I used to wake up with a routine that was ready to begin. I would go out for a run, earlier than I needed to just to make sure the streets were a little bit emptier. I would run in the dark winter mornings, those icy cold days that made my fingers feel like they were going to fall off. I preferred to run in the dark.
Twenty minutes later and I’d be back through my front door, saying hello to the cat, maybe my housemates too, then go up the stairs for a cool shower. Afterwards I’d lay on my bed, let the blood that seems to have rushed to the surface of my cheeks settle back down again, let my heart rate go back to normal. Getting dressed, doing my make-up and hair, all made me feel a little more confident – my wardrobe was full of things that made me feel good, there was nothing really in there that was just for comfort, unlike today.
After inhaling breakfast and a cup of coffee, I would grab my bag and drive to work. The drive was fun; I miss playing my iPod playlists loud in the car as I sang the entire journey.
Work would begin, and within those nine hours another routine started; to-do lists, morning meetings, emails, phone calls, planning and scheduling. The evening would come and the drive home would be exactly the same as the drive to work, except a little happier. I’d have a small dinner, maybe some leftovers or whatever I happened to have in the fridge. I’d sit in my room, texting, watching, writing. Then when it became late enough, I would hit the hay, getting my mind and body ready to start the same day over again.
Over the last twenty months I have woken up with no routine, no real plan for the day. Over the last few weeks I’ve woken up to baby kicks, fluttering sensations in my belly, plus some back ache.
Except for a few isolated occasions, I wake up to feelings of worthlessness. Feelings that what I do each day doesn’t really matter, that it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever. If I let it, if I stay in bed long enough, those thoughts consume me, and I begin to feel like concrete. Thankfully, most mornings my pregnancy makes me too hungry to stay beneath the covers, and I simply have to eat my usual breakfast of porridge, banana and dark chocolate chips before I anger the baby.
Getting out of bed is no fail-proof cure; those thoughts can easily come back to haunt me later on. I am, however, grateful that the baby is somewhat looking after me by wanting to look after herself – letting me know that her needs come first and that staying in bed will do neither of us any good.
I miss the mundane of a routine. I miss those mornings where I knew exactly what needed to be done and when. I miss having that purposeful wake-up. I miss the distraction of a busy day.
All I can do is get through each day, remember to look after myself and my unborn baby, and if I can, do something to make myself feel proud, however small it may be.
Waking up is easy, getting up is hard – but depression won’t always win.