In search of the elusive ‘solution‘ to the crushing feelings of sadness that creep up on me daily, I seem to have fallen into my own special fucked-up coping mechanism. Something unhealthy. You see, I have not wanted to admit this because I find it humiliating, yet I still do it.

Here it is: In the morning, after I drop off my son at school, come home, and later drop off my daughter, I go back to bed. I tell myself not to do it. I tell myself that I’m not going to do it. Then I tell myself I’m just going to relax in bed and read for a little while. But I know I’ll fall asleep, and I always do.

And I’m glad it happens.

Some days, I sleep late enough that I wake up with only enough time to grab a shower and maybe eat before it’s time to pick up the kids. Basically, I’m sleeping my life away. It’s bad. Really bad. And it’s really sad, too. And I know it. This is not what I want my life to be. But I feel empty. I don’t know how to cope with the overwhelming, unbearable, uncontrollable feelings of utter despair that stop me from facing the day.

I actively tell myself, even aloud sometimes, that it’s okay. It’s not as bad as my brain tells me it is. But I can’t kick the feeling. It’s physical as much as emotional. And fight as I may, the feelings come every day. No matter what. Every fucking day. And it hurts in every way. And I cry. And I hate that I’m crying and I hate that I feel these feelings but nothing eradicates them. I can’t prevent them and I can’t kill them.

I can only cover them up with sleep.

I don’t even know that I’m adequately describing those feelings. I don’t know that it’s possible for me to do so. I feel bored and hopeless and alone. I feel purposeless and pointless and useless. I don’t know what to do with myself. No, I take that back. I can think of plenty of mundane (or even enjoyable) things to do to pass the time—things that are more productive than sleeping. But I lack motivation. I call it lazy. My NP calls it depression. I’m pretty sure she’s right. But that doesn’t help me hate myself any less.

My NP also told me (without any prompting from me) what I’ve said all along. No medication is going to fix everything. [So please, if you want to tell me that I need to have my meds adjusted, pardon my bluntness, but fuck off.] I’m never going to pop some pills and become the fucking mistress of sunshine. That’s not how meds work. What has to happen is I need to change my way of thinking. I need the will to do it. And I need to try everything, even the things that sound ridiculous and corny to me. The meds (which actually did change slightly recently), hopefully, can get me to a place where I can try everything—where I actually have the drive to try everything.

My NP also notices, every time I see her, that I have taken some steps in the right direction. But I don’t see them. I only see my failures. I tell her how things are going, and she finds little things in there that she sees as achievements. I don’t notice them. I don’t acknowledge them. I don’t even notice when I mention them to her in passing like tiny meaningless details. But she says they’re not meaningless.

I really wish she was a full-on therapist because I really click with her. It’s like talking to a friend. And I truly believe that is exactly what I need—someone who feels like (or is?) a friend. But my NP’s not a therapist. I don’t know that I’ll ever find one who I click with in this way. And I don’t have the money or the drive to search.

So I guess it’s nap time.


©2018 what sandra thinks


About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy, too. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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39 Responses to asleep.

  1. I think it’s great that you really connect with your NP. And I honestly think that’s probably ok that she’s not an actual therapist. If she makes you feel understood and better, who cares what letters come after her name on her business card. She’s seeing improvements which is great! Hopefully in time you will be able to see those improvements too. I know it takes time and it feels impossible, but also I know, from watching my mom battle her own mental health issues, that it’s possible! And some days you might feel like you’re back to the start again, but that’s ok! It’s not a straight line to improvement.

    Maybe since you were able to break the sleeping all the time, your body just needs it right now to deal with things and process things? The last few weeks I’ve been dealing with a lot of things emotionally and I would nap every day! I was exhausted!! I can only imagine how hard it is to keep yourself going every day with the physical pain of your back and then add on the mental strain of feelings. Sleep if you need to! Take care of you any way you know how!


    Liked by 1 person

    • The reason I wish my nurse practitioner did therapy, too, is because I probably need a therapist and they’re only so much talking I can do with her in a 20-minute appointment. But that’s better than nothing.

