Sleep and Anxiety. They don’t seem to have the best relationship, especially for me. Anxiety makes my mind race, making everything feel tight, constricting, and uncomfortable. Sleeping is often impossible for me and even when I fall asleep, I wake up early with an overwhelming feeling of dread. Because I’m so bad at sleeping, I get lots of anxiety about not getting enough sleep. Then my anxiety and depression flares up when I’m overtired. It’s a vicious cycle.
Holding it together through the day to day, whilst experiencing nearly constant anxiety, can be extremely tiring. Sometimes just going through the motions is exhausting to the core. It is hard to explain this to someone who has never experienced this kind of anxiety. A few of my good friends and my parents have said that they do not fully understand how I feel, but they try their best to support me.
I’ve always needed more sleep than the average bear – literally! Most people my age, that I know, sleep an average of 6-7 hours of sleep a night. In order to give my body a fighting chance to feel its best, I need at least 8 hours of sleep. 9 hours is optimal. I am almost 35 years old and I’m still hoping to grow out of this need to get so much rest. It’s so difficult in our busy world.
Lack of sleep can cause irritability, irrational thoughts, and mild depression. I am also fuzzy and lightheaded when I have not had enough sleep. I used to drink a lot of coffee back in the day to combat my sleeplessness. However, now I understand that I was ultimately making it harder to sleep by pumping my body full of caffeine. It took awhile to break the caffeine dependency, but now that I have, just a little bit of coffee makes me jump out of my skin!
One of my friends asked me what I do to wake up in the morning without coffee or tea. I shrugged and told her I just woke up. To help my anxiety, I try my best to keep a calm baseline. I do miss the morning buzz, but not taking medication to assist my mental health is important to me, and this is one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make.
I am tired today. My mind is doing this thing where it berrates me, saying, you can’t possibly be that tired. All you did was go to work, walk a few miles on the beach, and go to yoga a couple times. All you have to worry about is yourself. You don’t even have kids to take care of; can you imagine how tired you’d be then? You don’t even know what tired is.
But I do know what tired is. Do you know what it’s like to fight through your day like everything is fine? Like your brain isn’t going a mile a minute, telling you what a terrible failure of a human being you are? It’s hell. Yes there are always worse things, but this is the rather crappy hand I’ve been dealt, and I struggle. And I’m allowed to feel it, this struggle. I’m allowed to feel bad for myself. Just not all the time. I have to feel this feeling and then let it go.
Like most Saturdays, I started the day with yoga at 9:30am, followed by therapy. I cried most of my way through both. This yoga challenge I’m doing on Instagram has made me so frustrated. I was all excited about it and then realized I cannot do any of the poses. And I’ve lost so much strength since last year that even playing around and trying to figure them out has been really hard. Not feeling like much of a yogi in that aspect, and that makes me even more sad.
Let’s move on to something more light hearted, shall we? My Mom made a new friend on her walk this morning. She said his name is Armand. Armand the armadillo. (Yup, she is the reason I am the way that I am). Ha! There are lots of different creatures down here in Florida than there are where I grew up in New England.
Today was a fairly uneventful Monday. No complaints, except that, of course, it’s Monday and the weekend is over. Always a bit of mourning there. The alarm literally startled me awake, because it’s so dark in the morning. The time change is in a few weeks.
So, this past Saturday, my father was named Commodore of the Sarasota Yacht Club. There was a ceremony, great food, and dancing, which was actually really fun. My Dad makes me very proud. He works so hard to create a community and culture based on the traditions set before him by past commodores.
The Changing of the Watch Ceremony on Saturday, the 13th of October is also my Dad’s father’s birthday, so that was special for him, too. My Granddad would have been 103 years old. Only my Mom’s mother, my Gram, is still with us (kind of?) at 97 years old.
I cannot imagine living that long, even though life seems to be speeding by pretty quickly.
I’m tired. Always. I didn’t go to yoga today and I should have. It calms me in ways nothing else can. It’s amazing, and yet I actually have to get there for it to have an affect. Though, I do practice a little at home, especially handstands and headstands.
Nothing particular to say, but if you are reading this — Hope you have a very happy Monday!!! The week has just begun. Let’s go.