Monday, June 30, 2008

I Have No Reason to Get Out of Bed

Seriously. For the past couple of weeks - with a brief break when I went to Vegas to visit Mom and Seeser - I've been feeling depression creeping back into my life. I've always been a sleeper, and I like that I've been getting a good amount of sleep lately because I know come the fall I'll be steeped in sleep debt. But it's like all I do is sleep - I sleep 10-12 hours at night, then wake up for a few hours only to nap again in the late afternoon. When I'm not sleeping, I'm in bed, floating around the internet on my laptop or watching TV. I leave the bed to get food and use the bathroom, and that's pretty much it. Why?

Because I have no reason to get out of bed.

I have no job right now, so I don't need to get up and "go to work." Of course, that's not to say I don't have work that needs to get done - I have tons. I told you all that I was going to be teaching again, but did I mention what I'm teaching? Three sections of honors world literature, the curriculum for which is filled with books I've NEVER READ, and one section of beginning French. Yes, FRENCH, my third language, after English and Spanish. But they needed the help and I had to admit honestly that I am probably adequately qualified to teach a beginning class. That doesn't mean I'm terribly confident about teaching it, though, which means I need to start brushing up like mad. Parlez-vous Francais?

Unfortunately, all that lesson planning - not to mention the contract work I got myself before I signed on to teach at this new school - doesn't come with a 9-5 office timetable. I don't work well without a structured schedule, so I'm faced with a mind-numbingly overwhelming amount of work, but no scheduled time to do any of it. All of which eventually leads to my waking up and avoiding doing any of my work until I decide it's time to go to sleep again. I get up, turn my laptop on, and read blogs. Then I play around with Twitter, or Facebook, or I work on blogging projects, or I edit photos, and occasionally I think, "I really should try to get some work done." But does it get done? No, because I just think, "I don't care," and then I roll over and go to sleep again.

I have no hobbies, either. There was a time when I had dance activities (rehearsals, performances, social events) almost every day of the week. But these days, I hardly ever dance, especially now that I'm no longer in my swing performance troupe. Unfortunately, I just couldn't stay with that group anymore because of personal reasons; if I had stayed, it would have taken its toll on my mental health and well-being, and I wasn't willing to take that risk after everything I've done to try to get better. I think those of you who are particularly attentive can probably figure out why I couldn't stay, but suffice to say that it was best for both me and the group that I leave.

Unfortunately, rehearsals were a once-a-week reason to leave the house and socialize with friends. And when we had performances I got out even more often. But now, I only go dancing if I motivate myself to go out socially, and with summer upon us (a traditionally dance-light season) there aren't many options. The options I do have, well, I just can't motivate myself to get out to them - I worry that I'll feel out of place and alone, especially if I have no one to go with me.

And there's another big problem: I have no one to spend my time with these days. Tpiglette is one of my best friends, but she recently moved and has been busy; plus, she's married, and I feel bad taking too much time away from her hubby. J. is a dear friend still, but I don't want to make his girlfriend uncomfortable by spending too much time with him. Other friends - and there aren't many of them - are always busy with other things. And Batman? Well, things with Batman are very uncertain right now. He works all the time - I pretty much never see him anymore. When I do, he's either preoccupied with work or exhausted by not having enough sleep (from the working all the time). We don't even talk that much because he's so darn busy, and now his parents are in town, so I doubt I'll talk to him at all really until sometime next week, after they leave. For all I know, he and I are just friends now and I just missed the memo.

So where do I go from here? How do I convince myself to get up and out of bed each day? I've been taking all my meds just like normal, but it's like there's nothing motivating me to battle the depression - I might as well just let it take over and stay in bed all day.

I have no reason to get out of bed.



Marcus Aurelius said...

Beg, borrow, or steal a bike and come downtown SJ. I usually slam a quick pint to loosen up, then bike around taking pictures of stupid crap and stray cats.

If you can't scrape up a bike, I can try to coax my second bike into quasi-operational status.

