Warning this post may contain more spelling and grammatical errors than usual
I am sleep deprived. Been a tough week full of unexpected joys and stresses. Spent one sleepless night and many restless ones this week. On top of that, nearing the end of an energy cycle, so already feeling sleep deprived.
Recovery work takes a lot of energy whether you are low-functioning, functioning, or high-functioning (like me). For people who consider themselves normal, any kind of excess stress over a long period of time can feel this way. For survivors, the “excess stress” and work to manage and cope while living and working is their version of normal. Not surprising that many feel tired all the time and will sometimes crash into a period of sleep or rest for no apparent (to outsiders) reason.
Live Independently or Dependent on Someone Else
I, we, chose to live independently, That means:
- not taking medication
- not self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, food, cigarettes, (something I missed here)
- Not letting my family or friends take care of me when I have a panic attack or get so tired I can’t move
No offense intended to those who can and want to let others care for them when this happens. I learned a long time ago that taking care of myself was much safer and healthier than letting others take care of me.
We don’t have to worry about:
- shaming and blaming tactics for “getting sick” and being weak
- punishment for not accomplishing daily tasks
- guilt for taking up someone else’s valuable time and space; being a burden
- negative criticism about being weak and stupid and lazy like our mother
- pity and condescension from outsiders for always being “sick” and “irresponsible”
- vulnerable and unable to protect ourselves from the monsters
- At times like this, my parts and I have a plan. It goes something like this:
- Inform supervisor and relevant co-workers that I am tired and not feeling like myself lately
- Increase the self-care – eat more, take more breaks, keep multiple coping strategies and techniques on hand, make sure the house is relatively clean and stocked with food, use sleep hygiene routine, call hotline for help
- Keep items and thoughts that help me feel safe close by
- Prepare to take a sick day
- Make sure I remember to email supervisor if I take a sick day
- Stay close to home; wear comfortable shoes and keep my phone handy if I go out
When I Crash
Usually that means I sleep for 12-20 hours with breaks for food or hygiene. Or I am awake, but unable to leave the house because of muscle cramps, stiffness, and pain. So I move slowly and rest a lot at home. I rest when I can, sleep when I can, and move when I have to. I keep busy with books and movies, knitting, cooking, or sometimes doing nothing at all. Eventually, my body feels better, the tension leaves, my muscles relax. I am not so tired anymore. And I go back to my “normal” life.
So here you have it – my plans for the weekend. Hope yours is much more interesting.