ve forgotten – often my work laptop.
0700-0715 – traffic’s terrible, I’m going to be late – again (I’m not actually often late). Why’s the traffic so terrible? Is everything against me today? Feel stressed, get headache. Possibly argue with H due to my poor mood. Drop H off and head off to my work.
0715-0740 – drive to work, everything on the radio makes me angry or stressed. Switch to CD – it’s awful, why would I have this in the car (because I really like it, but hey). Go back to radio. Shout at some politician or presenter about how whatever they’re saying is bullshit. Traffic still horrendous, I’m going to be so late.
0740-1200 – arrive at work, rush in stressed, convinced I’m late, and that I won’t have enough time to do all the updates that have a deadline. Enter my password incorrectly at least twice on each machine. Finally get logged in, rush tasks as running so late (I’m not), then have to do half of them again as I didn’t pay enough attention – now I’ve finished them late. Everyone I talk to is an idiot who won’t listen to what I’m saying and therefore making bad decisions. Get stressed (or rather more stressed), step outside for some air – doesn’t help. Go back to work and remain stressed all morning.
1200-1300 – lunch break. Go for walk, manage about 200 yards and get disenchanted. Go back to office to eat. Play with food, manage maybe a third of it. Open and close my book multiple times but only manage to read the same sentence 15 times and nothing else. Head back to desk
1300-1630 – more of the same. Nothing is working as it should. Find I’ve been scratching my arms in frustration (usually with fingernail, but sometimes with whatever’s in my hand at the time) – recently this has got particularly bad, and my arms can be quite alarming to look at. Get even more irritable and short with people. Finish work feeling frustrated and stressed.
1630-1700 – drive into centre to pick H up. Traffic is awful, stress levels shoot up as I get convinced I’m going to be really late (I’m usually not).
1700-1730ish – drive home with H. Be stressed, traffic appears to be 15 times worse than normal, and every other driver is an idiot, cutting me up and making stupid decisions – cue much swearing.
1730-ish onwards – get home. One of us cooks, I won’t have any interest in food. Will stomp about the kitchen generally being a black hole to all joy and light. May end up getting takeaway and then feeling bad about it. Will stay up late, supposedly playing on the X-box, but will try about 12 games (often multiple times each) and get frustrated/bored of each of them after five minutes. Will finally go to bed exhausted, fall asleep but then wake up every 30-40 minutes, worried about not getting enough sleep.
In the cold light of rationality – other than how I was feeling those two days were identical. All the things getting me stressed were caused by my depression and the filter that puts on how I see things. And of course it’s kind of self-fulfilling, I see things as worse than they are, react in a negative fashion, which makes things worse, and then I react again and so on. As you can imagine it’s no fun, and although I can quite rationally talk about it here, the trick is recognising that’s what’s happening on the day and turning it around.
Thanks for reading all and stay safe.