Eat well. Sleep well. Don’t binge drink. Don’t take illicit drugs. Take your medication.
Five amazingly simple rules to great mental health.
All much easier said than done.
1. Eat well
I alternate between ravenous and nauseous. The thought of eating terrifies me. The idea of food is off-putting most of the time. I persevere as much as possible, as I know my voices are worse when I’m hungry. But imagining food entering my mouth makes me feel sick and I’m looking chunky anyway.
2. Sleep well.
What is a good nights sleep? Is it when you wake up from sleep feeling refreshed? Or is it being able to sleep at a reasonable hour to a workable time? I fail on all counts. I’ve given up on sleep. Watching DVDs is more fun than desperately trying to sleep and even though my eyes are burning, I feel like crying and I’m very irritable, I’m confident I can exist on 2-3 hours per night until such point as I keel over from exhaustion. My voices are worse when I’m tired, and they also keep me awake. Bring on the exhaustion!
3. Don’t binge drink.
When you’re irritable, feeling unattractive, lacking confidence, stressed out, have no direction or option “all of the above” you tend to binge drink. Or I do anyway, and since it’s the last option in a line of coping mechanisms I would say I tend to spiral out of control sometimes. My voices shut up when I drink to excess, but they always come back with a vengeance on a hangover.
4. Don’t take illicit drugs.
Probably the most obvious thing about mental health recovery, as taking any substance that messes with your brain is likely to have a negative effect. Surprisingly more difficult than you would think to avoid. If you’re wondering why, see above, binge drinking. Alcohol makes you think you’re invulnerable, and at that point, incredibly stupid. There’s also the petulant child inside, that sometimes says “well everyone else does it…”; well everyone else doesn’t have psychosis.
5. Take your medication.
But I don’t want to. We change it, the voices get better, my brain adapts like the Borg and the dose has to be raised and we start the cycle all over again. I can learn to live with this. I need to get a handle on the other things first, but until I start living my life rather than sitting at home in a lethargic little trance I’m not going to be able to do that, and my weight has got to a point I have no confidence and don’t want to leave the house. I’m not taking it. At this point, vanity is sanity once again and if I gain any more weight I am just going to start taking huge quantities of speed or whatever to lose it because I have no patience and I feel like I look like crap.
I’m not in a great mood today. I knew I’d exhausted myself going up north, I’m dying for a cigarette and I feel a bit sick. But tomorrow will be another day. Or maybe it will just bleed into this one. Wish me sleep!