Month: January 2018

To Sleep, Perchance to Sleep Some More

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I woke up like this.

 

Yesterday, I decided to take an afternoon nap, like I do on the weekends. I don’t get them during the week, so if you offer me a Saturday nap, I’m all over that shit.

My husband woke me at 8:30 p.m. because he was checking to make sure I was still alive. No joke. I freaked him out, and he was just going to check to see if I was breathing, but I woke up. Quietly startled. Uncertain as to where I was or the day, I was completely confused and disoriented. I’d been asleep nearly 6 hours.

He kept apologizing, and stressing that he was genuinely worried about my wellbeing. I told him it was good he’d woken me up–I might have slept until 2 a.m. and woken up completely freaked out otherwise.

I guess I was tired. I got up, ate a late dinner, and after we watched some television, fell back asleep at 1 a.m. I even slept in until 6:45 this morning, which yes, is “sleeping in” for me.

I wake at or before 5:45 every morning, unless anxiety wakes me earlier. I have a freaky-accurate internal clock. I can set it if I look at the time before falling asleep, and then telling myself the time at which I need to get up in the morning. I usually wake up a few minutes before the alarm goes off.

You may be calling bullshit right now, but my biological father once told me he does the same thing. I have also freaked out my husband on many occasions by sitting up in bed right before the alarm is set to go off. He’s even described this as “creepy.” I have never needed an alarm clock to rise for school or work.

My favorite time of day is spent in the early, still-dark morning when everyone else is asleep, drinking coffee in silence. I love the feeling of a day filled with endless possibilities stretched ahead. If you asked me to define hope, my answer would found in the dawn of any given day.

But I annoy people by being too chatty or cheerful in the morning, so I’ve learned to be quiet. Shut up. Hold in the precious early optimism I’ll possess before something or someone strips it away. I’ve had too many non-morning people snap at me (cue my 5 a.m. shift grocery store coworkers: “Why are you always so fucking happy in the mornings?!”) and it hurts my feelings.

NO MORE GOOD MORNING GREETINGS FOR YOU GRUMPY MOTHERFUCKERS.

Ahem. Anyhow… so yeah, I’m pretty well-attuned to my lizard brain. My instincts are good, and at some point in my late 20s I finally figured out that listening to the little voice inside my head (or gut, as it were) is always the right thing to do.

This may seem obvious to most people, but for women, at least, I can tell you we spend our lives being treated like hysterical, overly-emotional woodland creatures who’ve ventured too far out of the nice, safe forest if we sense and/or react to threat. Unsurprisingly, the wolves are usually doing the talking in this scenario.

I was depressed by the fact that 74% of Gavin DeBecker’s excellent book The Gift of Fear is spent desperately trying to convince women that not only should we listen to and follow our instincts, it’s okay to place boundaries, and also to go on the offensive if we feel threatened.

Not defensive–offensive. If someone wants to hurt you (and if they’re threatening you, they’ve already made that decision), it’s not only okay to fight back, it’s probably the difference between survival or not. And if you must fight, then fight to kill if necessary–because anyone attacking you has every intention of doing the same. There’s no version of attacking a woman in which the perpetrator is planning to be gentle, so don’t hold back.

I already understood this from a young age, and have the PTSD-related abnormal response to threat to show for it, so I read the book impatiently, thinking, “Yes, I get it. Don’t worry–years of rage tamped down inside of me–not afraid to fight back. In fact, give me an excuse, motherfuckers. Now tell me HOW TO DO IT, Gavin DeBecker.” I wanted self-defense techniques. (They finally happen in the last quarter of the book.)

We are trained our whole lives to be nice, nurturing, give everyone the benefit of the doubt; and if we don’t allow those who want to harm us the chance to do so before we can stop them, we’re treated like monsters. Called bitches for placing boundaries. Told not to flatter ourselves by the gaslighting assholes who walk among us when we let them know they’re being inappropriate. It’s infuriating.

I’ve been working on a piece I’ll share here soon about real life examples of sneaky, disguised-as-friendly-banter crossing of boundaries, because I recently had the not shocking to any women anywhere at all experience of 3 versions of this spread out over less than 24 hours. I think it’s a slippery slope, and an area many women, myself included, often forget to include under the sexual harassment umbrella because it’s so subtle.

So yeah, I slept almost 12 hours in the last 20, and I’m about to go take another nap. Because people are wearing me the fuck out. Life is wearing me the fuck out.

I just want people to be cool. Just be cool. Stop being creepy, or pushing boundaries, or being inappropriate under the guise of friendship so you can’t be properly called out for it because you’re a fucking pussy.

Honestly, I’d rather a guy be openly, blatantly creepy than pretend to be my “buddy” while peppering conversations with things they wouldn’t say in front of my (or their) significant other.

So yeah, I’m tired.

I think we all are.

 

 

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I’ve Been Riding the Naughty Train

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This was the least disturbing image that came up when I Creative Commons image searched the word naughty. I don’t know what’s naughty about a rusty old train, but it is an apt metaphor for my brain, so I’m keeping it. Also, never Google image search the word naughty. Just trust me on this one.

 

Great. I typed “naughty” too many times, and now it looks weird. Ever do that? Try it with the word “word” for a completely meta “that word looks weird” experience.

Hi. I haven’t written like I promised. Just me and eleventy bazillion other bloggers out there making empty promises to nobody reading our crap to write every day. Don’t mind me over here being so original. And naughty. Ugh. There’s that icky word again. Now I hate it a little.

I had a good excuse for the day after the day after New Year’s Eve, and that excuse is that I’m too old to stay up chugging wine and champagne until 3 in the morning without it kicking my ass for 2 days afterwards. I was still exhausted the next day. I took a 5 hour nap that day, got up, ate something, then back to bed. Totally wiped.

