Week in Review: Positivity and Thankfulness in the Face of Extreme Sleep Deprivation

I went from posting six times last week to not even touching this blog this week.  My thoughts have been super disorganized the past several days, due to a lack of sleep which is coming about thanks to problems with my CPAP machine (device that treates sleep my extra-severe sleep apnea).  So, while I HAVE been lying down for three or four hours at a time, I have been waking (according to the technician who downloaded my unit today) multiple times a night because I am, well, jeez, I’m just not breathing, consistently.

That kind of sleep deprivation is something of the worst kind, because while you *think* you are sleeping, you aren’t getting even close to any sort of sleep that is restful.  This leaves one with disorganized thoughts, gaps in time and memory, and a feeling that some sort of slow-growing mold is encasing the brain, rendering the little electrical impulses normally found there to be quite subdued.

To all of the bloggers I follow, I’m sorry to say that I just deleted my inbox full of notifications, feeling that I had to give myself a “re-do” for this week, and that I couldn’t do that with all of those unread posts making me feel guilty.  So, I’ve missed some of what y’all had to say this week…my bad, but sometimes it can’t be helped.  I *am* going to go back and answer comments on my last two posts here in the next day or so, but I thought it was prudent to throw a post up here so that anyone who noticed I was *back* last wouldn’t think I’ve totally dropped off again.  Just not the case, at all.

Some really great things happened this week, and remain unmarred (mostly) by the trials and tribulations of sleep deprivation.  I had a really good therapy appointment this week, and I also made peace with my peer support specialist.  It is amazing what can happen when you just ASK for what you NEED, and when you are also communicative about what your expectations are and just very HONEST about every single thing you can think of.

My schedule has now straightened itself out to the point where it is the exact same every week.  There will be no more panicked thoughts (I hope) in the middle of the night, thinking there is somewhere I am supposed to be at such-and-such time the next day.  Now, everything has been set up to repeat, and I can just roll with it (and hope it *mostly* stays that way).

This is a huge relief, because it was one of the things I have been so bent out of shape about.  I also found a great place to meet in the community with my peer support person…a small cafe that is very empty midday, has very comfortable furniture, is bright and full of windows, and lacks the dark and trendy feelings of most coffee shops.  I love it so much, I might hang out there sometimes, even when we are not meeting.  They also have really inexpensive drinks and desserts, a plus, no doubt.

I have further cleared things up with my peer support person (who really needs a blog nickname, what I have so far is The Trucker’s Wife, what do you think?) by using F.A.S.T. (a DBT skill in which you ask for something but keep your self-respect, as in no over-apologizing or the like) and just good ol’ common sense.  I have decided to give her another chance, and would probably actually give her many more, because, while she is not the best at returning phone calls, she IS good at returning emails (yay, a way to communicate!!) and she does appear to care, and she is quite kind and understanding, and is letting me do the self-help book more on my own.  It appears that this will all be working out, quite well.

I have several other things, which I am quite grateful for at this present moment, and which I’m going to list-post, because, yeah, I know that no one really wants this post to go past 700 words (least of all me):

  1.   Celebrating good use of DBT skills this week in interacting with others.  A few arguments were avoided, my anxiety was calmed more than once, and things just feel more level, even *with* the sleep deprivation.
  2. I do have the insurance to monitor and fix this sleep deprivation problem.  The problem right now is getting in to be seen at the sleep center, because they are so backed up.  I do have an appointment on Tuesday, and my medical supply store RT offered to help me on Monday, if I need it.
  3. People can be really decent to you when you treat them with more respect than what they are expecting to get.
  4. The relationship between LarBear and I gets better by the minute.  We have laughed our butt’s off this week at many different things, as well as spent a lot of good quality time, several productive discussions, and he is really just everything I ever wanted out of a significant other, and always thought that I could never get.
  5. Thinking about what I might do post-DBT…maybe become a peer support for the group.  Just throwing that out there as a wild and crazy idea, and that is also way down the road (about a year), but I think it might be really cool.

I found this photo/word/thingie on FB, and thought it was just exactly how I feel about my life right now, so I wanted to share it with y’all.  It’s with this that I’m out, off to celebrate number 6, which was finding some really nice steaks in my freezer!


Early Morning Perspectives

Morning wakefulness eludes me.  Today is a rare exception.  I wake at 5:00 a.m. and I feel energized.  I did not have a particularly good night’s sleep, so I’m really not sure why that is.  My and DSB’s coffee morning ritual generally doesn’t start until at least 7:00 a.m., so I have two hours on my hands.  I rub my hands over my face, thinking, knowing that I should go back to bed.  There is a stubborn part of me that resists.

