sit. stay. good boy.

Arch-Enemies 02/11/2011

Do you have arch-enemies?

I do.  Mine haunts me.  I can never seem to beat it.

There are the odd occasions when I do really well against it and I win.  It feels great.  I could walk on air.

Sometimes they last for a short stretch of time – a few days, a week – two if I’m lucky.  I could fly.

And then

it all comes









And it’s not just me who is affected.

It’s not a small thing with small consequences.

What happens, you ask?

Okay I’ll ‘fess up.

I don’t wake up.  Or if I do – I drop right off back to sleep before I can haul by backside out of bed.

Then I am late for anything that I have on for the day – visits, appointments, ….work.

And we’re talking regularly 30 – 40 mins late during the mid spring and autumn – and every now and then it’s a couple of hours.  It affects other people when that happens – workers, patients … if I don’t get my work done it slows down the process of referrals going through, information getting to people in hospital and their treating teams for planning, people going home.  It means groups can’t run or other people have to cover me.  I nearly lost my last job over it.  Even when well I’m often 10 – 20 mins behind my start time.  I survive because I start before my boss and I always work back – but I can’t keep it up.

And it doesn’t seem to matter what time I ‘m supposed to start – I’ve adjusted starting times.  It’s simply the process of getting out of bed and waking up in the morning.

Once I’m up, my sensory routines are helpful.  I’ve started to experiment with some mindfulness exercises when I get time – which help a lot.  But actually waking up and getting out of bed is jolly hard work.

The other thing that happens to me is that I lose time in the mornings.  I do.  Even when I’ve gotten up on time and have been running on time something happens – I space out in the shower or getting myself a drink and meds and time just vanishes.

I started a new experiment earlier this week that I think holds promise for the latter issue – I’ve started using a mindfulness breathing meditation exercise as soon as I get up that goes for about 10 mins to raise my level of alertness.  If it keeps working at keeping me focused, I’ll be writing about that in a couple of weeks.  But for it to work – I need to get up in time to have time to do it.  It doesn’t need to be earlier – because I’ve worked out that I do everything else more efficiently when I do it.  But I need to get up.


At present I use two alarm clocks set 5 mins apart – one to arouse my attention if I am in deep sleep so that by the time the second goes off I won’t sleep through it even if I sleep through the first.  Part of me wonders whether it’s worth investing in a bed vibrating alarm clock – they make them for deaf people.  It might be uncomfortable enough to help me move out of bed more easily.  Has anybody ever used one?

I know the rules – go to bed early and get up and the same time every day.  I’m awfully undisciplined at doing that.

Take your meds at the same time every day.  I tend to get lazy and just take them on the way to bed – which admittedly is probably half of the problem.  There are some very sleepy meds among my cocktail.

Every day is a new day with no mistakes in it – yet.  Thank you, Anne Shirley – but other people remember and I need to work out the best way to deal with their memories and keep myself focused on the present so that I don’t drown in fright.

So here it is.  My arch-enemy.  The alarm clock.  That moment in time that I’m supposed to get up.  To get moving.  To get started with the day.

Please – anybody with your own ghouls – what helps you haul yourself out of bed every morning?


7 Responses to “Arch-Enemies”

  1. willowdot21 Says:

    I cannot claim any medical training but is there some hidden reason deep in your subconscious that makes you want to miss the day, I do not want to teach anyone to suck eggs. I take my pills late too but I seem to be so used to them that they no longer seem to have any effect on me ..unless I forget a dose. My arch enemy is pain, I wrote this earlier this year it is not particularly good but I think it says what I feel some mornings and how I try to reason with it . All I can say is keep trying you seem to be a very knowledgeable person and I am always interested in what you have to say. I am intrigued by the vibrating bed it sounds amazing ..I think it would finish me off!! So WAKE UP please !!! :o) xx


    • Thanks Willow. Your words are always so helpful for reflecting and pulling things into a different perspective.
      I’m not sure if there are reasons for wanting to miss the day. Perhaps there are, but I enjoy what I do – so I’m not sure what they are. But maybe it’s bigger than a one day or another thing. I will have to put some thought into this.


  2. paulbrook76 Says:

    Well done on your blogs, Jill.
    My ‘ghoul’ is called Paul Brookes. He is a mainly nocturnal foe, but strikes by day too. I am determine to beat him – good luck beating yours too.


  3. runitjojo Says:

    I wish I had something comforting to say, but we share this same issue of waking up and getting out of bed. Sometimes I can just lie in bed for hours. The effort of literally removing myself off the bed too much for me to initiate. My need/want of sleep is insatiable! Needless to say, I NEVER feel fully rested…. and if there is ONE thing in this whole world that I love and looking forward to–it’s sleep. Haha I should probably mention this to a doctor, maybe a prescription will help! I always wonder about those folks who are ready to go each and every morning no matter what!! Good luck


  4. LunaSunshine Says:

    I have always had awful sleep problems. I could never get to sleep, and once I did, I wouldn’t be able to wake up. It’s only recently that I started working it out.

    First, and foremost, I have meds that wake me up and meds to sleep. Wellbutrin in the morning and Temazepam at night.

    Second, I have supplements that do the same. Fish oil, Co-Q 10, and seditol at night. Co-Q 10, Vitamin D and E, and Cogniflex in the morning.

    By biggest weapon? Your greatest enemy. Multiple alarms. One positioned on my husband’s side of the bed with a 9 minute snooze. Mine positioned across the room with 4 minute snooze. I started to figure out a way around it, until I started to force my own hand.

    Have a small drink before bed, not enough to wake you in the night, but enough to get you out of bed in the morning when the alarm goes off. If you have a smartphone, take it with you when you go. I start reading posts and emails to wake up. By the time I have a chance to get back upstairs, I’m awake enough to get ready for my day.

    The smartphone is the clincher. I start reading before I’m even awake enough. But, I won’t respond until later. I go back, mark as unread, and move to the next one. It’s interesting enough to get my brain going and clear out the sleepies.


    • Thanks Luna. Some great stuff to think about in there. I love the smartphone idea. I don’t have one of those – but something to get me curious in the morning sounds good …


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