The Mighty Logo

When Depression Makes It Hard to Get Out of Bed

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

After getting two hours of sleep, I awake to a numb shoulder, icy patch stuck to the side of my face and a massive headache. I’m assuming it’s a headache and not a migraine since I can actually move my jaw.

Today, like most days, it seems like it’s me against the world. I’m not 100 percent sure which of the issues I’m experiencing is causing me the most depression, but I feel the weight. Is it the physical pain, the emotional pain of losing a big part of myself, my bank account balance or a combination of it all?

All I know is, I don’t want to get up. But, I also know that if I don’t, I will certainly feel worse. I know this because I have five years experience in the internal battle of “should I stay or should I go”? On the days my bed won and nobody could convince me to get out of it, my body ached more and I found myself most likely to make the same decision the very next day. My sleep schedule was also worse. I was not sleeping but I was in bed almost all day.

I also know this. Sometimes, especially during the thick of it all, I just had to take a shower and walk to the mailbox. The heat of the shower relaxed my muscles and the walk to the mailbox let me take in some air and sunshine. Sometimes that was enough to make me walk around the neighborhood and then get a load of laundry done. The more I moved and the more I did, the better I felt physically and mentally.

Still, there are days like today, where a bank alert showing me how close my balance is to zero immobilizes me. My mind seems to go into this loop of doom. I tell myself I tried, as I searched the Internet for more part-time telecommute positions fit for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) disabilities for nearly two hours. I apply to jobs I’m either over or under-qualified for, since my pickings are slim.

What kills me is that I have a lot to offer. Even though my situation has me at a financial roadblock, I’m a professional accountant and I know how to help others. I also love writing. Why can’t I find a way to make that a career? My two published children’s books cost me more in illustrations than I will ever get back in royalties. Still, I know I didn’t write them for the money, even though I have to stop for that reason. I just wish I could figure out how to make a career at what I love to do.

There are just too many variables. I’m sure you have a different set of examples of these variables — roadblocks and things in life making you feel bedbound. Binge-watching “Game of Thrones” and reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” certainly takes me away from reality — the hardest place to live when you have chronic pain.

I may not know how to figure out those pieces of my life yet, but I have figured out that staying in bed or on my sofa won’t make it better. For the sake of my 15-year-old still fast asleep, and for the sake of ever having a chance at making my situation better, I’m going to get out of bed and take a long hot shower now. Then I hope to make it outside for a 30-minute walk on this gorgeous, sunny, pre-Fall day.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via contributor

Originally published: October 8, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home