Saturday, May 16, 2009

got sleep?

I don't. I struggle with insomnia. Not true, full-blown, I literally haven't slept for days, kind of insomnia. Just that I have a hell of a time falling asleep, I almost never sleep through the entire night without waking and never ever want to get out of bed in the morning. Ever.

I recognize that in large part this is due to the simple fact that I have not built good habits around bedtime. The time itself is always different. They say not to, but I was putting in a movie to fall asleep to. Because, for me, it worked. I have tinnitus (constant, and I mean constant ear ringing) and the low noise of the movie helps distract me from that long enough to fall asleep. I tried tea for the umpteenth time a few weeks back, and I just plain don't care for tea. I know that I can take benadryl and it'll knock me out, but I absolutely despise the idea of being dependent on a drug to fall asleep! I also, however, recognize that using benadryl for a time to build a "sleeping at a decent time" habit could be highly beneficial.

The thing about all this is that ultimately it makes me a Crab. I never fully realized what it meant to Be Irritable or to Be Cranky until the last year or so. My coworkers have come to recognize that they need to tread softly around me in the morning and gauge what kind of night it might have been. On the one hand this is nice of them as well as self-preserving for them. On the other hand I do recognize they really shouldn't have to do that.

I used to think I was cranky ... I have no idea what I thought cranky was, but I am so far beyond any reasonable definition I had in my twenties (gawd that phrase alone is enough to make me cry in my nachos) that I seriously don't know how I would have defined it. Now I can define it much better. to Be Irritable is to feel like every single annoyance, no matter how small is nails on a chalkboard for an extended period of time. Literally, the small annoyance of hearing the fan squeak makes me want to smash it. People driving at normal speeds or with reasonable caution, but who are otherwise in my way I want to scream at, and often do.

Two things about this frustrate me the most. First that, intellectually, I am certain that I ought to be able to simply 'fix' it and be fine. Ultimately it is me. I ought to be able to fix myself so that I don't have to be the Wicked Witch for days on end. Intellectually I recognize that I should have been in bed 2 hours ago. I should have come home, settled my stuff and done my routine and gone to bed. In my defense 1) this is Friday and 2) tomorrow is my birthday. The problem is that I give myself excuses most days. Two days this week i gave myself excuses. Two days this week I simply did not sleep well and therefore didn't catch up any sleep I'd missed. (Don't post comments about 'you can't catch up on sleep' I know for myself I can, a bit)

Second, I believe that as a Christian woman who believes deeply in the power of God that I ought to be able to control this irritability and not be rude and ignorant to people and let my mouth have it's head so to speak and absolutely kill any kind of witness I could otherwise offer. In my heart and my spirit I know I ought to be able to. But that's the problem with sleep-deprivation. I have no reserve. I have no cushion. I have no room, no breath, no space. I can't tolerate your stupidity for one more minute because I didn't rebuild my patience by sleeping well last night so my brain could function at full capacity. And yes, that falls on me, but, today, I need to turn my back so that you can't see me roll my eyes again at your stupidity and ignorance and annoying interruption of my already overcrowded day. I am fully ... fully aware that my tongue is downright out of control. I have no doubts or delusions about this. But with the incredible lack of sleep I end up with by Fridays I simply don't care. I just don't. Maybe that sounds bad, but I just don't. I don't have enough energy to care. I'm using up all my energy breathing and functioning and being productive and not ripping your head off for looking at me cross-eyed.

The most upsetting result of all this is the emotional breakdown. I read a blog tonight and started crying. To be perfectly honest, I've shed a few tears already tonight. And to continue that honesty, I will likely cry myself to sleep. And tomorrow's my birthday. In fact, that may end up being a fair portion of why I'm crying. This life I have, wonderful as it is in the vast majority of respects, is not what I expected or asked for. It is so far from where I thought I'd be 6 years ago that I don't recognize it, and I no longer recognize that girl that had those dreams. And I am forced to wonder, not for the first time, if some of those dreams are pipe dreams, never to be had. Yes, I'm talking about relationships, but I'm also talking about the little things. A laptop, for example. It's such a small, simple, (in the grand scheme of the world) little thing; and, not in any way necessary to my living or breathing or functioning. However, I've been dreaming of having one for a year or two now, and something always seems to come up. It feels like that with so many things and I'm just tired of wishing for things that always feel inches (and miles) beyond my reach.

And, yes, I fully realize I am overwrought and overtaxed. I am overtired and overweight. I am ... me. I am what I am, and His grace to me has not been without effect. Never seems to be the effect I would have wished for, but it has had significant effects. I am irrational, I know that. But rational is beyond me right now. Well beyond me. Maybe I'll find some tomorrow. Hopefully I'll find some tomorrow, or else I'll end up crying myself to sleep at the end of my birthday and not just at the beginning.


  1. No actually, I don't have sleep. Please note that the time is 11:43pm. Good time to blog!

  2. so maybe i should turn on my computer and e-mail you at three in the morning, instead of playing the piano? which i do loudly. especially if i am irritated, which i usually am at three in the morning...