Anonymous said...

Please do share. Since I don't have much reason to get out of bed either.

I've just been trying to make plans. And asking my friends with cars and jobs to come visit or meet me halfway.

Still Jill B said...

I feel the same way about my job. I even have office hours, but the task at hand is so overwhelming, and I just can't convince myself to "care", so very little is getting done - and every passed day brings me closer to deadlines with very little to show for myself.

michelle said...

I too have been where you are and honestly some days the only thing that got me outside was the fact that I had to walk the dog! I don't have much good advice (sorry) but I wanted to let you know that you aren't the only one who has felt this way and you aren't alone!!!

Ali said...

i'll give you a reason...BLOGHER!!

Cate Subrosa said...

Sorry you're feeling this way, Lara. I've been there too. In my experience, the time when you decide to ask for help like you have here is often a low point... just the fact you're reaching out means you're starting to do what you need to to get out of it.

As for practical advice, mine would be this: exercise. Even if you just make yourself go for a ten minute walk, making a vow to yourself that you won't go one day without getting up and moving for, say, the next week, really will make a difference.

Good luck!

Sara said...

I hate depression. Being bipolar I get my fair share of it. I have found the harder I try to fight the depression two things takes me longer to recover, and the depression itself is deeper and more damaging.

Also, with me, if I'm particularly depressed and I try to do something to, you know get the recomended sunlight or whatever, and then something goes wrong, like it's cloudy or the boys whine and drive me crazy or or or...I then take it very person, like well everyone hates me so why bother.

I've got these kids, and I have to admit there have been days in a row where they haven't been home, or if they have been, have sat parked infront of the tv while I sleep off the depression.

I know where you are, and if the depression is chemical, I'm not sure you can just "cheer" yourself up, or "get over it" or...sometimes, I think the best thing you can do is cut yourself some slack, and maybe put a call into your doctor to make sure your meds are still adequate enough to blow away the clouds soon.

Mayberry said...

Is there another place you could work that would be motivating -- like a coffee shop or library? How about looking on Craigslist for a French conversational partner--this would allow you to practice le francais and at the same time give you scheduled outings and someone to hang with.

Jeff (composer) said...

*hugs* Though I'm terrible at inviting folk to dances (I almost always go by myself), I'll try to remind you of dances that I'm attending. There's a good blues class tonight at Swing Central, but I can't attend because of a DL meeting. Interestingly enough, Wednesday Night Hop is also doing a blues night this week. I think I'm going to attend that and may actually try to show up in time for both classes.

Motivation can be difficult, I know. Making yourself get out of the house for even a little bit may help.


Maggie said...

I will only say that I sort of know how you feel. While I don't have an battles with depression, I do know what it's like to not have the motivation to get out of bed and do anything sometimes. And that's hard.

The biggest thing that has helped me is that I don't use my bedroom for other things - my computer, and 95% of my TV watching, etc are all done in anouther room. So if I want to do any of those things, I at least have to get up. I don't have to change out of my PJs, but one thing at a time.

The other thing that I do is make a list of 5 things to do for the day. Then, even if I do nothing else, I will have those 5 things completed. They aren't always big things - sometimes the list is just do dishes, take out trash, etc. But it helps me try to do a little bit every day for all the people who are expecting things from me.

Good luck - you know we're all always here for you!

Anonymous said...

Schedule time to go into your school. Seriously. I know that you're not getting paid, blah, blah, blah, but call up your principal to see if you have a room assignment. If yes, see if it can get cleaned ASAP so you can get started. I wouldn't be motivated sitting in bed, either. But physically being at work (and a job that you are brand new to) might kick-start some motivation. Make it a point to go in for 3 hours a day. Schools ALWAYS have people in them- meet some new ones! it'll make workshop week a little less lonely and frightening if you know some people ahead of time.

Teacher Anonymous said...

