As I am writing this, I am unsure of whether or not I should share it. I have a knot of fear and dread deep in the pit of my stomach that tells me I should not. It is for that very reason that I have.
Today, the bravest thing I did was get out of bed. For many, this is not a struggle. It is a part of everyday life, that they may not enjoy, but it isn’t a fight or a battle, it is just something they have to do. However, for some of us, getting out of bed is the biggest in a long line of daily challenges.
I don’t know why today was a particular challenge, but it was. I found myself inexplicably ‘STUCK’ to my mattress. The world seemed too overwhelming, too big. The thought of forcing my legs out from underneath the warm, tightly wrapped duvet cocoon I had made myself, seemed all but impossible.
In recent days, the world I am living in has become an increasingly confusing and scary place to be in and today I didn’t have the fight in me to face it all once more.
My bed seemed safe, it was comforting, familiar. The world not so much. Every ounce of my being was telling me to stay put, to just barricade myself in and defend my position.
It took everything I had to drag myself out. Everything. After moving one step, all I wanted to do was crawl back in and sleep for another day, because ALL of my energy had been used up in that single step. you may be sat there thinking, well that doesn’t sound all that brave; waking up, getting out of bed and taking a single step, what sort of achievement is that? Well for me, today, it was everything. It was the bravest thing I could have done and is something, although I might not feel it now, I should be proud of.
At the start of this post, I shared that it gives me deep anxiety to share with you all such a personal and difficult story, but I felt I needed to because I know there are so many others who find themselves in this very situation. So what do you do in that situation? How do you ‘Do the bravest thing’ and take the first step out of bed on the days when the world is just too much?
Acknowledge your feelings. For me this is the most difficult, but most important step to getting out of bed. Realising that I feel overwhelmed and cannot face the world, helps me to understand myself and my motives. Knowing that I feel scared about the day ahead and fearful of what it has in store, helps me to justify why I am finding it so hard to get up.
Give yourself time. Time is crucial. It might take you an hour, might take you 2 might even take you 12, but that’s okay. The famous saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ has never been more apt. Rome was not built in a day. It was built over many years, each little bit contributing to the overall progress. No matter how long it takes you, allow yourself time to take the first little step.
Take Care of the Physical. One of the most challenging things about mental health and invisible illness is that you can look perfectly well on the outside and yet, be seriously ill on the inside, and on the days when your mental health is bad, your physical health also takes a turn for the worse too. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your body while your mind heals. Drinking plenty of water, eating regularly and even smaller things like wriggling your fingers and toes every now and again do wonders for your health and mood.
Today, the bravest thing I did, was get out of bed. Next time you feel like the world is just too much, remember the plan above and more than anything, love yourself a little harder that day, keeping in mind, you are brave to still be living.