I am attempting to wake up even earlier than I have been these last few weeks to train my body to fall asleep earlier, wake up earlier. I think part of my fears about going out to parties or literally doing anything fun at all are now related to my sleep schedule.
This is the first time in my life when I’ve really had some sort of “normal” sleep schedule. I get tired around the same time and I generally wake up around the same time now, too. Having a bunch of cats who meow until you feed them breakfast helps with that.
I’m so scared that I’m going to fuck up my sleeping schedule now that I never really do any of the fun, sometimes too fun, things that I used to do anymore. Even drinking seems like too big of a temptation lately because whenever I drink the sleep score on my Fitbit app has a lot of red “restless” markers on the chart.
I remember working super late. So late that it was on the cusp of early. Crack-of-dawn-my-roommates-will-be-up-getting-ready-for-work-soon early, then sleeping in until noon or one or two or three or I swear even later. Sleep didn’t agree with me back then. I think I can genuinely say that sleep has never agreed with me. Whether it be anxiety, or sugar, or party favors, or caffeine, or stress, or generally just not taking care of myself properly. Yes, I understand that most of those problems were my fault, but hindsight is 20/20. Or whatever other cliche fits into this particular situation.
For people who are good at sticking to routine, me celebrating waking up before 9am multiple days in a row might seem disgusting. I know people who wake up everyday at 5 or 6am and I envy them because they tend to be the sort of people who can fall asleep very easily at a reasonable time before midnight.
Lately because I am so addicted to having my recommended 6+ hours of sleep, and because I’m teetering somewhere between trying to get/maintain a healthy body weight and combatting this impending sense of doom that is restrictive dieting/disordered eating, I have been trying to get myself so exhausted by around 9pm that my sore body has no choice but to succumb to it’s perpetual exhaustion. Finally can fall asleep when I feel tired. And you can’t eat if you’re asleep. As a notorious nighttime snacker, this idea pleases me.
I think I have been mentally tired for 30 years because my mind has always craved that peace that comes with a good night’s sleep, or napping for goodness sake that is actually something that I still cannot do, no matter how tired I am. I always say to everyone that the only time I can ever nap is involuntarily and it’s so true. I have had insomnia for a number of reasons and sometimes have had exactly zero hours of sleep and I’ve still not been able to nap during the day. I’ve literally called off work after sleepless nights, only to curse myself for not going in because I wasn’t able to sleep at any point anyway.
This morning was different because my sleep schedule is fair to good, according to my Fitbit. When I first got the damn thing, I would celebrate if I’d managed to get over 4 hours of sleep on an insomnia night. Now I’m getting good grades on this app and that, I have come to realize, is a prime motivating factor on how well I do in my adult life in multiple areas. It’s probably why I am so turned on by the idea of graduate school. A sense of purpose that gives you tangible value on paper. Actually, in a database since everything is new-school and digital.
Side note: ugh. I’m trying to get my 20 minutes of writing done so I can enjoy some free time finishing The Night Country before I have to feed my cats at lunch and the Fitbit is accosting me to take 250 steps this hour. I don’t want to lose the writing time or the steps so I’m walking up and down the hall in an attempt to do both within the strained time limit. Why is my life always ruled by time constraints?! Or, I guess that’s normal for literally all humans even though time and scheduling are ancient constructs?
Since my grad classes with be from 6pm-9pm, I am trying desperately to train myself to wake up at 7:30am now. I am doing okay at the 8am part — it still tends to take about 30 minutes for my brain to wake up enough to get OUT of the bed, then releasing the kittens for a few hours of play time before their 2-3 hour nap (when I get my workout, shower, and writing done… allegedly) keeps me vigilant.
My attempt today was to wake up at 7:45am. Maybe that was too ambitious, since I’ve only juuuuust started getting up around 8:30am. In short, I failed. I was having a lovely romantic dream that was laced with superpowers and family and general subconscious nonsense and I was determined to finish it before my next alarm went of at 8am, then 815am.
Today I didn’t get out of bed until 930am, but asked my boyfriend to let the kittens out. They aren’t very good at cuddling yet, but they tried. It was easier to jump out when they were running amok and I thought they were eating Sassy and Cookie’s food. They weren’t. But then I was up and honestly feeling depressed and not even that well-rested after all of that honeyed dreaming.
If you were to summarize my life, I’d say that dreaming is a fundamental element in my destruction. And here it rears its horrible, elegant, ethereal head to undo my hard work and ruin my life yet again. Whatever. It’s always my fault, but a dreamer’s got to dream!
But that is why I don’t feel like being funny, or doing any of my work. But this post is part of my work, so I suppose that counts for something even though it should not because it’s just more cranky complaining.
What I really want to do today is finish my current book, start a new book, read an essay, practice my guitar (still haven’t this week — building a good relationship with an instrument isn’t easy when you have anxiety), work out, shower, gather up all the laundry, drop it off, then go for a walk.
Actually, what I really want to do is just loaf and read or watch anime, but it’s just too beautiful of a day to sit inside and my days of these types of freedoms are very limited, so I’m trying to make the most of them while I can.
The irritating thing is that none of this good stuff seems to be making me feel better at all? I cite the importance of self-care and utilizing your time productively, but I feel like I’m still missing this extra push in my life to stay in that good headspace.
What’s your trick? How do you shake your blues loose? I feel like doing all these good and healthy things are just teaching me to live side by side with my illnesses, and even inviting more worries into my life at times. I’m not trying to be happy, or strive for some unobtainable goal. I’m just trying to understand how my brain works, and how your brains work, because I’m so tired of my own mind working against me. Always trying to ruin me.
I’m not saying don’t keep doing those good things: exercise, drink water, get some sun, read some books, get creative, bond with your pets, garden work towards a goal.
I’m just saying, in my current personal experience, even doing all this “good” shit isn’t a cure-all, and I’m still on this journey. I have a perfect life in which I am always worried about something that probably doesn’t even really matter, in the grand scheme of things.
Make it go away. Bring back to good mood! Is this my depressive crash after my manic episode? No, I’ve felt depressed this whole time. Except now I’m knackered and just not in the fucking mood.