Lots of people experience this. That irritability that we experience while hungry, essentially. For many people, it is a short phase that disappears after eating. It is something to laugh about later. However, individuals suffering from anxiety, depression, BPD, or any other mental illnesses may feel these effects differently.
Having BPD and experiencing extreme highs and lows on a regular basis is difficult enough to deal with. This only gets harder when you lose track of basic needs such as eating, drinking water, or sleeping.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve been going through a depressive episode. I spent all of Saturday in bed, but somehow kicked myself to get up on Sunday. Today I planned on going to the gym. This is why the gym is important to me: it makes me get out of bed, I will eat breakfast, I will exercise, eat again, and the rest of the day is on track. Today I decided it wouldn’t be so bad to skip the gym.
So I skipped breakfast. I skipped the gym. I went to a seminar and straight to work. I was focused on my work until around noon, when I realized I was starving.
Sometimes when I don’t eat, I’m just irritable. I get grumpy and silent and don’t want to talk to anyone until I eat. This is socially acceptable; people understand this. If anything people think it’s “cute” or “quirky”. When I’m already in a low mood, the feelings are a lot darker.
I needed to take out cash and I didn’t think it would be a big deal to go to the bank before eating. So I told my friend I’d catch up with her later.
Halfway there, an exhausted sort of feeling emerged. At the ATM, ruminating thoughts began. You’re useless. You’re ruined. You’re damaged. I started walking back to meet my friends. The exhausted feeling pressed down into my chest, hard. The thoughts were louder. You’re going to ruin this. You don’t deserve to be happy.
My heart was pounding and I walked faster. I knew I just needed to eat, and this would all go away. You should kill yourself. I stared ahead, trying to let the thoughts pass through. I knew I just needed to eat. You’re pathetic, you know that? What a fucking baby. Who gets this dramatic about being hungry? What would it be like to jump over that ledge? I shook my head and held back my tears.
This kept running through my head until I finally grabbed my food, and found my friend. All I could focus on was eating and trying not to cry. Afterwards, I felt calmer, but I was left tired and weary from the ordeal I just went through in my own head.
I went home. I’m back in bed. I don’t know whether I should cry or sleep. All I know is that I’m exhausted and all of this was totally preventable. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, though; I just need to learn from this and move forward
Just because “boring self care” is boring, doesn’t mean it isn’t so important. Sometimes the small things make all the difference. Getting out of bed. Eating. Exercising. It’s so important to take care of these vulnerabilities. Your health is important. Your needs are valid and you need to care for yourself.