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What Gets You Out Of Bed in the Morning?

bedsheets, hiding under them

Imagine being 18, in high school, and pregnant. That is how Lucy found herself.

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Lucy is one of the several young people who contributed essays to the book a picture is worth…, which is designed to be an education curriculum component complemented by photos and online media segments. A few weeks ago I wrote about my reaction to another teen in the book, Aaliyah.

In Lucy’s poignant essay, she talks about her experiences during the pregnancy as well as after giving birth. The father of the baby was tragically killed while Lucy was pregnant, which would be hard for a woman at any age to deal with. As I read that part of the essay, I thought about how my primary concern in my last year of high school was getting good grades to get into the local university. I was not concerned with rearing a child or grieving over a boyfriend passing away.

Lucy dropped out of school and got a job that she did not like very much. When her son was five months old, Lucy fell into a deep depression and could not get out of bed for several days. I thought back as I read this part to when I had my depression and how difficult it was to even brush my teeth. I recall my parents making me do it, but I had no desire to do anything related to hygiene—or anything else for that matter. The bed seemed safe to me, and I imagine Lucy likely felt that way too. As she explains:

“I couldn’t get out of bed, hardly ate and was a mess. Mom was not having it. She told me to get my butt up and to do something with my life.”

That quote in particular resonated with me, as my mom and dad were crucial to my becoming productive again in real life rather than wanting to stay in bed all day under the covers. I wondered if other people have had similar circumstances. Perhaps it was not a parent who said to get out of bed, but instead was a partner, other family member or friend.—someone who cares about the person battling depression.

In addition, I thought about how difficult it is to understand depression if you yourself have never experienced it. I liken it to how I envision skydiving to be a certain way, can watch videos or read up on it, but cannot truly know what it feels like unless I experience it for myself. To tell someone to stop being depressed does not work; it simply reminds the sufferer they have been labeled. Personally I find it aggravating to be told to act a different way than in a genuine reflection of how I feel at a particular time.

Looking back to Lucy’s story, I have been thinking how glad I am that she did get out of bed eventually and continue to take care of her child. She admits that having a child is difficult, and I can only imagine how much she likely wants to stay in bed still some mornings. I am sure that a large part of why she does strive to be her best is to be a role model for her son and to provide the best life she can for him.

While I do not have children, I do have parents and a few close friends who encourage me to live to my fullest potential. That is part of why I get out of bed in the morning. The other part of it is that I have the determination to help others to see that they can come from rock bottom and still make something of their lives. It is not easy to keep going, but there are happy moments to look forward to when you do so!

What about you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

39 thoughts on “What Gets You Out Of Bed in the Morning?”

  1. I generally find it difficult getting out of bed as I rarely get enough sleep due to significant worries about my future owing to the direction my life is thankfully taking – sleep is too often elusive… hence why I am typing at 4.15am! I’m sure (and hope) that once I get to where I want to be it will be a stable place and I can look back and say how silly I was to worry. Just like I have worried about getting as far as I have and my worries have been unfounded.

    I have never been diagnosed as clinically depressed. There are many days at the moment when I want to burst into tears, I imagine I have a bath tub of stress and it is often almost at overflow – this is because my life has stresses and restrictions… but one day soon they will be mostly gone, and I am lucky enough to have wonderful friends in my life who are there for me as I am for them.

    I am rambling on and not saying very much. What keeps me going is hope that the next day will be better than the last, that there will always be someone I can help in some small way wherever I am, and that there are always others who are worse off than I am however much I am down…

    …which leads me to Lucy and her tale that you impart so well, what a struggle she has had in her life. I admire your determination to help others, both in what u say here and your writing generally.

  2. Christy, thank you so much for sharing this post. I’ve suffered from depression my whole life. I usually had some reason to get out of bed in the morning – kids, work, something. But there were times it was a monumental struggle. It sapped all my energy to get out of bed, and then I felt like I was just going through the motions of living, doing the things I had to do without any enjoyment. Now, I get out of bed every morning because there’s always hope that today will be a better day.

  3. I think you are exactly right, we can’t know unless we have experienced it. We can’t understand the blisters on another’s soul unless our soul has been trampled in exactly the same manner.

    For me? Some days getting out of bed is simply I hurt to bad to stay in bed.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Val, Your comment about ‘blisters on another’s soul’ is beautifully expressed! Thank you for the unique description that truly makes sense.

  4. “I couldn’t get out of bed, hardly ate and was a mess. Mom was not having it. She told me to get my butt up and to do something with my life.”

    beautiful, inspiring story.

    What gets me out of bed? Knowing that God has a plan for me. xxx

  5. Hi Christy,

    Lucy’s story reminded me about one of my friends who kept slipping into depression and there was hardly anybody to cheer her up, to remind her that only if she gets out of bed will she be able to see the sunshine. Blessed are those who have such a solid support and loving people around to take care.

    I have always had the inspiration to get out of bed, sometimes books that beckoned me to study harder, at other times my children and my early morning routine of attending to then and also rush through heavy traffic to reach my destination – my work place every morning! Now it is just a cup of tea that attracts me and the loving face of my little grand daughter who is always bubbling with energy!