      Even if I notice a good thing, I wish my brain didn’t always tell me it “didn’t count” and only the bad things “count”. I logically know it doesn’t make sense, yet it’s how I think anyway. You’re right, it feels impossible. Partly because I’ve been this way for so long and I haven’t been able to get out of it.

      The sleep thing is not the worst thing in the world, I guess, but I know I’m doing it to avoid thinking. I’m sure I’m also tired because I stay up late, but it’s mostly avoidance. I need to find another way to deal with things. I can’t do tihs forever.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Avoiding thinking about things is the worst! How are you supposed to do that?! LOL I’m trying to do that right now too and it sucks. I’m typing words to you, thinking about what I shouldn’t be thinking about. I’ve had a few unhealthy distractions over the last month, but whatever man. It helped me over a tough time and I’m glad that I had that. But like I said, exhausted! You’re right, sleeping means you don’t have to think about things, but maybe that’s just what you need. I’m a firm believer in the body telling us what it needs. So if it’s saying sleep – maybe sleep? lol You will find another way to deal with it, you have before, and you will again.

        I feel you on the only focusing on the bad things. I’m sorry that it’s so hard to see all the good. Does your NP have any recommendations in the field of people who might be like her but with the therapis qualifications? Having her is better than nothing and I’m glad that you do have her. Just that little bit is probably helping way more than you know.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The sad/unfortunate thing is that my NP used to do therapy. She just doesn’t do it anymore. She’s not going to go back to it just for me. I could certainly ask her if she could suggest someone, but I just can’t dish out another copayment. I already have her and my chiropractor monthly and it adds up so fast.

          The suggestion that I’ve heard a million times, including from my NP, is that whole gratitude journal thing that makes me want to roll my eyes and throw up. But I decided to try it. Problem is, I hardly ever remember to write anything. I’m sure there are little things that are good throughout the day or week, but when they come up, writing them doesn’t even occur to me. Then when I do remember that journal, I sit there and try to come up with things but I have nothing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well her background in therapy is great then! At least it’s someone who has that education and your chats, even if they are short, will be more helpful to you.

            Uugghhh gratitude journals! Lol I tried to do one every day. I lasted a week before even my sunshine an lollipop self ran out of things other than “coffee, internet” lol they are HARD!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Wow! I am surprised to hear that a gratitude journal was hard even for you! You always seem to be able to look on the bright side and find good things. I just assumed that I had trouble because I’m so incredibly negative. I thought it would be easy for someone with a much more positive outlook like you. Shows what I know!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I do wish my rainbow and butterfly speeches helped…but I know they suck. And make you want to throat punch me. I still think working, anywhere, would help. Give you some purpose, a little money, and get you out of the house. I know, why it’s difficult. Still though. In the meantime, I’ll refrain from blowing unicorn dust up your skirt. Even though it takes all my willpower to hold it back. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do agree (and have agreed all along) that working would help. But work is not an option at this point, so I’ve tried to put it out of my mind. It’s really hard when it feels like the only thing that would help is not an option. You know, because that leaves nothing.

      Unless you can find me a job from 9am-2pm where I’m not on my feet the whole time (back pain). I can’t find one and I have tried everything… looked everywhere. Even though it wouldn’t get me out of the house, I’ve tried to find work-from-home jobs, too. I’ve spend hours (…days, weeks) and gotten nowhere. I just don’t have the right skills for the jobs out there.

      I know that your Mr. Sunshine routine doesn’t change my situation and doesn’t make me “cured” but you should know that it does help. I feel so so incredibly alone most of the time. It’s too easy for me to feel like no one cares, and that makes me feel like I shouldn’t bother caring either. At least you “listen” and take the time to say something… anything.

      Although I reserve the right to punch you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Meg says:

    I agree with Beach, some kind of work to get you out of the house and among people will help. Now I know how you struggle with applying for jobs and I also know I’ve suggested this before but how about volunteering somewhere? You won’t be getting paid but at least you’ll really being helping someone. I think volunteer work could possibly be even more satisfying than finding a job. And perhaps it will help you find a job. In the meanwhile, it will be a good reason to get up and do something – something important and purposeful. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like I was just saying in my response to Beach, working is just not an option unless there is some 9am-2pm job where I don’t have to stand. I’ve looked for-freaking-ever for that. I’ve had a professional look for that.

