I am a morning person, I swear I am!
I sleep in as long as I can. When my son wakes up I snuggle him in bed for awhile and we play before getting up and starting the day. But I’m actually a morning person. I long for early mornings when I can shower, dress, take time on my hair and make up, and eat breakfast all before my little guy wakes up for the day.
One of the hardest things in the whole world for someone with depression is getting up in the morning. Motivation is low, you feel tired all the time so you feel like you need the extra sleep (although alot of depressed people get too much sleep, yea there is such a thing), and the longer you stay in bed the longer you can avoid whatever awful things the day might bring -or at least you can pretend that’s true.
When I was young, I had no problems getting up for school, and I didn’t sleep in much on the weekends. As a teenager I started sleeping in on Saturday until 11, noon, or sometimes even 1. My parents eventually had to make a rule that I had to get up by 10 every Saturday. Which is still quite a lengthy sleep in!
It’s not that I was tired enough that I needed the extra sleep. And it’s not even that I stayed up very late. I would get 12 or more hours of sleep Friday nights. I would wake up around 7 or maybe 8 Saturday mornings and my body would simply refuse to get up. Eventually I would drift off again in a hot, sweaty, restless nap-like sleep that left me much more tired afterwards than I was when I woke naturally earlier in the morning.
Sleeping in with depression has little to do with tired levels and everything to do with trying to make your body do what your heart wants, and your heart want what your mind knows is best.
Motivation is very much connected to depression. There’s a reason key symptoms include lack of interest and lethargy. This is also why taking medication can boost your motivation long before it boosts your mood (suicide after starting a new medication comes from suddenly have the motivation to act on feelings that were already there, which is why medication should always be closely monitored by a doctor or psychologist).
The first time I started medication, I baked 7 pies the following week. I was still sad, but all of a sudden I had the energy to work hard. Only then could I really implement my coping skills effectively. Medication wasn’t a fix all, it simply made the therapy I was already doing much more effective.
Depressed people are not lazy. They are struggling so hard with motivation, and it’s often beyond their control. Some, like me, want desperately to get up in the morning. They want to rediscover the joy they once had in their hobbies. They don’t want to be lethargic and sleep their days away.
I am a morning person, and someday soon I know I will be able to overcome my morning motivation struggles. Because depression can mask who I truly am, but it can never erase it.