This is an average day in my life — the life of an addict, a mother, a writer, someone with bipolar and anxiety. It’s boring, and it’s missing pieces, and not every day is the same, but it is what it is.
3:30am I wake up. I need a cigarette. I feel around the bed, Holden’s there. Can’t smoke. I squint to see the boys cuddling and smile to myself. I go back to sleep.
7:30am I wake up. I roll over. I try to go back to sleep but I know it won’t come. I check my phone and my computer and I forget to put my glasses on until the tenth time of wondering why everything’s all fuzzy.
7:35am I need a cigarette. I look around the bed again. Holden’s gone. He must have woken up and gone back to his room at some point in the last four hours. I light up. I take a few drags and hear his door. He’s up. He comes into my room and I beg him to let me finish my cigarette, but he doesn’t. I need to turn on his show. We yell at each other for a few minutes, but I don’t want to wake Jack. I get up.
7:37am I go into the living room and turn on the TV. I go into the kitchen and throw some frozen french toast in the microwave, playing on my phone as I wait for it to be done. I get juice ready. I bring everything into the living room and make sure Holden’s all set up.
7:40am I finish the bit of my cigarette that hasn’t burned away. I check my Reader for attention-grabbing headlines and my favorite bloggers’ names. I scroll through a few posts and save a few more to read later. I light another cigarette. I waste away precious time scrolling through my Reader and playing online games and staring at the computer screen, hoping it will give me something to do. Eminem (formerly known as M&M) messages me a Good Morning and things look up a bit.
8:30am I find Holden’s clothes and get his food ready and put everything in the car and make sure the only thing I have to do is put his clothes on and go. I chase him around the house for what feels like an hour and throw my hands up in defeat at least three times and throw his clothes down on the floor at least four before I nearly chokehold him into his pants and shirt. He’s bawling and I’m screaming and my dad’s giving us googly eyes and Jack’s in the bedroom on the computer or sleeping. I make sure, one last time, that everything is ready.
9:00am We’re already running late and Holden has taken off his pants. We go through the routine mentioned above, again, only with a little more gusto. He doesn’t want to go to school.
9:15am After successfully bribing Holden with treats or technology or toys or friends, I get his pants on, throw him over my shoulder, and put him in the car. He’s fine until I go to close the door when he sticks his little hand out and I catch myself before crushing it. I tell him I’ll get whatever he wants when I get him, but it doesn’t please him. Instead of slamming the door on his hand I slowly place it closed and bump my butt against it to finalize the deal. He screams.
9:30am We get to daycare and Holden walks in just fine but clutches my leg when I go to leave and it turns into a big thing with his teacher having to grab him away from me as I scurry out the door. I am free. I head home, big things are planned for the day.
9:40am I stop at WaWa and get my coffee and breakfast and keep my head down but take in all the people. There are too many of them; they are too close to me. I put my head down further — maybe I will radiate off a forcefield and they will stop getting so damn close. They don’t. I pay and hurry to my car.
9:45am I am home. Sweet, sweet home. I bounce onto the bed and light a cigarette and grab my computer and tell myself I have hours to do my chores so a little writing won’t hurt. That’s my mistake. I thought about the chores. I shouldn’t have thought about them, I should have just done them. They won’t get done for hours. I try to write but nothing comes. I put on a TV show and rock and sway and think maybe just this once some heroin would calm me down. It takes a few hours to get that thought out of my head, to subdue the rocking.
Noon How did it get so late? What have I even done? I look at my computer and seventeen posts are waiting for me to read them and my new post area is blank. What happened? Why am I still rocking? I obviously must get up — something has to be done. I go into the kitchen and then into the living room and back into the kitchen. I think about all that needs to be done and retreat back into my room. Maybe I’ll take a nap. I look over at my meds and decide I need to calm down, maybe I’ll just take my nighttime med now. Maybe. Yeah, right. I do it. There’s no maybe. I tell myself I’ll skip tonight’s dose to make up for it but I know I won’t. I’ll just run out sooner.
2pm I force myself up and about and do whatever chore is on my chore chart for the day. Maybe it’s dishes, or vacuuming, or mopping, or laundry. I half-ass it, but at least it’s done. I get myself a cute owl sticker and place it over today on the calendar. I feel successful. I’ll try to write again.
4pm I’m squirming around in bed and wishing heroin wasn’t so damn addictive. I’m paralyzed from moving but I can’t stop. I’m not even making sense to myself. I start talking to people online and I get awfully nervous for no apparent reason and it takes so much out of me I have to take a break. I rock and I sway.
5pm It’s time to get Holden from school. I force myself up and out and through town to get him. When I arrive, he doesn’t want to leave. I let him play for a few more minutes, obviously overstaying my welcome because his teachers just want to leave. I drag him out the door after they’ve bribed him with a balloon. We make our way home.
5:30 I keep myself busy doing I-don’t-know-what. Holden and I fight about something, Jack and I fight about more. I can’t sit down or I’ll rock.
7:00pm I get food and drink and DVD in hand and get my son all set up for bed and listen to his demands and run around doing everything he asks and change him and put his blanket on him and tell him I love him and Goodnight.
7:20pm I try to get to bed but Jack has to fix it because it’s messed up again and then he needs something and our space is so small I can’t get around him and I finally do and I light a cigarette and down my meds. I try to watch TV and I rock. And I stand on my head and I rock. And I watch some TV and I play a computer game and I rock.
8:25pm I sit at my computer. My legs are crossed. I uncross them. I stare at the screen. I re-cross them. I click on a post saved from this morning and I try to read and I skim and I make myself go back over the skimmed parts and I try really hard to devour every word. Eventually I give up and scroll to the bottom and click like. I open a new post and force myself to read every. single. word. and it still doesn’t sink in so I comment on the one paragraph that took. And I feel horrible because this has nothing to do with the writers’ abilities and everything to do with my fucking brain and its rebellion. I repeat the process of skimming posts and reading posts and crossing my legs and uncrossing my legs and chainsmoking.
8:32pm Sometimes I try to write. Like now, right now I’m writing and it feels good and everything is okay for a minute, but usually I get something like this:
My brain isn’t working and it’s driving me fucking mad.
My son’s hair looks cute.
I just want to feel the keyboard under my fingers so it seems like I’m doing something remarkable.
On good nights, I will continue to write and write and everything will remain wonderful and I’ll go to bed around 10:30pm. On bad nights, I’ll give up and watch TV until I pass out around 9:00pm.
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I want to thank walkingcontradiction for this idea, and actually giving me inspiration to write something for once.
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What about you? What’s a day in your life?