Just to make myself feel better, I’m going to start with a blanket statement that I will insist is true (as if that were different from any blog post I write #AmIRight?) – everyone has a particular time of year where they just go a little crazy. Right? …. Right?
This year feels like it has a particular high level of elasticity that has me jumping through conclusions like circus hoops and bouncing back from this split second decision-masked emotions as if they never even happened. All in all, it has me worn out, and being worn out is one of the main causes of the Caz-crazy.
I don’t expect many people outside of the narcoleptic community to really “get” what I mean when I say I’m too tired to want to not be tired. That’s as simple as I can put it in a way that many people think they can relate to, but trust me… it is bigger than that.
I’m talking about the kind of tired that isn’t necessarily seen in your eyes or noticed by the wanderings and forgetfulness in the midst of long conversations. I’m not talking about when I start to repeat myself like a broken record with little memory that I did in fact already say that out loud.
Things tend to happen all at once. When it rains, it pours, right? Although, it hasn’t necessarily felt like pouring. It hasn’t felt that negative. I think I get numb at best. But when all you’re trying to do is be successful at who you are and who you want to become while the world lays at your feet, building mountains at every footstep, you eventually lay down in the valley to insist on enjoying a little greenery as things start to tower around you. Don’t get me wrong. Life isn’t bad. I love my job, a lot. I love where I live. I have the most amazing relationship. I just kind of hit a wall recently.
With only 7 or so days of no visitors or plans between August 30 and November 23, a huge website migration project coming to a head after working on it most of a year and all the sales and marketing spikes that come alongside something that big, plans changing, braces-getting, surgery surprising, and now just to spin the wheel a little faster, we are moving into a new apartment – well, somewhere in the midst of all of that I started out one morning saying to myself, “I’m just going to sleep in…”
To sleep in as a narcoleptic is a little more of a choice than your average person. That means I am dedicating to not taking any early morning medicine to kick me into action. That means I am dedicating to a lack of concentration and a lot of spacing out, but I will, in turn, get to sleep in and get better sleep the following night as well.
That’s how it starts though. And then it continues… We go to New Zealand and the time change is conducive to a little extra sleeping in while still able to make my meetings and get my work done. Then, the times change, giving me that same, needed 2-hour break. 5am meetings turn to 7am meetings. 7am meetings turn to a glorious, doable 9am. Life is good.
Then comes braces which were not that big of a deal, but the oral surgery was. At the same time, I come down with round 3 of the never ending whooping cough and I can’t eat/chew well enough to mind my fruits and vegetables. So, my sugars are depleted. My energy is depleted. And I’m taking 8-12 ibuprofen a day to kill the swelling and the fever. I’m taking allergy medicine, sprays, and cough syrup to keep from coughing my lip stitches apart. In the end, not only do I need sleep but taking one more medication is not even an option. I despise medication and especially despise over-medicating to the point where I tend to be really, really bad off by the time I will do anything about it.
So here we are, an entire month later without ever having taken that daily butt kicker that bursts my morning into movement long before my brain can retain what is happening or being said. (In other words, I’m a vigorous note taker during meetings and then I spend the rest of the week trying to depict what it was my notes were referring to.) I’ve come to that point where I am so physically and mentally placid – neither here nor there on the scale of tiredness – that I am functioning as a shadow of myself.
I tell myself, “Hey! I’m getting through each day without falling asleep! I’m fine.” I remind myself, “I’m getting a whole TWO hours of active sleep per night that I wasn’t getting before.” I notice, “I don’t go full on HULK SMASH! anymore with people or situations.” All of these things are great which makes them just as great at keeping me from going back to a life of wake, eat, sleep, wake, eat, sleep on a schedule driven by some thing deep inside of me.
So here we are, at the point where I’m too tired to wake up. I’m too far gone to even want to get things done. I’m sleeping better. WAY better. But, I’m doing less.
Doing less isn’t always a bad thing. I think at times everyone around me benefits from my ability to turn it down from 11 and running in constant overdrive.
The Catch 22 is constant. On one hand, being assisted into a daily routine is what has made me a great success in life time and time again. When I run out of routine steam, things tend to become so calm they eventually get to dangerous levels of meh. But the assisted routine feels like racing an 8 hour race each day in 2nd gear at 100mph. My heart is trying to leap ahead of itself. My brain is all over the place. I get 101 things done while still ending up behind at the end of the day. I feel constantly on the edge – jolting to be faster, to do more, to get ahead. But eventually, without doubt, I blow.
I try to keep from bursting into hazy smoke and steam, running hot, and cracking under pressure by doing things for myself, but you know what the main blocker in doing things for yourself is? Cash. My Aussie cash flow is at a halt after dropping thousands of dollars on braces and another thousand on blood tests to figure out why I have been relentlessly sick since Winter (which was August, for the rest of you).
Anyway, historically I know this doesn’t go very well, but it is hard to motivate yourself into voluntary high-strong levels of constant anxiety in exchange for sharp mental focus and total life success. I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to turn back from human to machine. I’m not even drinking anything high in caffeine right now. For the most part, I’ve been on a month long cleanse from full-octane coffees and sodas. Perhaps that’s why I’m afraid to start the engines once more. Right now, if I have even one coffee during the day, regardless of how early, I am a teeth gritting (which is a whole new level of pain right now), steam-blowing nut case and poor Stark gets the brunt of my crazy. It is hard to be say flippin cray around someone you love so completely. So I tend to tip toe around my own life to stay as chill as possible. But chill doesn’t get you the big bucks. Chill might make you a better manager to get a long with, but it doesn’t get the job done on a day to day basis.
What now? I’m not sure. It’ll come to me in my sleep… 😉