I second (or third) the suggestion for exercise. Do your best to get up after a reasonable amount of sleep and go walk, ride a bike, hit the gym. Whatever. Something. Setting a schedule makes it feel inevitable and helps me to not blow off exercise.

Lately, I've been listening to Spanish language lesson podcasts to try to perk up my Spanish skills. I imagine there are ones available in French (look in the iTunes U section of the iTunes store). Two birds with one stone!

Anonymous said...

Do all your blogging, interwebbing, reading outside! soon as NoCal stops being on fire.

You can also come up with a list of things I should do when I'm up there and all y'all are conferencing.

Lindz said...

I feel you with the sleeping symptom of depression. That's usually my first sign that something is off with me before I even realize I am depressed. My advice: start something new, find things to get out of bed and be excited about... things to look forward to. I know it's easier said than done.

As for your timetable next year. WOW! If you need help with first year French, let me know. I figure you can convert my Spanish lesson plans into French. I don't envy you though... I'm just freaking out about my first year of teaching in general.

Hang in there.

East Coast Teacher said...

I wrote a post very similar to this today...wish I could give some advice, but, I'm looking for some of my own.

Mojo said...

Call somebody. Friend, relative, random number (okay, maybe not) doesn't matter who it is, or for that matter what you talk about, just as long as it's a live human being on the other end of the line. (Kinda hard to talk to the other kind, but hey, they listen pretty well.)

Can't think of anybody you feel like you can "bother"? Believe me, they'd much prefer it if you did. Still not convinced? Call me. I'll convince you.

Seriously. I dare ya. I double-dog dare ya.

Jakki said...

You have what I call Cave Dwellers Mentality. I'm currently going through it and as of yet, the only thing I can find to make it stop is...nothing. I'm still looking for a cure so I'm hoping I find it here in your comments section...

Amanda said...

Oh but you do, you more than most people I know, recognize the preciousness of life. If you could have minutes back, minutes with someone you love would you take them? Would you move heaven and earth to see those eyes or be in that embrace?

Love the minutes with yourself as you would with him.

((((until I meet you in person)))))

Anonymous said...

Depression is a bitch. I have suffered from it for years. Take small steps and keep moving forward.

flutter said...

YOU. are a damned good reason to get out of bed

BetteJo said...

Sleep, it serves as a coping mechanism for my whole family.

I agree with the - make a list of things to get done during the day, make yourself go for a walk or a bike ride. Or roller blade. Even if it's only 15 minutes.

Maybe make a schedule for yourself, certain times of the day to work on school work, certain times for getting outside, etc. Put it on paper, make it concrete.

Personally? Sounds a bit like a delayed reaction to losing a relationship you cared very much about. And I'm not talking about batman. There is a kind of grieving that goes along with that.

I'm sorry. ((((hugs!!))))

gnomesque said...

Reason to get out of bed: so you can make yourself feel better and get through this. As for suggestions, I also would have said get some exercise, go outside, make little To Do lists. Could you try to find a new dance group to join? And don't you have new housemates that you should be getting to know and having fun with? Even if you don't feel like doing anything more than be on your computer, take it to an internet cafe or a public library or something, where you're at least up and about and around people.

I hope you get through this soon, and I hope you realize how many people out here in the blogosphere care about you.

tpiglette said...

If you decide to stay here instead of going to Vegas (or even if you do, for when you get back), let's have some prep parties at school! I'll go with you and we can rock the classroom(s). Or something like that.

Productivity, here we come!

Anonymous said...

How about getting a pet for some company? Could also force you to go out and walk it? Lots of people feel like you these days including myself. I have no reason to go out much.

I'm not depressed(at least I don't think I am). I am at a point where I am trying to learn about many different thing as possible, which keeps things interesting.

But the key to remember is millions of people are feeling the same way you are. With technology today, there aren't as many reasons to leave. Food can get delivered to your house in 10 minutes with a phone call, information is obtianed by computers.

No reason to leave. So get a dog for the company and it needs to be walked. IT NEEDS you.