Today I would like to talk a little about two functions that we all deal with, eating and sleeping. For me I rarely feel actual hunger, I fancy foods occasionally and then cant get the idea of eating them out of my head often but its rare for me to say that I am hungry and mean I really feel hunger. I eat because I am supposed to eat most of the time. I could quite happily go through the whole day and not real even notice I haven’t eaten anything. When I was university this was often the case, I would binge one day, just because I felt like it and then wouldn’t eat for a couple of days and feel perfectly okay with it. I have worked on adjusting this to be healthier for my own sake but there are times where I still forget. If it wasn’t for having a designated lunch break whilst at work then I would happily go all day. When my depression and anxiety is at its worst this is a lot harder and I will really have to work hard to remember to eat.
There are certain foods that I struggle to eat, mainly due to their texture. These include popcorn and Maltesers. Maltesers have a way of slipping on your teeth and you never know when it is going to happen and it makes me feel all shivery and cringy. I can however eat the new teaser range as its smaller Maltesers parts so this makes me happy! Another food thing which really makes me squeamish is spreads and spreads. Ill explain, this relates to sandwiches and mainly means I can’t handle butter mixed with any other kind of spread such as marmite, cheese, jam etc. It makes me shudder just thinking about it. In fact I could forgo butter with any other sandwich filler to be exact even cheese and ham. I will happily have a thin layer of butter on toast or bread but with nothing else added. If it’s a sandwich I would rather leave the butter altogether.
Fizzy drinks are another thing that I cannot handle. I hate the taste and sensation in my mouth. Even as a child I couldn’t drink them, always used to feel really left out when I was a child at birthday parties and things. Its also really upsetting when its only refillable ‘soft’ drinks which are always fizzy or water in restaurants. I know its only something small and silly but it always makes me feel left out. Now in my 30’s I’m actually pretty glad that I don’t drink them, means one less thing I have to try and be healthy with or cut out of my diet! So that’s always helpful. This same theory applies with mint tastes, although I have had to learn to live with this as adult toothpastes are all mint in flavour and I have to brush my teeth! There are some that I am more tolerant of than others so this helps. I do miss the strawberry and bubble gum toothpastes from my childhood though!
Now lets move on to sleep, now I don’t know how everyone else feels about sleep so this may be a common thing but this is my outlook. Falling asleep can be difficult for me, getting my brain to shut down and not keep thinking about things I want to look up, or check or make for work. Watching programmes I have seen lots of times helps with this as they distract me but also don’t engage my brain too much. I used to use music, but the playlist has to be played in a certain order otherwise I spend too much time waiting to hear what the next song will be and then keeps my brain engaged in what is happening. Like many people with depression and anxiety this makes my sleep pattern much worse, falling asleep is even trickier and my amount of sleep will often drop down to about 4 hours per night, which to be honest I can function on pretty well considering. I tend to even now have a good few days where my sleep is much less, about 6 hours and then randomly have a night where I sleep much better again.
Even when I am asleep it isn’t easy. I have really intense dreams which are made worse by the medication I am on, or by forgetting to make my medication but even before the meds the intense level of my dreams is something I have struggled with, it isn’t even that they are ‘bad’ dreams or nightmares, they are just very realistic (even if the theme isn’t realistic at all…once I was a superhero!) which means I often wake in the night and can feel completely unrested after a night when these are particularly bad. Also once I am awake that’s normally it, I can rarely fall back to sleep again after. Of course I need sleep and the more stable my emotions are as I get older the better nights sleep I can have, but I wouldn’t say I enjoy sleeping. I just never know what I am going to get. Whether its going to be a night plagued by dreams and restlessness or whether I may actually sleep most of the way through and feel refreshed. Honestly by body has got used to it mainly and it doesn’t normally affect my energy or concentration too much throughout the day if sleep hasn’t been great but if I have a few continuous rough nights then it does start to get to me like everyone else. As I said I don’t know that this is any different from other people and I wish I could explain it better so that people could really understand how sleep is for me but I feel this only touches on the surface. elp.ch