The Mighty Logo

When Depression Makes You Sleep All Day

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I’ve slept for almost 35 of the last 48 hours. I’d like to say this isn’t my norm. I’d like to, but that would be a lie.

I’ve slept through multiple alarms and important phone calls. I’ve slept through job interviews and doctors’ appointments. I’ve even slept through my son’s early release day, awakening (horrified and frantic) hours after I should have picked him up.

That day, I bawled myself right back to sleep after talking to his Dad who (thankfully) retrieved him from the school office.

I sleep for hours and wake up exhausted. I can never sleep enough for my depression. Her thirst for oblivion is insatiable. And I’m just too tired to fight it sometimes.

In the midst of my seemingly endless slumber sits my anxiety, ridiculing me for being weak. Chastising me for succumbing to my co-occurring disorder. Clucking its tongue like a disappointed au pair.

“Tsk tsk, you lazy girl” she chides.

And I feel the shame seep deeper into my bones.

And it just makes me so very tired.

Sleep has become my respite from a hostile mind. My brain: a place where my most gentle pieces aren’t safe. Where I am told I’m never going to be OK again. I’m nothing. I’m empty. I’m a failure and a disappointment.

“What’s the point of anything?” circulates in perpetuity, swirling like muddy water down a corroded drain.

Sweet sleep whisks me away from my minefield of internal self-loathing and damaging discourse.

Sometimes I dream. In my dreams, I am happy. I smile. I laugh. I sing. I am able to feel things I sometimes believe I’ve forgotten how to feel.

Joy. Wonder. Awe. Peace.

I think it’s my body’s way of telling me, “Don’t give up, sad girl. We will make it through the darkest days, but for now… just sleep.

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

Originally published: July 1, 2018
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