A Day in the Life of abbie-laura
It’s August the 26th, where has the year gone already? I wake in a bit of a panic, it feels like my life is rushing past me and I’m desperately grasping at thin air to catch some small element of time that I can hold between my fingers. I wait for my anxiety to settle. I have two and a half hours before I have to leave for work. I am sad, but that is okay. Feeling is okay and that’s something that is still alien to me even after twenty years on this little floating rock we call home. I carry my home in my heart wherever I go; the memories all neatly tucked into their compartments.
I live with a little demon that curls itself up inside my head and pretends to sleep, I leave for work and I’m painfully aware of the stirrings in my mind. Today, my eating disorder has resumed its war within me, but I still paint on my smile and get ready to face the world. One step- one bite at a time.
I’m incredibly fortunate that I work in such a supportive team; eight hours can seem like a lifetime when it feels that every cell in your body is fighting against your existence. In my attempts to keep myself feeling the everyday emotions that come and go I’m painfully aware of how quickly my mood has the ability to fluctuate. I’m overwhelmed and incredibly sensitive, as though my whole body is on fire.
An incredibly close friend contacts me around lunchtime in a panic as her father has been taken into hospital after a heart attack, and all I can think of is whether or not she is safe in that moment, having friends who also suffer from mental health issues can be a great relief- knowing that someone else understands what I am experiencing, but it also brings along a fair amount of worry. I spend some time talking with her and making sure that she will be safe and reminding her that I’m always there when she needs me. I want to cry for her, but I take a deep breath and get back to work. One of the worst parts of Borderline Personality Disorder is that you’re never quite sure if you’re being too overbearing when it comes to both being supportive of friends and also asking for their support. I convinced myself for a long time that after I left DBT that I no longer had BPD, but it stills walks in the corridors of my mind.
It’s 18:10pm and I get another unexpected phone call in the middle of my shift. The girl who was part of my friendship group during my A-Level studies has died of cancer. It honestly feels like there is not enough air in the world to breathe, and I stand in the stock room willing myself not to cry, but it’s hard and suddenly I remember why I spent so long running from my own emotions because everything is overwhelmingly painful and I don’t know what to do or how I am meant to stop what is going through my mind? Nonetheless I survive and I make it through to the end of my shift.
Heading home I realise that I forgot to take my medication for the day and I’m crashing, I resent how it appears that I am so reliant on them to be able to function somewhat normally, but right now that is my reality. I’m trying to remember not to beat myself up about these things and be more compassionate to myself. I get home and spend some time chatting with my dad, telling him stories about work and finding out about how his day has been whilst trying to muster the courage to eat, before turning in for the night.
Sometimes I look back and it hits me, how things have changed in these last few years, but then I look at how far I have come. I’m building my future one day at a time and as debilitating as mental illness can be, I am grateful for what my experiences continue to teach me.