I’m about to write on a situation that I have no conclusion to. With my OCD that is difficult, but it is a fairly major issue in my life, so I figured I’m not going to wait around for a conclusion to type this.
I like to wake up early. There was a time when I felt this was such a necessity to being a good person—my OCD controlling this mindset—that I would feel I was never waking up early enough. So I kept moving my wake-up time backward until it hit around 3:00 am. Which is silly. Really, it is just silly.
As well, during this time I would quite literally beat myself up if woke up later than a prescribed time. I would put a sticky note on my clock:
WAKE UP 7:45! YOU’LL FEEL BETTER!
And if my want for sleep veered off to 8:00 am or 8:30 am, I would be so angry at myself that I would stomp around clinching my fists so hard it hurt. (As I said, I literally beat myself up.)
Over time though I’ve come to see that my wake-up issues go in waves. Not waves predictable enough to know when they’re going to ebb and flow on a calendar, but I go through phases where I just do not want to get out of bed in the morning.
Here’s the thing. I do not know why. And I don’t know why I don’t know why. By that I mean—this is a clear sign of depression or anxiety. This is a symptom of one of the simpler mental disorders in terms of diagnosis. I should also be feeling depressed and/or anxious.
But I do not. I’m pretty sure I know what depression feels like, and I’m damn well an expert on anxiety. I don’t think I am experiencing these as I can’t get out of bed.
I no longer beat myself up for these things. I can work around them with my job and my creative life. I can move my schedule around more freely at this point in my life. But that isn’t really the issue here. The issue is not knowing what is going on.
For one, it is clearly mental. I have no physical ailments, this much I am sure of. I am not physically sick in any way. I can feel my mind craving staying in bed too late. Note also, I am staying in bed well past an eight-hour sleep, so it really isn’t an issue with sleep. Again, I feel nothing different physically.
I don’t feel tired, I feel compelled to hide from the world.
And I am hiding from the world. I even desire good dreams, because, after a certain amount of sleep, my dreams are much more memorable and vivid.
So I am no longer beating myself up about going through these phases, but damn do I want to understand them! Am I depressed and just don’t know it? I’m technically on antidepressants, even though depression is not something I feel often. I’ve felt it in my life, and I wouldn’t consider it one of my major mental issues.
OCD and then anxiety are my issues. But I don’t feel anxious either. And I know from anxiety rooted in seemingly nothing. It was my hobby for so many years.
I’d love to offer advice—to myself.
I’d love to know.
All I do know is this all goes in waves. Weeks of not being able to get out of bed, many more weeks of being able to get up rather early.
I don’t know.
I DON’T KNOW.
And that, with my OCD, may be the worst part of all of this.
Because I NEED TO KNOW.