Most mornings I don’t want to get out of bed. I like the warmth, the dark, the feeling of my blankets wrapped around me like a hug. I don’t have to face the world if I’m in bed. I don’t have to put on a face for everyone, pretending that everything is alright.
I’m a good pretender for the most part.
‘How are you this morning Ms. Dean?’ and my reply is always ‘Fantastic!’ with a bright beaming smile. It’s not how I feel but it’s what I perceive is expected. No one wants to hear that you’re down or depressed. They don’t want to know that it literally took everything in your being to roll out of bed and brush your teeth.
You’re barely making it in the world. In fact, you’re only existing, not living. You go through the motions. Wake up, get dressed for the day (you’ve probably worn the same thing for a few days), brush your teeth (when you feel motivated) and brush your hair (or just tie it up in a bun). When you’re depressed, everything is harder. The hardest is getting out of bed.
When I’m in a depressive episode I crave bed. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up, crawling back in at bedtime. How good that’ll feel. I think about it at work. I think about it when I get home. I barely cook because I don’t have the energy. The Bear and I will eat out or I’ll make something that barely passes for food (chicken nuggets, pre-made meals). It’s not fair to her but in my defense she’s a picky eater.
The worst time is from 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock. The waiting period. All I want to do is crawl into bed. I’ll mope around, maybe watch some TV but certainly nothing that requires energy or pep, get up and go. Depression is a life sucker. It wants to incapacitate you and it is very good at its job.
My favorite time of day is pulling back the covers, arranging my pillows and turning off the lights. Darkness. Silence. Unless the dog hears something outside and starts barking. Then I’m annoyed. How dare this beast interrupt my solitude?? It’s even worse that he wakes me up religiously around midnight every night to go out for a pee or poop. I’m losing sleep, my Precious (imagine Gollum and the one ring of power).
Even more annoying is that on the weekends, when I can burrow into my blankets to block out the impending sun, this dog will walk over and sit on my head at 9:00am and insist on being fed and walked. The nerve. I know, I know, I’m an adult and should be up and at ’em early, make the most of the day. Be productive. And some mornings when I feel good or I’m hypomanic, it’s easy to jump out of bed and get going. But most days that is not the case.
Yesterday was no exception. I start work at 8:10am. I literally finally rolled out of bed at 7:25am. I took a shower (5 minutes), made my miserably lacking lunch (1 minute), let my car warm up (5 minutes) and then I was out the door, arriving at work at 7:55. I could probably push it a little bit later but my anxiety won’t allow it.
So I hop into work and pretend like I’m doing fine when in reality I’m struggling. Struggling to find joy in my work, struggling to write, smile, be normal.