The next day the kiddo went back to school, and I literally drive past the entrance to the gym on my way home, so there’s no escaping the guilt of driving past. Plus, I genuinely like the way it feels to lift and push heavy things around. Always have. So I have worked out every single morning, no exceptions, since the end of winter break.

I do strength training on favorite machines, and then at least 1 mile on the treadmill. Sometimes I come home and do a cheesy DVD that offers a really great ab/core and chest/arm free weight workout.

But really, exercise helps my brain. I feel less anxious and/or depressed if I exercise. I also feel less anxious/depressed if I take Xanax. So I do both.

It’s a living.

I’m presently trapped in my living room on the couch with a cat on my legs. My mouth is dry and I’m rapidly dehydrating. I’ve been here for hours and I want to get up, but my cat is apparently cold, so instead of getting a drink, my family will eventually find my dried skeletal remains under a burned-out laptop. The cat will be asleep, and somehow still very warm. My husband thinks she would eat my fingers first, but my money’s on the eyes.

Always on the eyes.

So my excuse for not writing every day is life. I committed to writing daily, and then watched as my body betrayed me by needing extra sleep, as I decided to prioritize my physical health over writing. I seem to be either too busy or too tired to feel like it. I’m still going to try, but it’s been an interesting revelation, watching my daily writing goal clash directly with my energy levels.

I’m diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and extremely, dangerously low levels of vitamin D, which I discovered after blood work and a visit with an endocrinologist last year. My life had devolved into a haze of barely-living exhausted moments broken into chunks by what I called “death naps,” because I woke after 2-3 hours wondering what day it was, where I was, and if I’d been drugged. They were in no way the rejuvenating and delightful naps we adult humans know and love. It felt like I was living with a low-grade flu virus all of the time.

My blood work was great except:

*My thyroid had shit the bed.

So… no metabolism! Girls love having no metabolism in a country with completely unrealistic beauty ideals that render us invisible with 20 extra pounds on our bodies! I’m worthless and don’t matter to men! This is awesome!

*My vitamin D blood number, which they prefer to be 30 or higher, ideally closer to 50, was 12.

That’s right. I basically had rickets. I’m allergic to dairy and have had basal cell carcinomas burned/cut off, so no sun for me. This means I’m supposed to be supplementing with vitamin D, but I wasn’t, so extreme deficiency.

I did some research and learned that the vitamin D deficiency had as much to do with my crazy exhaustion as the low TSH (thyroid hormone) levels. The doctor got me on a prescription for both, and I immediately had more energy.

But I’m wondering if they’ve stopped working because my body adjusted last year to them and they had to be upped. Then blood work again. Then the doc said we were cool, see you in a year.

And over that year, I’ve gone through good phases and exhausted phases. I’m getting my yearly blood work at the end of this month, so we’ll see if maybe the meds need bumping up or something.

Or maybe this is just getting older. Or allergies. We like to blame everything on allergies where I live. That’s a fun game. No, it’s not the avian flu, IT’S ALLERGIES.

The phone alarm I have set to remind me to pick up my kid from school is going off, so this is the end of my extremely important and fascinating typed transmission for today. I’m sure you’ll be waiting with bated breath for the next batch of writing from your favorite flaky liar.

Hey, at least the phone alarm just scared the cat off my legs. I’m free! I’m bleeding from where her claws dug into my legs, but I’m free!

Off to sit in the car rider pickup line, which is a level of hell Dante forgot and a whole other piece of writing (seriously… car rider line etiquette, people… learn it, love it, and then fucking LIVE it).

Happy whatever the hell you want to be happy, Imaginary Reader.

xoxo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New My Brain Hurts

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The above image is an accurate representation of how I spent New Year’s Eve, so I won’t be writing much tonight. Last night, I poured far too much champagne into my mouth hole, and I’m a tired, tired lady.

But it was worth it because I really like champagne, had a lot of fun, and got to hang out with adult humans who don’t want to talk about Minecraft all of the time. There may have been middle-aged people dancing.

I rang in the New Year feeling very happy, and this bodes well. The old saying is that whatever you’re doing on New Year’s Eve represents what you’ll be doing all year, so I guess I’ll be spending 2018 cheerfully drunk and dancing to songs most people currently attending college wouldn’t recognize. Cool cool cool.

I went to bed after 3 a.m. and honestly can’t remember the last time I stayed up that late. I even managed to sleep in a bit past 9 a.m. and can’t remember the last time I did that either. I do remember the events of the entire night, and made a point of chugging constant water between alcoholic beverages, so I’ve got that going for me, which makes me feel like less of a worthless piece of shit.

I spent the day drinking water, more water, Vitamin Water for electrolytes, eating ibuprofen, and also anything that couldn’t outrun me placed upon on soothingly bland Carr’s water crackers. (Saltines are too salty for me, but you have to give them points for truth in advertising, right? It’s like naming a drink Liquidy or Wetness.)

I was going to be cliché and write about my plans and resolutions for the New Year because I am totally here for that tabula rasa shit and all things fresh start, but I’m too exhausted to do it justice, so I’ll have to be trite and predictable tomorrow. Try to contain yourself, Imaginary Reader.

A promise to write something every day was made, and I’m going to do my best, regardless of how little I have to say.

So, hi. I’m writing. This counts as something. Hi.

I’ll end with a cheesy selfie, below, that I took last night before I got all drunk and sweaty, because I always try to take a few selfies when I actually bother to wear makeup or do something with my hair.

Goodnight.

 

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Last night I looked ready to get into trouble… but today I’m ready to get into bed.