“You made your bed, now lie in it.”
During some of the darkest periods of my struggle with depression, I rarely left my bed if I didn’t have to. I did everything in bed. I used my laptop, watched Netflix, drank beer, ate like shit, slept, texted back the people I hadn’t responded to in several days, and then slept some more. When I would leave my bed, I would leave it as is (an utter disaster of a mess). My bedroom floor was littered with empty beer cans, dirty clothes, and crumpled up fast food bags…Some of the beer cans would be filled with urine because I was too lazy to go use the restroom……..Yes. That happened. A lot.
Reflecting on these periods of my past stresses me out….BUT the reality of my struggle and the struggles of others is ugly.
One thing that has helped me, especially during depressive episodes, is to make my bed immediately after I get up to use the restroom for the first time of the day. This helps me apply a little control to the chaos of life, and prevent myself from getting back into bed. I don’t always do this, and realistically, I don’t adhere to any routine or schedule religiously like some may claim to. Maybe making a schedule and strictly following it is feasible for you, and if it is, then three cheers for you.
With that said, a routine can be helpful in regards to maintaining stability when you are prone to having depressive episodes. That’s why having a day off of work can be really challenging for me, because I feel like returning to my old ways. Too much time with nothing to do screams “DANGER!” to me. With that said, do something with your time besides scroll through your phone or watch/stream television. Restrict the use of your bedroom to sleep, sex, and chores that require you to be in that space.
I know this sounds too simple, and honestly you have probably heard all of this before. I have tried to stick to a schedule and make my bed everyday and I have failed at my attempts….so many times. You are not alone if you struggle sticking to anything that doesn’t grant instant gratification for your actions. I’m not saying that making your bed will somehow make you happy. I just know from experience that accomplishing a task right after I wake up makes me feel like I deserve a high-five (and I do). After that, you can move on to the what I call the “Big Three”. This would include: Brushing your teeth, showering, and then getting dressed for the day. Doing these things indicate that you have decided to mark a beginning of your day. My use of the quote at the beginning of this post is cringeworthy, but actually make your bed and hopefully that accomplishment will push you into the abyss of living life outside of your bed. It sounds scary, I know.
Until I have the motivation again,