Stress and Sleep Troubles

It was another rough week. I got everything done I needed to and most of the things I wanted to, but I’m now struggling through another (thankfully silent) Friday and I want nothing more than to turn into a puddle for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. I bet puddles don’t have insomnia or anxiety. I bet puddles can get all the rest they need or want. I bet puddles don’t feel depressed and isolated from everyone they care about because anxiety is mean and they were raised to take on responsibility for the happiness and well-being of everyone around then, frequently leaving them feeling inadequate and like they’re hated whenever they protect their own mental health by not putting in extra effort to help other people who are struggling. What a life that would be, to be a puddle.

I sometimes find myself wishing that I had the “sleep all the time” type of depression. It’s one of a group of intrusive thoughts centered around ways that I could be visibly ill instead of invisibly ill and I recognize it as my mind considering solutions to current problems that I, the collection of organized electrical signals piloting this meat suit, would never genuinely wish for or desire. Still, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have too much sleep. I know people with sleep-heavy depression generally feel as unrested and awful as people like me with my anti-sleep depression/anxiety combo, but the appeal isn’t really in the idea of feeling well-rested. I know what that’s like because I’ve managed to make it happen every so often. Once or twice a month, usually.

What keeps the idea lingering in my head is the thought of being simply unconscious for that much time. As an insomniac of almost two decades, I’m used to nights that last forever, days that stretch into weeks, and time as a concept slowly unraveling as minutes become meaningless in the face of the sheer number of consecutive hours I’ve had to experience. I can’t help but wonder what the opposite issue feels like. Days that vanish in a blink, time that compresses, chunks of life missing or let slip by. I’ve managed to make the most of my insomnia by learning to manage my caffeine intake, figure out how to be productive even when mentally, physically, and emotionally drained, and picking up tricks to help decrease the toll a lack of sleep takes on my body. I wonder if there’s a similar version of this for people who feel like they sleep too much. I bet there is.

Honestly, the idea of being able to go home, take a shower, climb into bed, and have it be partyway through Saturday before I know it sounds pretty appealling. I know that I’m going to run my errands, make my dinner, watch something on TV (a comfort show, after the week I’ve had, and especially after almost my entire to-watch list on HBO Max got deleted from the internet last week, which is a post for another time when I’m more mentally present) and then finally get to bed around 12 or 1 because I’m too anxious about feeling exhausted and not doing anything fun with my weekend to feel tired any sooner. I’ll sleep until 830 or 9, wake up feeling groggy, and then lay in bed trying to get more sleep as I listen to something that may or may not take my mind off my exhaustion and inability to sleep more. If the podcast works and I don’t have a sore neck/shoulders from sleeping in a weirdly contorted position, I might get another hour or two of sleep. Then I’ll get up, make some kind of food, do some laundry, and it’ll be time to repeat the process all over again.

There are familiar patterns, comforts, and good habits mixed into that and this was perhaps the most bitter representation of my weekend I could write without being abjectly awful to myself, so it will probably be better than this sounds. I’m just really tired today and am struggling to avoid thinking about how nice it would be to not have trouble falling asleep almost every night.

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