Living with Depression: My Morning Routine

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.

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19 Comments

  1. September 21, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    So chillingly relatable to my morning routine. It’s a struggle, but sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning feels like the biggest accomplishment.

    • September 21, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      I know what you mean! Those days are the hardest. Just got to go easier on yourself and celebrate all the small accomplishments on the tough days

  2. September 21, 2017 / 3:14 pm

    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!

    • September 21, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Thank you so much, and I hope mornings are a little easier on you now. It’s hard to get ready for the day when you couldn’t care less about where you’re going or what you’re doing.

  3. aliceroseglow
    September 23, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Your writing is stunning!

    Alice // The Rose Glow

    • September 24, 2017 / 6:30 am

      Thank you so much! ☺️

  4. September 26, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    The way you write is so lovely. I just want to give you a genuine well done for every time you’ve managed to get out of bed and that it’s okay if you can’t as well. I know that even doing just that can be the most difficult thing. You’re so strong x

    Alice http://www.accordingtoalicex.com

    • September 26, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Thank you so much, it’s hard sometimes but it’s good to know I’m not alone 💛 just given you a follow back ☺️

  5. October 12, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I completely understand how you feel, depression and anxiety are the worst mix in the world. Love your writing tho, it’s nice to see other people’s process 💕

  6. November 17, 2017 / 10:53 pm

    This post is so relatable, thank you for putting it so brutally honestly.

  7. June 16, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    I can relate all too well to this. It’s horrible, and you are amazing for dragging yourself out of bed. Your writing is gorgeous too!

  8. October 5, 2018 / 3:20 am

    Thankyou so much for being so candid and honest in this post! It highlights so well exactly what we can go through every morning just trying to get ready for the day ahead xx

    • October 5, 2018 / 5:38 am

      I’m really glad you liked it! 💛

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