Goodness gracious, as if having mental illness were hard enough, we are expected to other daily tasks.
First of all we have to take our medication. If you are anything like me, it is a pain in the ass. I take a lot of medication. Some of you need only one – like lithium- and that is awesome. I wish I was, instead I have meds for hallucinations, depression and mood stabilisers. Too many pills. I know that I have to take them because without them I flip the switch – depression or mania.
We are expected to brush our teeth. Did you ever notice how heavy tooth brush is? Or how hard it is too squeeze the tube of toothpaste? When we are depressed it feels impossible to do the smallest of tasks. But we are expected to brush our teeth twice a day.
One of the hardest thing we are expected to do is to bathe. A shower, something so easy for the average Joe seems impossible for me, for us. I have a small house with just one bathroom. It isn’t far from my bedroom to the bathroom. It is not a big bathroom; a few feet from the doorway to the shower and tub. But it is so hard to take my clothes off and get into the warm water. I have a bunch of hair products and body wash in there. Sometimes I just stand there under the water. I imagine the yucky bits will go down the drain. I wash and condition my hair. I use my purple pouf with sweet smelling body wash. Sometimes I shave my legs – for that I have to be in a good day or an energetic day. When I am depressed I do not care. Then after this monument of a task, we have to get out of the shower or bath. I wrap my hair in a towel and another for my body. I have short curly hair so I can’t just wash and wear hair which means I have to do something to it. It is maddening. After I get out of the shower, more potions and lotions. This is why bathing is so hard. Too many steps. But sometimes, post shower, we feel better, especially ifit has been a while. I have been there. Not bathing until my hair is a disaster and I am stinky, not because I care, but because I am a human and I need to be gentle with myself which includes taking care of my body.
Appetite swings both ways, either we want to eat everything or we have no appetite at all. The thing is, whichever way your feelings for food are, you probably wish it was a little more the opposite.This makes it hard for us to make dinner or choose where to go or call in or ask someone to help us.
Healthy people exercise. I am trying to get into a routine, but it is so hard when I am depressed. (Plus, I live in the South and gets HOT here). Why do people expect so much? It is seems there are all these rules of society and we are not exempt from them. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if everyone talked openly about mental illness. Would we be a bit more understanding? Would we be more encouraging? Would we be a people of kindness?