      I tried, at one point, to look up volunteer things around here and I couldn’t find anything that I could actually do. Maybe I’m not looking in the right place. But, again, I can’t be on my feet. And if I did find something, I am still not sure I could get myself there without someone to hold my hand. At least the first time. In my ‘old age’ I find that I struggle even to do things I used to do without issue. I am a mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meg says:

        Oh man… I was thinking that usually charitable organizations are pretty good about what they’d require you to do. Most times they’re so grateful to have help, they’ll accommodate your needs. And take whatever time you can give them. Ah….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The fact that you’re able to write about this so honestly seems to be a good sign and is possibly your way of working through these times to find solutions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My first thought was classic depression when I started reading your post. I think treatment must include a variety of solutions, medications only one of them. Working with a therapist would be helpful, too, I’m sure, but I get the co-pay thing. It really adds up. This time of year, with less sunshine and the holidays coming up is difficult for a lot of people. Sounds like you are making small strides and that’s good. Wish I could offer more help but I’m always happy to listen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, the early sunsets and the holidays get to me, for sure. I loved Christmas so much when I was a kid but now… not so much. I think I might actually hate it. I’m sure a big part of that is the financial impact… and the financial focus. It’s hard to make it about family and fun rather than money and gifts when that’s what’s all around you, you know? My kids have a cousin who is always quick to point out that he “got more presents.” Ugh.

      And I hate to be a burden but you’re a wonderful friend. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, I get it. One of my friends, who has two grandkids, says she’s not decorating her house at all this year, inside or out! Her daughter does so the kids have that and she will buy them gifts, but I decorate for me! We are definitely trying to cut back on spending this year — 5 kids plus 3 spouses, 8 grandkids, plus all the other grandkids in the family. It’s just getting out of hand and I don’t always feel like they appreciate everything. Christmas has gotten all about the gifts and I’m trying to do an activity as a family, stuff like that. I really enjoy that more than gifts at my age! Thinking of you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would like my house to look festive, mostly because my daughter really wants that, but I’m not sure I will do much. It’s hard with the back pain, and I hate how small this house is. But who knows? Maybe I’ll get inspired…

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m thinking the same thing! Trying to keep from reinjuring my back but everything I need to do involves bending and lifting! Will your daughter help do the decorating? Justin will help me but at 6 his attention span only lasts about a half hour!

            Liked by 1 person

            • My daughter will probably want to take over… lol. But she probably wouldn’t be able to do a lot of it. For the past two days, I’ve been working on some pretty fabric shades I’m making for my living room and all the measuring and cutting fabric on my dining room table is killing my back. I guess I’ll have to see how I feel over the weekend as far as Christmas decorating goes…

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I hear you on sleep as a way to just not be conscious, to get away from feeling. As far as habits go, it seems to be a pretty good one…

    I say, let it be like that right now. One day, you may not feel like sleeping. You may want to get up and do something else. But for now, I’m with gigglingfattie. Maybe you need it. And maybe, it’s totally okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I have a lot of trouble telling myself that what I’m doing is okay. I know it’s not a healthy way to live… so I struggle to justify it. I hope you’re right that one day I’ll be able to get up and do something. Until then, I guess I need to stop beating myself up over this.


  7. mydangblog says:

    I know there’s nothing I can say that would help, and I won’t even try, but know that I really love your writing, and your honesty:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve definitely had waves like this, and it does take a lot of push to get me out of those blankets. It will take a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for you, what helps, what doesn’t.. because it’s not a one size fits all situation. But don’t lose hope, because you are not Alone. And you will get through this. I still try and figure out what works for me each day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I’ve had some better days but I still find myself wanting to go back to bed often. It’s my safe place, I guess. Or something like that. But it’s nice to know that you understand. Right now with Christmas approaching, I’ve been a bit busier so I think that has helped. Not sure what will happen when the holidays are over…


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