I am an animal lover first and foremost. I enjoy long walks by the beach, sunsets and gardening. I am a mental health advocate.
A Day in the Life of Someone Living, or Just Trying to Survive, With Mental Health Problems
Please note: this article includes sensitive topics that some people might find difficult. Please visit our Resources Page for help.
Waking up is hard even for healthy people, thus, it's not a wild guess to assume that it's even harder for someone with mental health problems. You are getting bombarded with all the intrusive thoughts you desperately wanted and hoped to escape by going to sleep. You have to get out of the bedsheets, but they are not just a couple pieces of fabric. They are a warm hug, a shield that protects you from the world.
A world that feels like it only cares about itself. When you observe how most other people go about their day, you envy them, you wish you could be able to lower your defenses, and just breath, without worrying about everything even for a moment. You wish you could be a part of the world, a better world, that's understanding, caring, and gives a helping hand to those in need. And maybe there's something better out there, you believe change is already happening, even if it's just in small nuggets of kindness and progress.
When you manage to finally get out of bed, it's time for the part of the day that you hate the most. You have to go out, whether it’s to run some errands or to go to work. Unlike the rest of the day, you can't take your time, process your thoughts and try to hold yourself together. You feel like a mess that's a couple of steps away from having a mental breakdown. No matter what you're going through, you have to be approachable, smile, talk to people, shake hands with them, and act like everything is alright. Think of lies and excuses if someone asks you how you like to spend your time, if you want to go to a football match together, etc. When this mind-numbing part of the day is finally over, you can return to your home, take off your clothes, shed this facade, jump into the shower and let the water do the thinking for you, as it falls on your aching body.
Then, it's time for dinner, if you're lucky, the food will give you some of those tasty feel-good hormones, and you'll be carefree for a while. If it isn't one of those nights, then what else is new, the sky is blue, and the world keeps on turning.
At last, responsibilities and errands are out of the way, it's time for that precious downtime, you can now unwind. You scroll through social media, while you have the TV on, hoping that it will trick your brain into thinking that you aren't completely alone, talk to strangers online about random things, watch cute videos that will make you crack a smile. You'll text some of your real-life friends to see how they're doing, ask them if they have any problems that you can help them with, even though if they ask you the same, you'll lie and you'll say that everything is fine. If you're feeling adventurous, you might try to flirt with someone on social media, but even if they flirt back, you feel like it won't lead to anything. You raised your walls a long time ago and now you don't even know if you want to tear them down anymore.
Sooner or later, you'll have to try and go to sleep, and while you love sleeping, the process to get there is dreadful. The lights go out, the music stops, no more crutches, it's just you and your demons, no distractions to save you from the onslaught of negative thoughts that you're constantly trying to fight off. You twist and turn in your bed, trying to focus on the times that you were happy, until sleep finally arrives.
Then, when you wake up, like a modern-day Sisyphus, you'll have to do all this again, and again and again, hoping that someday things will get better.
If you are someone who struggles with their mental health, just know that you’re not alone. Things can get better. If you are struggling reach out to someone that you trust or a professional.
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