For World Mental Health Day 2019: A morning in the life of me
Inspired by James I’m going to share some of my day.
It’s 9.24am. There’s a boring consumer rights show hosted by Gloria Hunniford (Gloria Hunniford?!) on the TV but I can’t be bothered to reach over to find the remote to change the channel.
I’ve made breakfast and it sits next to me on the arm of the sofa while I write this on my mobile. I write the title, put the phone down, look at breakfast, pick the phone back up again.
I write a little more, put my phone down, pick up my breakfast and then, inexplicably, pick up a different phone that is close by. I check my banking app on that phone, see that nothing has changed, and put it down again.
I’m watching something about insurance payouts, and pick up my breakfast.
I eat slowly, over 10 minutes. Once it’s finished I place the bowl is beside me on the sofa. The show is still playing. I’m thinking about all the things I’ve got to do today. The bowl will probably stay there until I have a mad rush of activity at 2.50pm just before I need to pick the little one up from school. The dishwasher will remain loaded with clean dishes until around 5 when I finally concede that I should do it, and little one eats his tea. I’m ignoring the laundry and burying the thought about needing to change the bed sheets.
A segment about GDPR comes on the TV, I know it’s going to irritate me, so and this finally spurs me to move. A bug in Medium on my phone means I get out my laptop. But when I got up I forgot to find the remote, which was the whole reason I got up in the first place.
Oh well, now GDPR is being tv-splained to me by Angela Rippon (Angela Rippon?!)
I’m being slow this morning after a couple of pints last night. I didn’t drink much but I still feel it today. Getting up slightly later meant skipping breakfast at my usual time as I needed to make a packed lunch and get the little one to school.
I took my anti-depressant late, haven’t had a cup of tea yet, and this might be why I’m not currently firing on any cylinders.
I check my work email and realise I forgot to put my OOO on, there’s an email I need to reply to, so I do that, despite this being my non-working day.
Homes Under the Hammer is on now, so I’ve successfully wasted over half an hour of my day off. I look at my cup of tea, wonder how cold it’s gone, but still don’t drink it.
I am glued to this sofa. I probably wont leave the house today, except to pick the little one up again. Being in the house means not having to worry about brushing my hair or doing any makeup. It’s a relief.
I realise now, too late, that the remote is next to me on the sofa and not on the table where I thought it was, if only I’d bothered to look for it.
I’m tired. Friday is my recouperation day. It’s good to be quiet even though my head is rarely quiet. Except I know I have a few calls to take today. One with Nour about One Team Gov, a couple with Nanny agencies. I’m irritated that my day will be punctuated by having to engage with other people.
I pick up the tea, it is lukewarm. I’ve been slouching. I sit up. I drink.
I’m thinking about an email I need to send today and a conversation that I need to have but which I know is going to be difficult. I’m thinking about it, but procrastinating. I know the worry wont subside until I bite the bullet, but I still don’t do anything. I also know speaking to nanny agencies today means explaining to people I’ve never met, about my little one and his autism. That will be hard. I push the thought away.
There’s a reality here that I wanted to convey. If you saw me in the week you would not get a sense of this inertia, this sluggishness. I have a responsibility to get stuff done. People expect me to get it done. I must do it. I must go out and talk and emote and think and be a better version of me than this. But it’s tiring.
I’ve heard people refer to this as high-functioning. I would call myself high-functioning. For the most part people don’t see this side of me. That’s why I write about it. People don’t see the other side of the coin. This is that side.
It’s an hour since I started writing this and I’ve done nothing. I’ve written this, and it’s lazy writing even for me. Probably enough. I give up and hit publish.
You’ll find James’ blog post here:
I didn’t brush my teeth this morning
3pm Thursday 10 October 2019, sitting at my desk in Defra
Please remember on World Mental Health day that you are not alone. If you ever need someone to listen I’m happy to, no judgement.