    Thanks for a thought provoking, lovely post.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      I hope your friend has a more stable lifestyle now. I agree that a solid support is so important to have to deal with the downs… Your comment about your granddaughter has me smiling :) I’m glad you’re doing well, my friend!

  6. My problem is not getting out of bed. I have a deep aversion to going to bed. Ten years ago, I had just gone to bed when the police knocked on the door to tell us that they had been contacted by the police in the city where our middle son lived. He had passed away and when they found him, they searched his wallet and found our address. I hate going to bed, and once there, if I am able to go to sleep, I wake often. I try to stay in bed until at least 4:00 or 5;00, but sometimes it is a struggle. I can’t say what gets me out of bed is a positive, it is definitely a negative, but it is better to get up than to let my mind wander back to that day.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Oh Michelle, my dear Michelle. I wish I was there to give you a hug! I hope you know that I value you even more now that I know how much strength you have to get out of bed each morning. I send you love xx

  7. It’s definitely the little things that get me out of bed every day, or to be more precise, it’s an eight-pound ball of Siamese fur that meows at my door and demands his breakfast aka Stinky Flavor. Even though I have my blue days, I’ve also realized my stubbornness helps balance out the bad days.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Jeri, Your point about pets being motivators is a good one that I bet many people can relate to! (as for the Stinky Flavor… I’ll move away from the scene now, heheh!)

  8. “Our greatest crisis leaders toil in sadness when society is happy. Yet when calamity occurs, if they are in a position to act, they can help lift the rest of us.” Nassir Ghaemi, A First-Rate Madness

    Christy – this was a book that changed my thoughts on depression. This is a very important discussion – glad that you are posting about it. Nassir Ghaemi has impeccable credentials to discuss depression. He considers that people who experience it have a greater understanding of life and how to face crisis. They see the real world and understand how to respond. I think you would find it quite interesting.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Rebecca, Thank you so much for suggesting this author to me. I am going to look at Nassir’s works and start to read them, upon your recommendation. I look forward to it. How nice you thought to tell me as I am an avid learner!

  9. Christy you are a brave girl. To be able to overcome your depression is a major feat; one that many cannot seem to overcome. Depression is misunderstood by many but thanks to people like you, unafraid to write about it and share other’s stories more and more people will be able to understand it better as well as being a comfort to the many who suffer from it, knowing they are not alone and there is always the possibility of overcoming. You are blessed to have such loving support; a gift many others do not have. :) (hugs for you))

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Thank you, Deb. Depression though is not something that is really overcome but instead it is managed. I do my best and optimism is something I hold close to my heart, along with my parents and friends like you and Aqui xx Hugs! Thank you for your lovely comment here.

    2. The importance of circling yourself with uplifting and supporting people is a huge part of ‘managing’. #Honored to call you friend! And you always know where to find me. <3

  10. HI Christy , No one wants to believe , not me for sure , you had dark times to overcome . At least you do not look it , and there lies the solution ; to soldier on , no matter what . We are made for our worldly transit , in the same way as deep sea ships , to navigate our way through storms and turbulence of life . We all have problems , so we have life , as the only problem-free stage is death . So that is what drives me out of bed in the morning , the sense of purpose of living out the next 24 hours in the most useful way possible….

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Hi Raj, Indeed, it is that I don’t look it that makes me so much more passionate about helping others who are in the trenches of depression – after all, if I can soldier on then so can they! I hope that my own journey can give others hope. Thank you so much for your support, friendship and kindness. Hugs.

  11. What gets me out of bed is knowing that I was awaken for a reason and a purpose for that day. It is not always easy, certainly there are many issues and difficulties that attempt to tie us to the bed and keep us hidden away from life, but I always believe that we never know who’s soul we may touch on any given moment, so we have to find the strength to get up and work our way through what life has to offer, good or bad. Thank you Christy! This post really resonated with me… You are indeed a champion soul! :)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Oh Syl, how wonderful that you say you never know whose soul you may touch in a day. That is an amazing reason to get out of bed in the morning :) Also, to know this post resonated with you means a lot to me. I value your opinion very much!

  12. Such a powerful and heartfelt post, Christy…
    Sometimes it is hard to me to wake up in the mornings … But luckily that is mainly because I love to sleep (truly do!). I need an alaram clock and a nosiy cheerleader!!! …
    Your retelling of Lucy’s story was poignant and I liked the twist on turns on it…
    Being pregnant when you are so young must be really tough… But it is just a circumstance as the whole thing might change in a decade. Of course having family around always help.
    I am so happy to be your friend and sometimes find hard to picture you in a dark way…
    You just had some trouble and you acted accordingly by then… It was no more than a sad or blue moment and I am truly happy to know that you got over it. And that all the bad experience turned into something as beautiful as your “poetry”.
    Sending you and your parents my best wishes. Hugs,Twinkle Star :star: Aquileana :)

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Aqui, dear Aqui,
      I will be there to wake you up whenever you need me! I am so thankful for you and for our bond… I am glad too that I was able to turn my own experiences into a poetic one that can help others… and that you see this too is a wonderful, powerful experience for me. I send you many hugs, shining star! xx :)

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