Fun Day Numero Tres

For the most part, my plan to have a week full of fun-in-the-sun, while still managing to be a little productive, has been pretty successful. Yesterday, (Day 3) Zoey and I took a nice long walk with Belle through Central Park, and at night we (plus Husband) went to a Broadway show with Grandma. She took us to see Peter and the Star Catcher.

It was really great and nothing like we expected. It’s a creative prequel to Peter Pan. There are about a dozen actors who put on a hilarious and talented show for fans of all ages. The first half was good, but the second half was phenomenal! It’s not a musical, although there is music. It’s like a smaller, music-less, less-sparkly relative of Wicked.

That’s my Peter Pan pose.

I planned to go to bed as soon as we got home from the play so I could get up early and workout before another adventurous day. This has been my plan every day this week.

It’s yet to happen.

I have been super anxious this week. I don’t know if it’s because work starts next week, or because I HAVE to go to the doctor in in the next couple of weeks, or for no reason at all. What I do know is that my appetite had dwindled to nothing, I am sick at my stomach half of the day, and sleep doesn’t come until 4am.

I have lain in bed with my eyes closed, refusing to even blink, counting sheep and my blessings, taking deep breaths, and nothing! What’s really frustrating is that I AM SO TIRED! So tired, and all I want to do is sleep. Instead, I breathe and I count, and then I think. I think, “I am never going to sleep again. I have probably started some terrible habit and I’ll only ever get two hours of sleep the rest of my life. My heart’s beating too fast. I can’t breathe. I’m hot. I’m scared. I’m so tired! Shit, I’m freaking myself out….breathe…count…” and so on.

Around 4am I’ll doze off to a land of insanely absurd and stressful dreams. My alarm goes off at 6:45, and I stumble onto the couch, and fall back asleep until someone (typically Zoey) calls and wakes me up again.

Anxiety attacks are like rolling down a hill. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop. It just snowballs until the bumpy ride down the hill (which often feels like a mountain) ends in a crash landing, and you’re left wondering if you will recover. And when you do eventually recover you wonder if you are permanently damaged, and how long you have until you stumble down another hill.

Right now I am teetering at the top of a hill, starting to trip, but not yet tumbling.

I guess it’s probably a good thing that I will be going to the doctor soon. I need my anti-anxiety meds, and probably a good therapist.

Until then, I will be trying my best to focus on this glorious last week of summer vacation. If I still can’t sleep when work rolls around, I’ll see what a couple glasses of wine can do to calm my nerves.

Cheers!

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3 thoughts on “Fun Day Numero Tres”

  1. I was having a conversation not too long ago with a mutual friend of ours who, like me, often sleeps less than the recommended eight hours. Our talk led to some research on the subject in which I learned a few things that are even more relevant to you than to myself.

    1. You will not die from lack of sleeping. The world record for staying awake (which at the time was to win a rocking chair competition) is 18 days, 17 hours. Many people have come close and all of them regained their normal mental faculties and lived healthy lives.

    2. Recovery time is quick. Every instance I found about it agreed that no matter the length of time gone without sleep, one night of good sleep was enough to put them back on top. I myself have purposefully stayed awake all night one night, only to find a good sleep inevitable the next. Just make sure to try it on a weekend when you don’t have too much to do the next day. (From Wikipedia: “Recovery sleep is more efficient than normal sleep with shorter sleep latency and increased amounts of deep and REM sleep.”)

    3. Certain problems like anxiety, are often not a cause of sleep deprivation, but a symptom.

    4. You’re not going to want to hear this, but It’s probably the most relevant. Stop drinking coffee. And definitely don’t teach those kids you’re always hanging out with to order at Starbucks because it’s even worse for them. Caffeine is worse for your brain, your health, and your mood than lack of sleep. The more often you use it, the less effective it will be at counteracting sleeplessness. Instead try switching to tea for a while. If you need a pick me up in the morning researchers have found (and I can attest to this) that Capsaicin (found in spicy foods) works equally well to jump-start your waking cycle in the morning. So put some hot sauce and peppers in your eggs, or even mint in your tea. The hotter the better.

    From one sleepyhead to another, I hope this helps. And I hope you’re having a great numero cuatro right now 😉 Love from Tennessee!

    1. Thanks Steve, this is really helpful information (mostly)! I will definitely keep that first fact in mind next time I am on the verge of panicking from lack of sleep. Little facts like that are so helpful to repeat whenever I am thinking I am going to die. I’ve experienced that “recovery” sleep too, and you’re right it is easy to feel rested afterwards. If only I didn’t need it so often. And, yes! # 3 is so true! The inability to sleep and anxiety really go hand in hand. They feed off each other and create and endless cycle of torturing me. I hate those monsters! And as far as #4…I KNOW! I KNOW! I KNOW! You are right, I do not want to hear it. Coffee is so terrible for people with high anxiety. I’ve tried quitting, but the fact is that I love everything about drinking coffee. I love hearing it drip in the morning, smelling it every time I walk past a coffee shop, sipping and immediately feeling better, and taking a nice break from my hectic day to get that much needed caffeine boost. God, I know I sound like and addict, but let’s face it I AM! Ugh, I don’t know I should give tea a try. I do like tea…. I’ll give it a shot, soon-ish. And, when I do try (once again) to quit coffee, I will let you know. I may need you to call me every day and remind me not to drink coffee. Thanks again steve! xoxo

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