I’ve had days where all I can manage is getting out of bed to use the toilet and possibly eat sugary cereal with creamy whole milk in bed.

Sunitha’s second #MadCovidDiaries 16.4.2020 

How do I even start trying to describe the last week? Today in particular has been positive but what’s happened in the middle, not so much. A friend of mine today mentioned that our emotions right now are heightened and she’s right, I have had days where all I can manage to do is get out of bed to use the toilet and possibly eat sugary cereal with creamy whole milk in bed. Then other days like today, I might have only gotten out of bed after midday but I got up for myself, to do something that was quite alien to me and I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy – gardening. It turns out that the needing something to pass the time as opposed to my usual, result oriented mindset, is particularly soothing. Who knew? I did a small fraction of the amount I thought that I would get done but at the same time, I think I enjoyed it. More than that, I appreciated it on a more basic connection to the world around me level, which for someone who often feels dissociated, is amazing. 

This week, the main issue I have had is around toxic behaviour from various different areas of my life. Someone I know was incredibly rude to me, in a way that made me feel angry, frustrated and attacked. It also really reminded me that for the most part, I try so hard to have consideration of how others are impacted by my actions. But, I constantly exist in spaces where I am dealing with the same negative behaviour. Another was a chat with a relative who thought it was appropriate to just take the mick out of me, and given I was trying to help him out, it just felt completely bereft of any awareness. As this is a difficult time, I have empathy for them, but I know this, along with a few other incidents over the last month, contributed to my feelings of depression at the start of the week. Because, guess what, under Covid19, I am remembering that a lot of my behaviour that I would say feels alien, is actually my coping mechanism to deal with the feeling that the world isn’t designed for me. I survive by being on the offensive.

I referred to my days of depression as bad mental health days to someone the other day, and today, I was explaining it away in such positivity. The truth is, the biggest battle I have with my depression is feeling that I’m not good enough: I’m failing myself and I’m letting myself down. It’s never a wider societal thing of comparing myself to everyone else, but why can’t I just be happy? What’s wrong with me that I can’t be happy when I know I can be? All those demons come out on those days. However, I kept repeating on Monday, when it was sunny outside and I hid away, that I needed to sleep, to recover, in order to survive. I did this without any expectation from myself that I needed to leave the house just because of the nice weather. Kind of funny given my nickname (Sunny) that I often have an aversion to being out in the sun.

I’m starving right now so even though it’s a little late, I’m going to have something to eat because I feel like I deserve it today. For the first time in a while, it’s not even about the productive things I might have done today, but about the one thing I really unexpectedly enjoyed that makes me feel deserving.

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