Day 3/21

Today,

I am grateful for…

  1. working heaters
  2. getting up this early
  3. friends who care to drive out & see me

Points 1. & 2. sort of go hand in hand, but I have to pick one…2. I guess…

Getting up this early is significant. It is a big deal.

When you are in a rut–physically/mentally, it is very difficult to overcome, particularly if it rubs up against your sickness in any way.

Depression usually has a quality of lethargy to it. You get tired a lot because your brain can’t seem to distinguish between the threats whether they are real or perceived. You just go and go and go and go and go until you stop and when you stop…you stop hard.

So what does any of this have to do with getting up early?

I have been trying to get up early since I was 18 and I heard that it was common practice for the Dalai Lama. He went to bed at midnight and was up four hours later practicing and praying for loving kindness and healing the world through his example. It is unreal how much compassion this guy has. He blows me away.

I idolize the guy, but I could not for the life of me get up early. At least I couldn’t.

Because of my handicap. Because of my mental illness. See, I spend the majority of my day constantly correcting my social behavior, constantly en garde and on the look out for possible threats. I am constantly afraid that people are going to leave me based on my behavior so I am always policing myself. This becomes infinitely worse in crisis, which usually has to do with my finances or living arrangements. This causes no small amount of anxiety as you may imagine. So I stay up until 3am and don’t wake up until 9am.

This is (relatively speaking) early. I used to wake up at 2pm in the afternoon on weekends or during the summer. My family called it laziness.

But, when I set alarms at 6, 7, 8 & 9 and still somehow manage to sleep till 10/11…well I’m no longer so sure.

A rut is a rut for a reason and when you are unwell, it is difficult to see any way out of it, but some days you wake up at 5:30 with your alarm and remember that everything comes with practice. 

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