I am not a morning person. I never have been. I am more of a night owl. No matter how tired I am, you will seldom find me in bed before midnight. On those rare occasions when I manage to crawl into bed at a decent hour (like 10PM), I usually end up reading for another hour or two before finally going to sleep. It’s like a switch flips inside of me after a certain time of night. I am “up” and ready to go!
Except … it’s night. And I’m an “old” married lady. And a mom. With responsibilities that have to happen during the daytime. It’s not like I can get dressed and head out for a fun night on the town when I’m feeling awake and ready to get my day started at 11PM or midnight.
So, I have never been a person who hops out of bed before the alarm, rested, excited, and ready for the day. I’ve always kind of wished I was like that. Being a morning person, somehow, seems much more productive than being a night person. Perhaps it’s because life happens in the early morning and the daytime. It should happen equally as much at night. After all, a day is 24 hours, 12 of which are near dark or after dark — right? But I suppose Morning and Day had a better PR campaign. And Night was left with Vampires. And me.
Over the past several months, my usual patterns have changed. It is subtle — more like a different nuance than an outright change. Where I have always been slow to wake up, now I catch myself thinking about how I don’t WANT to get up in the morning. In those moments between being fully asleep and fully awake, Depression slithers in and whispers all kinds of things at me.
I feel good about the new year. I feel optimistic and hopeful, for the first time in a couple of years. Even though I can’t yet see exactly HOW things are going to work out for us, I feel, in my heart, that they truly are going to work out for the better. But in those moments when I am first awake and faced with the prospect of a brand-new day, my Depression natters and picks away at that confidence and hope. “You are foolish,” it whispers. “You are a failure. Look at the situation you are in right now. It’s all your fault, and you can’t fix any of it. You will never do anything right. Ever.” And, the worst one of all: “None of this is going to work out. Nothing will change.”
None of this is true. I know that. I KNOW it. And yet, Depression is so horribly, terribly persuasive. It seeps in around the edges and finds little chinks in the emotional armor. And I find myself lying there in bed, snuggled under my weighted blanket and thinking about how it will take more energy than it is worth for me to get up and face the day. It’s better to stay here, where it is warm and nothing has gone wrong yet. Depression always agrees with that.
And yet … the day is out there. Life is out there. It is a precious gift, and it needs to be lived through the good and the bad. So I gather up my strength and my courage, and I put my feet on the floor. Ready to fight another day. Maybe, if I do this enough times, Depression will learn to be quiet, for once.