Laying in bed this morning, like a petulant child refusing to get up for school, I got thinking.
As I lay there, with the fan on, cool breeze, and just moving from one comfortable position to another, I thought back to a few months ago when my reasoning for laying in bed was quite different.
This led to a deeper thought on the matter, and quite frankly spoilt the moment, but was worth it.
A few months back, each morning I would wake, filled with doom and gloom. No good reason to get out of bed, and dreading what awaited me when I did. So for as long as I could, I would find excuses not to get up and start the day.
Raining, can't walk the dogs, being my favourite, however there were plenty more, from convincing myself I was too tired and needed more sleep, to deciding I ached in some way or form and should rest. The depressed mind is full of excuses!
Today however, and the last week or two have been different. I have instead basked in the "life if good" bed of laziness. Like a carefree bachelor with no plan for the day, I just wake and enjoy the moment. Rather than avoiding things, I schedule them in my mind, allowing just enough time to complete the required tasks of the day, whilst making the most of relaxing in bed.
Now I am not going to say that is an every day ideal, it really isn't. But I have to say it is nice to have the option, and to feel in control of it.
I am not scared to get up, nor of what lays in wait day to day. And that is a huge departure from the feelings of depression I fought for the first few months of this year, and previously.
So, with that in mind, I now understand the confusion and misinterpretation people have. When a depressed person says "I just can't get out of bed in the morning" and the person who has not experienced it says "Oh I know what you mean, I get like that". While I appreciate the attempt at empathy, there is a huge difference between being unwilling to get up and get the day started, feeling lazy and unmotivated, and the feeling of being trapped in your bed, covers tucked in, with no way out. Your mind refusing to let you out of the safety and numbness of your bed, to protect you from the day of dread and terror which awaits you.
It sounds far fetched I know, but the mind can play lots of tricks with you, and ultimately controls your actions.So when it says "we are NOT getting up today", you pretty much obey. When you think, I have nothing to do this morning, I am gonna have a lay in, its a choice.
In between these two stages, there is another I have been experiencing recently, and that is reluctantly staying in bed. Through illness or injury, I have spent a lot of time in bed in the past month too, resting my back and hips (most of the time), and fighting off a fever. Waking knowing your mind is happy for you to get out of bed, but this time it is your body, and having to make the reluctant choice to stay in bed, even though you have the mental capacity to be up doing things is quite a kick in the balls, especially when bouncing back from being trapped already.
I guess it is this stage which has spurned this entry more than anything. The line between both ends of the mental spectrum is indeed physical. Prohibiting activity, and leaving you to decide how much you care about resting and recovering. For once fighting the mental drive to get out of bed shows me that I have a lot of choice about my daily actions, and only when I am truly crushed by depression do I lose all control over my life.
That is a powerful message to me, and a reminder that without any visible signs, every drop of energy, drive and hope can be torn from you, and leave you as just an empty carcass of a person, just along for the ride.
I really do hope even just one person who knows these three stages reads this, just so I know I am not the only one who recognises them.
So, next time someone says they just can't get out of bed, imagine it as a physical injury, and give their feelings the same consideration you would if you saw them in a body cast, or with legs in plaster. The mind controls every movement we make, if it says no, the answer is simply NO. Even if you don't understand why.