“Caring for yourself, looking after your physical health, just isn’t a priority for someone who constantly wants to die.”
— ‘When You Spend 6570 Consecutive Days Wanting To Kill Yourself The Little Things Get Neglected… Like Dental Hygiene’: June 13, 2007; by Gabriel…
“We need to be able to find small victories, little moments we can lose ourselves in so we can fight against the voice in our head telling us what a huge fucking failure we’ve become because we couldn’t stop failing over the years and decades which make up our lives.”
— ‘When Relying On Small Victories To Move Through Depression There’s A Very Real Risk The Small Defeats Will Carry Us Under’: January 7, 2008; by Gabriel…
I get exhausted doing the day-to-day things everyone else in my life seems to do without thinking.
The mundane becomes overwhelming. The trivialities of everyday life become exhausting, so that even attempting the little things become too difficult knowing how drained I’m going to be. Basically we get hit so many times with failure that we flinch at the thought of doing something trivial, until the basic essentials of everyday life become mountains to overcome.
We get so engulfed in the double edged sword of bipolar disease — the near constant of depressions and the extreme highs become such a burden on our lives, that our ability to do the routine stuff gets lost.
…like staying awake. Or keeping appointments. Or changing the bed. Or showering.
I think it gets even worse when someone with Bipolar or Chronic Depression is on Disability, or living alone, because there really is no reason to get clean. There’s no reason not to sleep. There’s no reason to get the laundry done or the dishes clean. There’s no structure to the day except that which we are trained to do as children, and that training got overwhelmed by the Depressions and the Manics.
And I’ve been mostly on my own for the past four-years.
Which might explain why I don’t shower with any regularity any more. I had one a few days ago because I had an appointment for my feet, but that was the first one since my last Doctor’s appointment three weeks ago.
I’m at the point where if it wasn’t for those appointments… I don’t know. When I was untreated, I’d also go weeks without showering.
During the last two years of high school I was chronically depressed because of the manic depression. I was missing half of my classes, I was drinking heavily on weekends, and I stopped showering regularly. I would wash my hair twice a week but leave my body rotting for weeks at a time. My nickname was Sloth… but I didn’t know that until years later when a friend I hadn’t seen in years apologized for how he treated me. It was because I was physically slow and reeked most of the time.
Things got a little better in the years afterwards, when I started working, and I was dating regularly, but the behaviours ingrained on me by the Depressions were just too strong. By the time the moments of lucidity came around, when the manics and depressions were taking a break, the size and amount of the chores left to me were just too much to deal with. So even if I was able to wash myself, dishes were left to the mould, and the mounds of clothes remained unwashed.
Over the past four years things have reverted back to how they were in high school. I just don’t know why I don’t shower more. I’ve never talked to my therapist or psychiatrist about it. Again, I don’t know why. Shame, probably. I just can’t find a reason to get clean.
It has reached the point where my kids are making comments — I do make sure they’re showered every night — so I know others must be noticing.
I just don’t know how to fix it. I’ll tell myself that “today’s the day”, or tonight is the night, or I’ll get up extra early, or I’ll do it before bed… but I sleep in, or I’m too tired at night, or I just forget until I’m half asleep and I can’t be bothered to get up and get it done.
Basically I tell myself I’ll do it when I’m not so tired, but I’m tired all the time.
…there are just too many things in my life I’m dealing with by not dealing with them.
I have to work on not being tired, that’s one. I have to clear this mental block I have that prevents me from wanting to get clean, that’s two… I’m not sure what three is. There really should be a third thing. And probably ten more, but I’m tired.
Basically my life right now is: get up; feed the kids; make sure they get to school somewhat on time; take my pills; go back to bed for four or five hours; get up again; get the kids some supper; pick up the kids from school; keep them entertained until bedtime; watch the news; take my pills, and; back to sleep.
I read something recently that basically said “the first 95% is the easy part, it’s the last 5% that’s the most work”. Or something. Maybe it was “95% of the work is the last 5% of the job”. That sounds right. I’ve managed, with a LOT of effort to get the bipolar under control… for the most part. But it’s the last pieces, the last of the bipolar behaviours, that I need to fix while maintaining that control.