Today, I am tired.
I slept – but in strange, broken fragments.
Some of it feels like my fault. Some of it feels beyond my power to control.
Like much of the world, stayed up past my bedtime, watching in shock as right wing terrorists stormed the Capitol building.
I burned off the anxiety stirred up by this newsfeed by plunging down the rabbit hole of trying to think about my family’s future. While I know it is a pipe dream, there is part of me that still believes that with enough research I can find the perfect circumstances that give us everything we want in our lives without compromises. I stayed up much too late looking at flats, schools, commute times for offices we no longer go to.
When I finally turned over to sleep, is when the hot flashes came. I thought I was managing the symptoms of chemical menopause pretty well, but this week has gotten the better of me.
I am either freezing or sweating. My internal thermostat is so confused, to the point where it wakes me up at night. If I need to wake up to use the bathroom or check on Rosie, I am guaranteed to feel on fire as soon as I pull the warmth of the duvet back over me.
I try to wait it out by just lying there without any covers on, watching the shadows. It’s a strange sensation of feeling the cold, but not having it really affect me – until of course I am freezing again.
Then it was my turn to get up with Rose, giving Zach a (much deserved) morning off.
All day long, it has felt like I am peering at the world through a strange sort of fog.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about the difference between tiredness and fatigue.
Today, the particular vintage of tiredness I experienced was not fatigue – it was more like a slow-motion delirium.
I had enough energy to go through all the motions of my life – but I found myself struggling to keep hold of my mind’s processing. It was a whole day spent clouded by the feeling you get when you walk into a room and can’t remember the reason that brought you there.
Exhausted but alert. Tired but not sleepy.
I’m still struggling to find the words. Perhaps this would be better as a poem.
Today, my spirits were excellent in spite of the fog – but I am under no illusions. This is due to the reserve of sleep I had built up over the past few mornings.
If I continue, more things will start to slip – my functioning, my health, my happiness…
I spent so many years of my life trading sleep for activity – thinking it was best to just push through, thinking I could handle the side effects.
I’m not sure I ever really could – I certainly can’t cope with it now.
But how to cope with a lack of sleep when the heart is willing but the mind is restless?
Over the past few years, I have spent so many nights is exhausted wakefulness. I have made so many ‘sleep plans’, trying to organise my life to enable sleep. (Which I rarely follow through as well as I should.)
I think it’s time for another one.
But first, I need the fog to lift just a little bit. Then I’ll be able to see my way out of the trees.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash