No Joy When Life Is So Hard You Can’t Get out of Bed.
A few days ago I saw on post on Facebook that said something like, at some point every woman has the experience of when she does not want to or can’t get out of bed in the morning. With today being one day after the 8th year anniversary of my father’s passing away it felt like a good time to share my own experience with not wanting to get out of bed.
I have shared this story several times at Chasing Joy events but I don’t think I have ever actually written about it before today. I know this isn’t a joyful topic but it is very important to me that you all know that Chasing Joy is not about feeling happy-go-lucky everyday. Chasing Joy is about making the decision to live a happy life and working to build resilience even when life knocks you down. So, I’m going to tell you guys about when life really knocked me down and I did not want to get out of bed in the morning.
I can’t remember the exact date but I know it was either late fall or early winter of 2009. My dad had passed away on August 27th of that year and I had been having a really hard time with the grief. During this time I was also in a relationship with a man that I loved very very much. Unfortunately, things were not going well! I didn’t really know what was wrong but I knew that things between us we’re not good. We weren’t arguing or anything because I’m not a person that has a lot argument. However, we were not spending much time together anymore. Also the times that we were spending together were filled with tension. I was beginning to have some doubts about my important in his life and was beginning to doubt the longevity of the relationship.
This was a lot to go through! Either of those two things by themselves is enough to make a person who’s normally fairly content feel really sad. But the combination of missing my dad and doubting my relationship was becoming too much for me. Now, I’d always been very close to my mom and I talked to her a bit about my relationship stuff but I also didn’t want to burden her. I lost my dad. She had lost her husband and partner of over 40 years. Even as I was consumed with my own grief I was worried about her’s. So you see I didn’t really feel comfortable talking to her about how said and pained I really was.
I have always always loved sleeping in. Most of my long-term friends know not to even like call me before noon on the weekend. So my sleeping late was not unusual. However, what was unusual was my reason for sleeping increasingly later and later on days when I didn’t have to go to work. You see carrying on with this heavy burden of grief over my dad, worry for my mom, and the sadness over the inevitable end of my relationship was getting to be just way too much. It was becoming laborious and painful to just be awake.
So one late fall or early winter day I woke up on a Friday, when I did not have work, and I just turned over and went back to sleep. I woke up thirty minutes to an hour later and did the same thing. All morning I did this over and over and over again. This went on well past noon. I remember thinking for the first time I wish I could just stay asleep. The pain that I was experiencing while I was awake was just becoming too much for me and I just wanted to stay asleep so that I could Escape it. I was experiencing my I can’t get out of bed moment.
The next thing I remember thinking after that very dark thought of wishing I could just stay asleep was s*** that’s the same thing as wishing I didn’t wake up. That’s almost suicidal. I better call someone.
I did get out of bed that day. Thank God for smart phones. I grabbed my cell phone and started Googling therapist I came across one with the website that was appealing to me and called the number. An answering service picked up and I began to leave a message explaining that I thought I needed to see a therapist. Before I could go into why, I was sobbing into this answering machine. The therapist called me back later that day and agreed to see me despite my not having the right insurance.
Honestly that was the beginning of my Chasing Joy. My relationship did end. A few months thereafter I started writing this blog. That was almost 8 years ago.
I consider myself very blessed and lucky to have had the wherewithal to call a therapist that day. That is the closest that I’ve come to ever being suicidal. I was lucky. Prior to losing my dad and these relationships troubles I was not experiencing any mental health issues. So I was able to recognize the shift that had taken place and knew that it was important to get help. Now let me be completely honest here. The absolute main reason that I called that therapist was because I imagined how much pain my mom would have been in if she lost me as well.
I’m sharing this today because I want you all to know that it is not uncommon to have really really low points in life. You may experience loss, grief, heartache, disappointments, etc. that leave you in so much pain that it’s hard to even function and be awake. You may say to yourself I can’t get out of bed. What I want you to know is that you are not alone. I have been there and I have gotten through it. Do you know what that means? That means you can get through it too. I am not special. I am an ordinary woman who’s experienced some pretty typical though difficult life events. But I got help and I made a decision that happiness was worth pursuing. I started Chasing Joy. You can do the same!
If you happen to be going through a time right now where being awake and functioning through your day is becoming unbearable or too difficult please reach out to someone. A good place to start if you have health insurance is with your doctor. You can also look on the back of your health insurance card to see if there is a phone number for mental health assistance. The suicide hotline is also available. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Please know that people love you and will be hurt by your absence just as my mom would have been hurt by mine. Get help! Remember that in time things change. Keep chasing Joy.