The problem is not all or nothing.
Although it feels like that when I am stuck, immobile and indecisive. Once the day gets going, I am better equipped to use the tools I have learned to meet and defeat problems as they come my way.
Between SMART Recovery, WRAP training, Peer Support at On Our Own, meetings with my therapist and psychiatrist, I have learned so much about living with depression. So why does this one issue keep cropping up?
Why can’t I get out of bed in the morning?
Why is it I can hear myself using an unhelpful thinking style at dinner and do something about it, but I can’t process that first thing in the morning? It is frustrating as anything to know there is something to be done, and then not do it. I have lived my entire life DOING. In the face of all odds, I have persevered and done stuff.
I so want to be in control of this part of my life.
The fact that it keeps winning makes me angry. But angry enough to do something about it? It doesn’t seem like it. Maybe this is not the right approach. Maybe anger is hiding the real cause. My frustration with myself has not given me the answer. I have been advocating for myself with my Psychiatrist.
We have changed my medication again.
I am now taking only 30 mg of Prozac daily, versus 40 mg. My inability to get out of bed and our changing my dosage from 20 to 40 mg occurred about the same time in November. I chickened out of calling him to report the “side effect” thinking it would go away at some point. And then when I did call the office, a month or so later, I let the receptionist give me the nurse refill number, not the direct number to my Psychiatrist.
He wanted to know, but I didn’t want to bother him.
READ MORE: Why can’t I make the call?
Depression thought it would be rude. My depression thought it better not to bother him, as he was a doctor and doctors are busy professionals. My little problem is so insignificant compared to other patients’ problems. I am not worthy of having this addressed by the very professionals who told me to call him if I had issues with the new dosage.
So here I am, “deer in headlights” waiting and hoping things will get better.
If I were keeping score, depression would be winning this round. It is so very frustrating to think that I can be making such stellar progress in so many areas, and yet I cannot get out of bed in the morning. If I only could… This is certainly an unhelpful thinking style working on me, trying to keep me from living a balanced life.
We changed my medication a week ago, so I need to give it a little more time.
Well, that’s what I am saying to myself as I am lying face down in my bed, the morning sun sneaking in through an opening in the room darkening curtains. I turn my alarm clock away from me at night. It emits a reddish glow that keeps me awake. Plus, if I can see the clock, I am compelled to look at it.
This morning, I reached up and spun the clock on the nightstand so I could see that it was 6:50 AM.
Having gone to bed at 10 PM last night, getting up should have been a breeze. Yet there I was, stuck. I recited rhymes like “I lit a match and it went out.” But each time I would choose, I would tell myself that it really was the other action I had chosen. Or it meant not doing it or doing it depending on whether I chose to get up or not getting up.
This torture continued off and on for two hours.
READ MORE: No sleep for you
Finally, I had rolled over onto my back and while doing that, I heard a noise in the kitchen. And bang, I was out of bed. The day has begun. I found that coffee had been made and I poured myself a cup. I walked down the hall to my home office and got my laptop.
I’m at the kitchen table now, looking at the mountains and writing.
The rest of the day will be productive, but what a way to get started. In a few days, I will call my Psychiatrist. I have his actual phone number now, not the office number. And I will report my progress or lack thereof. Waking up is the first step to my day, to anyone’s day. And not being able to get out of bed makes getting started each day a painful chore.
I need to find the key to this, so I can move forward and open more doors in my recovery.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.