What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
Usually it’s Misha, at least when he happens to sleep with me. I always close the door for the night so that if I’m up when everyone else is asleep I don’t wake up anyone, and if I’m still asleep when people are waking up, they don’t wake me up. Plus it just seems very privacy-invading sleeping with your door open. So whether Misha is or isn’t here, I always close it, which means that when he wants to go out in the morning, I must let him out. People are often surprised how I find that tolerable to hear a moaning cat first thing in the morning and have to get up even when I’m the sleepiest just to let him out, and that it’s like having a baby. I don’t really care, it’s nice to see Misha first thing in the morning and cuddle him for a while, and because I’m so used to doing it by now, sometimes I guess I do it without even waking up. 😀 Also if I need it, I can go back to sleep right away. Typically Misha will be back at my door for his morning nap, waiting to be let in, and then he’ll also need a snack.
If Misha’s not in the mood for sleeping with me, I simply rely on things I like that I have to do every day. Like my language learning or blogging or replying to my penfriends etc. It usually works to get me out of bed. Another motivator which works really well is that it’s not really something my brain likes to keep laying in bed for too long without actually sleeping, because then at some point before I even realise it, even if I had the best night’s sleep, I’ll start feeling extremely and quite unusually sleepy again, or more like tired, in a way that is really difficult to overcome, while at the same time the still awake part of me is getting all panicky out of the blue, in a totally primal, irrational way, and then if I won’t manage to get out of this state I end up having sleep paralysis within minutes. And then it’s all the more difficult to get out of bed, when I’m finally out of it, because it makes me really exhausted, floaty and foggy-brained, plus my anxiety’s usually through the roof at the same time. I don’t even have to lay in bed awake for very long, sometimes all it takes is being awake for a bit longer between sleeps, like when you wake up at night and then it takes you a while to go back to sleep. So I guess ideally if I wake up at night and am not asleep again within like 15 minutes I should get up, even if I’m still feeling like I could use more sleep.
I feel really grateful that even though my dysthymia plus circadian rhythm issues regularly make getting out of bed difficult, it doesn’t often happen to me that I’d be so depressed or out of energy that I totally can’t do it for hours or at all. I guess what also motivates me in a way to get going is that people around me, while mostly supportive, don’t really get the nuances of what it feels like when you have depression or stuff like that, and it’s difficult for people to make the connection between being depressed and having no energy, so I feel like I should get out of bed simply because otherwise people will think I’m lazy or something. One of the signs by which I can tell that I’m properly out of brainergy is that I don’t care about such details as whether people will think I’m lazy or not. I think it’s helpful to always have some sort of an idea, maybe not a whole fully-fledged plan but a reasonably clear idea, of what you’re going to be doing the next day, and especially regarding things that you generally like doing. Since I have dysthymia and not major depression, I’m not normally anhedonic (unable to feel pleasure out of doing normally pleasurable things), which makes finding things I like doing easy.