Bipolar Disorder · mental health

A Day in My Life

I do not work outside the home because my illness causes me too much stress and anxiety to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Because of this, I receive disability benefits. A lot of people think that just anyone can get disability and that I choose to get it because I don’t want to work.  While this may be true for some cases, it is not true for me. I enjoyed working. I needed time away from my kids to be sane. I worked either part time or full time from when I was 16  until I was 36. At 27, I quit my full time job to stay home with my youngest daughter. I still worked though. I babysat in my home for other children until she went to Preschool and then I worked part time at the video store my husband managed. When we decided to divorce, I had to get a full time job again. I was okay for about a year and a half and then it gradually became impossible for me to work and live a healthy life at the same time. Either my work suffered or my kids and I personally suffered. With the advice of my psychiatrist, I applied for disability. That was March 2013. I was denied in May 2013. I got a lawyer and continued to fight. I quit my full time job in June 2013 and got a part time job. I had to quit that job and just not work at all in May 2014. Finally after a judicial hearing in April 2014 with a judge, me, my lawyer, and an occupational expert it was decided that I cannot work with my disorder and a fully favorable decision of disability was granted. The decision came in August 2014. So I fought hard. But just because I don’t work outside the home, doesn’t mean I don’t work. My job is to take care of my husband, my kids, my pets, and my home. As many of you know, this is not an easy job.  I still have bad days where nothing gets done. There are days when my husband has to pick up the slack. But when I am well, I take care of my family. I wanted to give you some insight on my day.It may be boring to some, but this is the work I love. So here it is, my day on December, 15 2015.

My day began with my husband, Brian waking me up at 1:00 this morning. “Babe? Do the kids have school today?” “Yeah…..”I answered. “It’s 7:00,” he replied. “Babe, it’s 1:00 in the morning,” I said. “And if it is really 7:00, why aren’t you concerned that you are 2 hours late for work?” “True.” he said and rolled over to go back to sleep. My husband often talks in his sleep. I’d say at least once a week. I usually don’t talk to him because he likes to argue with me, so I just say “oh, ok” and roll over!  Back to sleep I go until my daughter, Emilie’s alarm clock goes off at 6:00 her clock time and 5:57 my clock time. I lay there until my alarm went off at 6:00 and then I go into her room, turned on her light, shut off her alarm and wake her up. I go back to bed for the remainder of my snooze time. Pushed snooze again and waited for the next snooze. I yelled if she was awake at 6:30 and she yelled back that she was. She then came in my room and asked me what the temperature was going to be like and if she should wear a certain sweater. Time to get up. I make a cup of coffee and proceed to make the girls lunches. I go to Marian’s room for her lunch bag, turn on her light and wake her up. I put Emile’s freshly cleaned gym clothes that she forgot yesterday in a bag and put them with her lunch. Emilie wants to know if Marian is up, she wants to borrow a hat for hat day. I go into Marian’s room, she is still in bed, but is okay if Emilie borrows a hat.  I rummage through her drawer and find one. I grab my coffee and a nutrigrain bar and sit on the couch looking at Facebook and email on my phone. Emilie fiddles around with the hat and leaves at 6:50 for the bus stop.  Marian emerges from her bedroom, complains that we have nothing to eat for breakfast to take on the go because she got up to late to eat cereal. She puts her lunch in the refrigerator because she doesn’t need it today. Her choir class is going caroling to the feeder schools today so they are going out to lunch. I continue to look at my phone and enjoy my coffee until she is ready to leave at 7:20.  We get in the car and fight morning traffic all the way to school. I drop her off and head home. I let my 8 month old black lab mix, Olympus out of his kennel and put him outside. I put his breakfast in his kennel, bring him back in and put him back in the kennel while I take a nap. My beagle, Chloe is in my bed (she get in it and under the covers after Brian leaves in the morning) and I snuggle in next to her. My other beagle Copper comes in. I think he is going to jump in bed too but he just looked at me and proceeded to pee on my floor. I get out of bed and clean that up. I go back to bed and sleep until 10:00, as I awaken I get a text. It’s my friend wanting to know where I got my essential oil diffuser. I respond and I text my husband that I am awake and I get up. I let Olympus out of the kennel and back outside along with Copper. I make another cup of coffee and get something to eat. I also take my daytime medication. I turn on CSI: Las Vegas on Hulu, sit on the couch and open the computer for some internet surfing. I get up several times to let the dogs in, scold Olympus for chasing the cats and jumping the baby gate (put up to keep him away from the cats,) and scold him for eating a sock. I finish my breakfast and research recipes for the ailments my friend wants essential oils for and the prices that correspond. I text him back. I straighten up the kitchen, start the dishwasher, sweep the floor, fold the clothes from the dryer, and make a grocery list. Olympus finds an empty water bottle under the couch that Emilie left from last night and played with it. I took a short video of him, posted it on Facebook and then threw the bottle away. I go outside and remove the cover from our house number being painted on the curb and check the mail (no mail yet.) I decide that I am going to write a new blog and I sit down and start it. I straighten up the living room and go into my room to get ready for the day. I get interrupted by texts and dogs. Olympus & Copper want out. I go out and check the mail, again (it came!) I sit down to check my bank account and Chloe emerges from my bedroom. She wants to go outside too. I let her out, check my bank account, and I go back into my room to finish getting ready for the day. I am interrupted again because Olympus won’t let Chloe come up to the back door to be let in so I go outside to break up their “fight.” Chloe runs to the back door and we go inside. Once again, I try to get ready for the day. Brian gets home from work and I finally finish getting ready. We bring Copper and Olympus inside, give all the dogs a treat, put Olympus in the kennel, and head to the grocery store. On the way to our second destination I get a text from Marian asking if I can pick her up from school. Their field trip got back late and her ride home had to go. Luckily it’s on the way so she won’t have to wait long. While waiting I talked to my mom on the phone. Marian jumped in the car and we headed to our second destination. Ran in to grab a few things and headed home. By this time, Emilie is home from school. I put the groceries away and start to make dinner. We have to eat early tonight because Marian has winter guard rehersal. As dinner cooks, I clean up the kitchen for a second time. Dinner is ready and we eat. I do the dishes for the third and final time tonight. I promised Emilie we would make Christmas popcorn tonight to give to her friends, but I told her I want to sit and relax for a few minutes. Marian leaves but not before asking for a check for winter guard. I get up to write her check and go ahead and write Emilie’s check for her winter guard. Marian leaves and I sit down again to relax. About fifteen minutes later I get a text from Marian, she forgot something and wants to know if I will bring it up to school because it is due today. Off to school I go to drop it to her. Looks like I’m not going to get to relax anymore before Emilie and I start making popcorn. We get back and before we start, I shoot off a couple emails regarding Emilie’s cello to her dad and her orchestra teacher. Back to the kitchen with Emilie. We whip up the popcorn, spread it out on the stove, and now we get to wait for it to dry. FINALLY, I get to relax for about an hour. Time for a glass of wine and some Netflix. The hour actually lasted about 20 minutes. Brian informed us that the popcorn was done and he knew this because he ate some. I help Emilie bag up the popcorn for her friends. Now I really can relax with more wine and Netflix. Finally got to relax, time to start the dishwasher, tuck my little Emilie into bed, kiss Marian good night and head to bed. I thought this was going to be a fairly basic day, it was a little more than that. But I wouldn’t change a thing. Taking care of my family is what I love to do. It brings me joy and keeps me going. Time to take my medicine and crawl into bed and snuggle with my husband. I wonder what he is going to wake me up and tell me in the middle of the night.

one day at a time

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