My mind does back-flips, forward rolls and star jumps of emotions each and every day and trying to focus long enough to write them down isn’t easy.Anxiety and depression go hand in hand for me, and one will quote often lead to the other – but what am I actually thinking about when im in these moods? Are the thoughts normal or am I skewing my reality to allow them? I have listed a typical day for me below to describe how my mood changes and fluctuates during the day – if you spot any commonalities I would love to hear about it in the comments.
I try to wake up around this time each day, and my first thought is always that I haven’t had enough sleep. It doesn’t matter what time I went to bed, or how busy I was the day before. Feeling refreshed, eager and alert in the mornings is a vague memory from my childhood but hasn’t happened since I was a teenager. Occasionally I wont wake up at all instead opting to roll back over and not face the day.
I’m usually at my computer by now, and already the guilt starts creeping into my head. ‘I slept too long…’, ‘I missed half the day…’, followed shortly by the anxiety. ‘Will I get everything done in time?’, ‘Am I doing enough work?’
I can usually take about two hours of this before it becomes a bit too much to deal with and I have to go and seek a distraction to take my mind of it.
Usually around now that I first start feeling lonely. It’s not a need to have someone with me, I just get tired of only hearing my own mental narrative and start craving conversation or different voices. Alas, I am not very social though (social anxiety) so going out and finding people to converse with is out of the question so I usually rely on the radio to give me some background noise.
Depending on my energy levels I will either fill the next hour or two with writing or with some light housework.
By now my anxiety will be in overdrive, especially if I am on my own. My coping mechanism isn’t great but allows me a little peace and quiet so I will usually curl up on the sofa or in bed for an hour and play Chuzzles on my iPhone. The monotony and thought required are enough to calm me down a little at least until my family returns. Depending on how bad I feel I will either snooze for an hour afterwards or get up and write some more.
Napping is something I want to get rid of (I am only 28 and I average 10 hours sleep a night) but its the only way I can function at all at the moment. Sometimes I will just snooze for 20 minutes and other times I will fall asleep and nothing will wake me for several hours.
I try to switch off as much as possible in the evenings, and whilst this isn’t always possible I usually end up having a marathon Netflix session with the wife. Getting lost in a TV programme is a great way to disappear from my mind for a few hours. Eventually though even this gets interrupted by thoughts and I have to find something else to distract myself.
It’s about this time of the day that my thoughts start turning really bad and quite scary at times. I get despondent and feel empty about everything – my appetite will sometimes fade away and other nights it will make me binge on sugars but one thing remains constant – the negativity of my emotions. I try my best to hide it from my family and usually sit at the computer surfing the net or trying to finish some articles but all the time my mind is racing and every bad decision I ever made is getting played over in my mind again and again.
Several hours in front of the TV and then the computer are great for creating distractions but they tend to leave me more alert and stimulated than ready for bed. On a good night though I will get into bed and at least try to fall asleep. My racing brain has other ideas though – increasing the speed and variation of my thoughts until I am tossing and turning trying to both get comfortable and get tired enough to fall asleep and finally get some peace and quiet.
If I haven’t fallen asleep yet (which is common) I will listen to an audiobook on my phone – this helps to stop my mind racing a little but as I usually fall asleep with the book still playing I think it contributes somewhat to me getting a bad nights sleep. If there is one thing I envy more than anything its the people who get into bed and are asleep within minutes – how is it even possible?