For your average normie, routines are just another thing that happens as you age. You start doing things a certain way because it’s efficient. You keep doing things that way because that’s just how you’ve always done it.
For your average mental person, routines save lives.
I have routines for just about everything. Because of all the meds I’ve taken, alcohol I’ve consumed, and times I’ve overdosed, my brain is most closely resembles a nice hunk of Swiss cheese. I forget things very easily so I rely on lists and routines to get me by. And I have a routine for just about everything.
There’s the morning routine – get up, go pee, smoke, drink mocha, make bed, knit and talk to Josh until 6.
There’s the getting ready routine – get in shower, wash hair, condition hair, wash body, brush teeth, wash face, take pills, fix hair, get dressed, assemble bag to take to work, refill mocha.
There’s the start of day at work routine – turn on light, turn on fan, wake up computer, check work email, check personal email, look at Facebook, check blog, check voice mail, turn phone ringer off, answer emails, write on blog, post on Facebook.
The rest of the day is flexible – it has to be. Take today for example. I’ve got meetings at 9, 11, and noon. I most likely won’t get a real lunch break today because of this. Since I knew about this yesterday, I had Josh make me a sandwich I can eat during one of my meetings so I don’t go completely hungry. I’d like to have a slightly more normal day and take lunch from 10:30 – 11:30 so that I could talk to Josh, but that’s just not going to happen today I’m afraid.
After work I have more routines.
There’s the close of work day routine – put computer to sleep, turn off fan, turn off lights, lock door, get car key and sunglasses, gather belongings, drive home.
The after work routine – put key on entry way table, hang purse up in kitchen after retrieving phone, put coat and smokes by back door, put lunch dishes in the dishwasher, get a drink, look at mail, file mail, change into pjs.
Depending on what day it is and what’s going on I will sometimes get to spend a little while before dinner knitting. If Josh wants to spend time together we do. If I have to cook I usually head up to the kitchen around 5:30. Josh will typically take care of getting lunches and the next day’s beverages made and he always puts the evening pills together for me. I always take my pills at the table while I’m eating, sometime between 6 and 6:30. Geodon has to be taken with food in order to work at all.
The rest of the evening is usually spent relaxing. I typically lay down around 8 and take a Melatonin and am usually asleep by 9 so that I can get up at 5:30 the next morning and do it all over again. If I didn’t have all of my routines I would flounder.
I mention all of this because my dearest pal is having trouble again because she got off her routines for a few days. It’s hard, it really is. Getting off routine means it’s easier to forget to take your pills, it’s easier to not take care of yourself, and it’s really easy to get yourself into a world of trouble.
I haven’t missed taking my evening pills since I was dating Josh. I decided on the spur of the moment to spend the night at his place and didn’t have my pills with me. I went more than 24 hours with no sleep. It was very much not pretty. I’ve only ever completely forgotten my evening pills once, when my mom came home sicker than a dog. I realized what I’d done at 2:30 in the morning and took them then. As I recall, I made it into work around noon that day. And I haven’t forgotten the pills since.
We all know that we need to take our pills regularly and take care of our physical selves every bit as much as we need to take care of our mental selves. But it’s hard. Really fucking hard. Some days it’s a colossal struggle to just get out of the bed at an appropriate time, let alone get dressed and go somewhere. But you have to do it anyway. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do.
We fight. We fight for our sanity. We fight for our freedom from being tormented by our own brains and bodies. We fight for the right to wear the label of NORMAL. We fight to prove that we’re just as good, no, better than the normies. We fight to show that we’re capable of doing anything we want bad enough.
We fight because it’s the only thing we know how to do.
And when we’re done fighting, we fight some more.
I say again my friends, do not give up hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not actually the headlight of an oncoming freight train. This life does get better, you just have to want it to.
Fight my friends, fight for all you’re worth. Make your routines, work on them until they’re second nature. Make your lists and use them. Devise systems to help you get through the day.
And above all, NEVER GIVE UP HOPE.