The world is so much different, two hours earlier in the day.  Feeling rested and alert at 5:00 in the morning is so much different.  I wonder at all I could accomplish while the rest of the house is still sleeping.  It’s really dark outside.  Even the dogs are asleep, and my neighbors haven’t started any of their annoying comings and goings yet.

I ponder, for just a moment, sending my early-rising sister a text message to see if she is up for a chat.  And then think better of it, think that it is possible my pregnant sister is still resting, sleeping in more than she is accustomed to, and perhaps, herself gazing around in wonder at how different the day is, just two hours later.

An hour passes, with me journaling and drinking large glasses of cold water, trying to rid myself of a headache.  That’s my cure.  Large glasses of cold water.  And a Tylenol.  I know the headache is from lack of sleep, but I press on.  Writing my letters that I will never send to those people that have abused me in life.  A therapy assignment.  At 5:00 in the morning.

And then it is 6:00 a.m. and I am beginning to get restless.  I know I should go back to sleep, but that stubborn part of me wants to get.things.done.  I continue on with my letters, and I long for someone to talk to.  No one I know is awake this early.  I ponder reaching out to a bloggie friend, but I don’t know if any of them are up yet, and I don’t know how to contact any of them.

I finish the letter I have been working on most recently, and the feeling of needing to talk to someone intensifies so greatly, I have a tightness in my chest and it seems the only way it can be relieved is to connect.  After all that writing, all that work, I have to connect.  I don’t want to wake DSB, and still, no one I know will be awake.  Seven o’clock cannot get here fast enough.

Then it comes and 7:00 finds DSB in rare foul humor.  He has had another sleepless night and has “a lot of shit on (my) mind.”  But he doesn’t want to talk about it, and really doesn’t want to talk at all.  I babble for a bit, but mostly we sit there, staring at each other and saying nothing.  It’s not an altogether uncomfortable feeling, but that need to connect is not being met.  Not by all of those unsaid words.  Not every coffee morning with DSB is perfect.  And, by extension, not every coffee morning with DSB is even enough.  No words is not enough.  I need words.

At 8:00, after sitting in silence for an hour, DSB announces that we need to go run some errands.  I resist, because I am not ready to get up and get dressed.  I want to finish my coffee and have another smoke, in peace.  I want to make him talk to me about what is bothering him and I want to be able to talk with  him about what is running through my mind.  Choosing battles being what it is, I compromise.  I will go, if I can finish my coffee first.

By 8:30, we’re out on the road in his big, ancient truck.  It’s loud, and I don’t mean just a little loud, I mean really loud.  And he drives it like it’s on a racetrack, squealing tires and all.  I grab the “oh-shit” handles as we fly around curves and corners, and give him a dirty look, all the while laughing, because he is laughing at me.  He starts to talk a little.

He has too much on his plate.  Too many things to do, not enough money, and not enough time.  He doesn’t feel good because he hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in over a week.  He is worried.  Worried about everything and nothing all at the same time.  And he doesn’t want to talk about it because he doesn’t want to burden me with it, because, he says, I am doing so well, and he doesn’t want that to end.

By 8:50, we’re sitting in Tractor Supply’s parking lot, waiting for them to open.  We already went to the grocery store, where I bought the essentials…orange Kool-Aid packets, French vanilla creamer, and toilet paper.  We drove past a small hardware store that DSB considered going into, but then decided against, for whatever reason.  At Tractor Supply, we watch cars come in, waiting for the doors to open.

A surprising number of cars come wait in line.  What can possibly be inside Tractor Supply that is so essential at such an early hour?  After DSB goes in, and I start seeing people coming out, I can’t help but laugh because most of them are carrying out 50 pound bags of dog food, horse pellets, chicken scratch and mash, and other edibles for animals.  That’s the emergency, the urgency…hungry animals.

When DSB comes out and gets back into the truck, he is silent again.  Out of money, again.  Frustrated, again.  This is such a vicious cycle and I am reminded at once to think of the good things, all the while wishing that DSB could feel more secure with what we do  have.

We get home, after a quick stop for gas, and I come inside to blog and he goes to the shop to work.  The plan is for me to attend to comments and reading, and then blog.  After, I am to go outside and use the riding lawn mower to pick up leaves.  Here I sit, blogging.  And outside, DSB is picking up leaves.  There goes that idea.  And the urge to connect grows stronger and stronger.

The person I most want to connect with is in foul humor and it is unlikely that will lift soon.  I called my dad and texted QoB but it still isn’t quite enough.  I will have a busy day today, and have already accomplished much before lunchtime, but I have to wonder if I will be able to feed that urge to connect today.  Somehow, I doubt it.