Getting out of bed is the hardest part of my day

A cat asleep in a Japanese cat cafe.

I have a difficult relationship with sleep, not because I’m not getting enough, but because I enjoy it too much. It is by far the thing I look forward to most each day. I don’t enjoy being unconscious per se, but I do enjoy having a period of time where I drop the pretence of ignoring pain, and can just relax, and embrace rest.

This post may seem a little defeatist than I intended. I just wanted to deconstruct the weird myriad of issues that sleep poses.

I want to talk about why leaving that state is the hardest thing I have to do each day and why it’s different and more complicated than just being tired.

I can always sleep more

Happily I’m sleeping better than my last post on sleep, and I’m still following all the advice in that post. I get enough sleep, I don’t take naps (usually) but I can’t escape the feeling of always being tired.

As I’m managing chronic pain as well as chronic fatigue, I always find myself yearning for sleep. If given the opportunity I could sleep for twice the time I actually sleep. I am not sleep deprived, I just don’t get the benefit of sleep anymore, but I still greatly enjoy the small amount of restorative sleep I do get.

In a day, despite how tired I feel I try to sty active (by cycling) or keep busy with work, or Japanese study, to try and tire myself out more to increase the chance that sleep will recharge me.

Pain ebbing away

Going to bed is such a perfect experience for me. I lie still, as comfortably as I have been all day, I lie between sleep and awakeness. The pain is there, but it’s quietly drowned out by the heavy, warm and gentle call of tiredness.

Sleep is the only time I don’t consciously experience pain. I still experience pain, but it no longer wakes me in the way it once did (happily). I have experienced the misery of being awoken from sleep from pain, so I know how difficult that can be, and how hard going back to sleep can be. So right now I just like to revel in the idea that sleep gets me a brief, unconscious respite from pain.

Sleep has become my daily escape from pain. I look forward to it every night. I nod off with a smile on my face. I can stop fighting the fatigue and pain, and just be, it makes me realise how exhausted I am. I’m not scared by it I embrace the freedom that sleep offers me.

There aren’t many positives to long term illness, however I have noticed that the onset of my illnesses and the absence of pain in dreams gives me a consistent way to know when I am dreaming. I’ve started to have lucid dreams where I am able to control what I do in my dreams to some extent.

Dreams have become a powerful way to manage living with illness, giving me a place to do the things I miss without repurcussion.

Leaving my bed is so hard

So leaving that state is momentally difficult. A place where I’m not aware of pain, where I am warm and comfortable and completely in control of how I feel.

Becoming conscious again feels like a massive heavy curtain is being pulled over my body at the same time my covers come away. The pain rises up from nowhere, slinking into my worldview like a serpent, only to physically beat me as I open my eyes. It takes my breath away, and in that moment between waking and sleep, I suddenly remember all the pain I left on the edge of consciousness the night before.

It’s no wonder I don’t want to leave bed most days. It’s not depressive, it’s just if I didn’t have to work, and have that to continue to push me onwards each day, I would remain in bed, and try to escape pain for as long as possible. Work is a positive force, and I want to keep doing it for as long as I can, no matter how hard.

My body hurts all over each morningI feel the strain in all of my muscles and tissues, and sometimes I cannot get out of bed unaided, which is terrifying.

I take comfort that most days will generally improve once I am up and around, but it doesn’t stop a reluctance to leave bed, it’s the easier option. Most days, it’s the option I want to take, but I know that getting up and getting moving is the hardest part of the day, and it’s generally easier from there.

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About endohope

My name is Michelle B. I've lived with endometriosis for eight years and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome for four. Trying to live and work with both illnesses as best I can.

7 responses to “Getting out of bed is the hardest part of my day

  1. Holly Arnold

    This describes me on SOOOO many levels! There are too many days where I wish EVERYTHING would just be gone (all distractions – work, family, etc) and I could just linger in that beautiful state you describe. And I admit to feeling guilty about that. And then I feel guilty for feeling guilty – nasty cycle.

    And like you, it’s not a depressive state (I have Zoloft for that – as should everyone with chronic pain. Chronic pain leads to depression leads to more pain. Viscious cycle * and no I’m not advocating one antidepressant over the other. Zoloft works for me. It’s been a trial and error thing!) It is more of an acute awareness that, for the most part, sleep = no pain (except on my “painsomnia” nights but that’s a different story!)

    Finding relief in sleep is actually a really positive thing. Sleep is – or should be – a restorative state, a time where body and mind renew and refresh.

    Kudos for this post, and for reminding us all that we DO need to be grateful for sleep, as well as the things (work, family, faith, etc) that compel us to get up out of bed when we really don’t want to!

  2. Funny thing about this post. I just woke from a 1 hour mid day nap — at a time when I was supposed to be working on a deadline driven project. I’d set my timer to go off after 20 min.but I didn’t even hear it. I only needs these naps when my body isn’t ‘right’ – these days struggling with recurrent UTI’s. I don’t as much wake ‘restored’ from them or from nightly sleep but I feel like I have no choice. My eyes won’t stay open. I resent them because it’s more time that I’m not active & getting things done that give me pleasure. I’m grateful that I do want to get out of bed (most of the time) but I know that there is a part of me that just wants to stay there – like a siren calling. It’s a tricky thing and the only thing that I can do is to try my hardest not to fight it.

    • I know how you feel Rosalind, good to hear from you. I’m finding I’m having to nap when I am not working which is never something I’d have to do before.

      I too have that horrible cannot keep my eyes open type fatigue nearly daily now. I can totally relate to not getting the stuff that you want to do done.

  3. I have the same trouble but thankfully most days the heavy pain does lessen throughout the day but getting out of bed is hard. I find it harder the more I lie there thinking about it. Best just to get up and get it over with!

    • Yes, I’m with you. Unfortunately though I’ve had a particularly hellish time getting out of bed which has been much tougher than normal. Usually once I’m up and moving it gradually passes.

  4. This is a very positive post. Many people are just like yourself when it comes to chronic pain and sleep. Either sleeping too little because pain is keeping them awake or too much. It’s challenging to get out of bed if the first thing you wake too is horrible pain. More power to people with chronic pain who get out of bed every day – even for a few hours.

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Endohope

My name is Michelle and I've been living and working with endometriosis for seven years. I hope to provide some hope for this illness through practical advice and discussion of this awful disease. You can read more about my story on my about me page.

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