I got so physically exhausted that on Tuesday of last week I actually heard high pitched screeching in my head. Tuesday! I couldn’t see how in the world I was going to get through the rest of the week with that kind of fatigue setting in. Of course I made it through and into the weekend without some banshee taking over my brain and body, but that took some doing. When tired I become increasingly emotional and usually experience problems with depression, loneliness, self image, relationships, motivation, work, ambition, the little things, and then strangest of all - sleep!!! That’s ridiculous by the way- I can’t sleep because I’m too tired?!!!!????? What? If things continue and I cross into the dangerous neighborhood of overtired, I lose the ability to hide my increased emotional state. I might be seen experiencing one or more of the following: spontaneous crying, uncontrollable and/or inappropriate laughter, extreme anger at the suggestion of any sort of change in schedule or routine, inexplicable clumsiness, verbal ranting coupled with a lack of language or content filter, etcetera! It becomes unmanageable in a hurry and I have found only one cure. Sleep.
My family pokes fun at me by calling me a professional sleeper. It’s what I do best! Okay it really used to be best if I was sleeping, and I would sleep for fifteen hours at a time for days in a row as an avoidance strategy. Now, it’s just best if I get the proper amount of sleep. For me that’s in excess of eight hours a day. Right about nine hours seems to work best. I realize that this won’t always be possible. Actually, it’s already not possible all of time. What if I have children though? I don’t think I have ever met a mother who gets eight hours a night. That’s so scary… for you all that have to deal with me then!!! Hahahaha! Seriously though, not only do I experience high emotions and incredible sensitivity, everyone around me gets a very ‘funny’ version of me. I cannot imagine what my friends and family think during my overtired times. Oh heck, they are so used to it they’re probably just amused or shrug it off. But for the folks that haven’t known me so long? Last week I told our team mom that there was no February 6th and therefore our team dinner could not possibly happen that day, and I really meant it. While the head swim coach was retelling the story later that day (he was copied on the emails), I was both uncontrollably laughing and crying real tears. I also noticed the divers looking at me a bit sideways this past week. I mean you can’t really miss when your coach starts giggling while talking about the schedule or comes close to falling in the pool a few times during practice. What a wreck!
At any rate, I am still pretty tired from the last week or two but am beginning to feel some relief. Strangely, this semi-rested, not quite 100% space is where I get myself in the most trouble. I feel stronger, present much more sanely, and perform normally at work, but my emotions are still raw and tender. My reactions continue to be magnified within, and instead of my extremely silly or unglued outward reaction, I can get pointedly mean and hurtful. I remember a counselor of mine being concerned for my safety back in a particularly dark year of my twenties. I was a couple days released from a psych ward, and I told her she should not worry because I was feeling a whole lot better than a few days before. She gently replied that her concern was precisely because of my slight progress. She acknowledged my improved cognitive reasoning and more groomed appearance but reminded me that I had struggled to find a reason to get out of bed that morning and then had experienced road rage and extreme jubilation within an hour of that. She noted the imminent danger of my road rage transferring to rage towards myself, not to mention the danger it brought to other drivers as it was. She reminded me that before being committed to the psych ward a few days prior, I had possessed no energy at all to do anything, including take my own life. Now, in this ‘recovery stage’ I certainly had energy enough to accomplish that if I was hit sideways just right. I absorbed her point and apply her message today. I am watching myself closely and making a concerted effort not to step on too many toes or entertain any hopeless thoughts for too long. Self pity is a luxury I can’t afford much on any day but in these times I must air it out quick, or else.
Every doctor I’ve ever seen for anything has stressed the importance of sleep for a girl like me. I am fairly certain they would say that to anyone. So take advice from someone who knows: when tired takes over, just let it. Get some sleep.