Living with Depression: My Morning Routine

5:30AM. The alarm sounds. Yes, I know I get up incredibly early, someone somewhere told me it would be good for my mental health (not if you pressed snooze it wouldn’t). Plus, I must walk the dog. The crushing feeling of having to drag myself out of bed, get myself to look presentable and participate in a full day of work and socialising feels like too much. I hit snooze again and again until it is impossible to hide from the reality any longer – I had to get up.

Showering is an effort, picking an outfit is draining. My hair is dirty, should I wash it? No, I’ll just sling it into a ponytail and hope no-one notices. If my hair looks remotely neat upon waking, I won’t even brush it. After my shower, I catch my reflection in the mirror; you look terrible. My skin looked grey, I had bags under my eyes that no makeup will be able to cover – believe me I’ve tried – and I hadn’t plucked my eyebrows in weeks. I half-heartedly throw on the clothes I so thoughtfully chose about 15 minutes ago. I look like I’ve spent the night in a skip, and my lifeless face isn’t helping things.

I inspect my face in the mirror again. It looks even worse this time. I should probably do my eyebrows, but I don’t think I have the time. My skin is breaking out from all the stress and the fact that I’ve not been washing my face at night because I just want to crawl in bed and hide, so I should probably put some makeup on, but I don’t want to. I don’t feel like making an effort, I don’t feel I deserve it.

Scanning my room after getting dressed, I notice a multitude of problems: The laundry basket is overflowing, there’s clutter everywhere, I still haven’t got around to getting the dodgy radiator looked at, I think I was meant to have a clear out 2 weeks ago, when was the last time I washed my bedsheets? Or emptied the bin? Or hoovered in here? My head feels like it’s going to explode as I remember all my other pending chores: You need a haircut, you’re overdue a doctor’s appointment, when was the last time you exercised? What about the dog?

Crap! The dog! Well, I have no time to walk him now. He’s going to gain so much weight and it’ll be all my fault. I’m a terrible dog owner, how can I look after another living thing when I can’t even look after myself?

I’m not hungry, but I suppose I should eat. I didn’t have dinner last night, I didn’t know what to cook and the thought of the effort of it all seemed too overwhelming so I just didn’t bother. All the food looks so uninteresting but I settle with toast. I put 2 slices of bread in the toaster and work on my lunch while I wait. Again, no energy or desire to make anything, so what do I pack? I throw some snacks in my bag and call it a day.

As I sit down to eat my breakfast I suddenly realise what a huge mistake I’ve made. The toast and sweet jam turn to tasteless mush in my mouth – in fact all food tastes like that now so I don’t know why I’m surprised anymore. I try to wash it down with a cup of tea but that just sits heavy in my stomach. It’s no use, my appetite has gone.

My morning routine takes so long to carry out that I now only have about 5 minutes to leave otherwise I’m going to be late for work. I wish my depression would let me feel something other than an overwhelming numbness and sadness so that maybe I’d actually care about this.

By the time I come to brush my teeth, I feel so lethargic, but with my last drops of energy I gather my things and get into the car. Sitting in the usual traffic, I try to mentally prepare myself for another long day at work, and by the time I come home, I’ll be ready to repeat the cycle all over again.

Living with Depression: My Morning Routine | Post on nolightwithoutdarkness.com

10 thoughts on “Living with Depression: My Morning Routine

  1. Though I wish no one would ever have to go through something like this, it’s so comforting to read you describe how I have felt on countless mornings. I would put off getting out of bed, showering and making breakfast so much at uni that I would often resort to not going to lectures because I’d think “well I’m going to be late so it isn’t worth it now”. I admire your determination to make it to work every day and I’m sure your dog completely adores you!

    Liked by 1 person

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