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What I Mean When I Say ‘Mornings Are Hard’ as Someone With a Mental Illness

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Mornings can be difficult for anyone. But mornings for me often mean a battle against my mental illnesses that I usually feel like I’m losing. I catch myself uttering the phrase, “Mornings are hard,”  when asked how I’m doing and I’m not feeling well. I try to say this phrase in a joking manner because I don’t actually want to talk about how I’m feeling. Because quite frankly, I don’t always have the energy.

I have been saying this phrase a lot lately, so I wanted to give insight into what I mean when I say, “Mornings are hard.”

Tired is an understatement. I’m exhausted.

I don’t normally wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. I sleep restlessly during the night, waking up every few hours from discomfort, nightmares and other issues. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep. I go to bed fairly early and can be in bed anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. My sleeping pattern has changed ever since I started taking a certain medication again. No matter how much, or how little sleep I get, I am exhausted when I wake up.

My friend anxiety likes to visit.

For the past month I have been waking up feeling dread. I feel unable to move or escape my racing thoughts. A lot of my dread stems from work, but it could really be from anything. I have severe anxiety and I often have anxiety attacks in the morning, making “mornings hard.”

I’m not being lazy.

Someone once told me that I am lazy and just don’t want to go to work or have any responsibilities. That’s false. I love working and will put my heart into whatever it is I am working on. But there are times where I’m in bed 15 minutes before I have to leave, debating on whether or not to go into the office that day. It’s not because I am lazy — my mental illnesses make me physically unable to get out of bed in the morning.

Sometimes hard mornings are the start of a depressive episode.

One of the major signs that I am about to enter a depressive episode is when mornings start to become harder than usual. During depressive episodes, everything becomes harder to deal with, but mornings have never been easy when I’m depressed and it can throw my whole day off.

None of the reasons listed above are “excuses.” I am taking the appropriate steps to correct my sleeping patterns and practice self-care when it comes to my anxiety and depression. My mornings may be hard, but I’ll get through them. I just ask that you please be patient with me.

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Thinkstock photo via DAJ

Originally published: June 22, 2017
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