This week i’ve averaged about 4 hours sleep a night which is slowly taking it’s toll on my mood and my face. Insomnia is such a bitch and makes absolutely no sense to me, i currently pray for heat exhaustion to take me slowly into a blissful dehydrated sleep. I’m not entirely sure why it’s happening because i’m doing the most exercise i’ve done in months (which isn’t hard because i’ve pretty much been a blob on the sofa) and my sleep hygiene is ON POINT, which only goes to show that insomnia is rather fickle. When i’m feeling a little hypomanic this kind of non sleep is a warning sign i frequently ignore because i wake up feeling so god damn productive and alert; it is during these times my flat is immaculate and i have food prepared for the week by 8am on a Monday morning. This current type of insomnia is not a warning sign because i wake up and have a little cry because i am so tired.
Having insomnia and a full time job is a bit of a new world for me, in the past if i woke up at 3am i’d just take a sleeping tablet and knock myself out till 10am but seeing as i should be at my desk at 10am this is a no go. Sleeping tablets generally stay in your system for around 8-10 hours so it’s a bit of a judgement call as to when you can take them. At the moment i’m exhausted and fall straight asleep but then wake up a few hours later and can’t get a song out of my head (usually an annoying one by Little Mix) or i begin to list the things i could be doing if i had energy.
All this said i am surprised (and impressed) that i am at work everyday and functioning well. This was always one of my biggest concerns about working, that sleep was such a trigger i’d become a hypomanic whirlwind of productivity and inappropriate emails. Now discharged from services i worried no one would be there to notice this decline (or incline) into oblivion and my colleagues would be on the periphery like ‘well she’s sorted the filing cabinet in 20 minutes but she’s also telling Brian to F off, should we say something?’. The reality of course is that 1. i am self aware enough to see the gradual shift and 2. no HR team is going to let me send a 1000 word essay on the outrageousness of providing unbranded coffee.
I am wary of any kind of celebration of my ability to work because it feels like i’m giving the conservatives a little pat on the back for pushing me into it but i remind myself that they gave me the shove and it’s just sheer luck and hard work that i had metaphorical upper body strength to pull myself up. That said i’m finally crushing it, this week i cycled to work 4 days, went for a swim twice and actually sat and ate with people at lunch which is a thing i never do because i’m usually pooped and need some mental space midday. My flat is tidy, my washing is done and there are no huge jobs looming, it’s not in a frantic buzzy way just in a ‘ah cool, i’ve got myself together’ kind of way. I’ve realised that the image i had of working professionals perfectly put together with healthy lunches and immaculate homes is really just based on my one friend i saw after work this time who looked like she stepped out of Suits, it’s not the norm. Everyone has times where they come home and watch TV for 5 hours straight (Love Island why must you sink your teeth into me) or buy a ready meal or get straight into their pjs, that’s not a mental health thing that’s just life.
The routine of work and the validation i get from doing something meaningful with my time is really great and i can see that whilst sometimes i’m like ‘arghh i just need sleep’ i’m also making friendships and being challenged in a way i haven’t been since i graduated. This was all realised for me on my birthday a month ago when i came to work to flowers, presents, cards, bunting and cake. Usually on my birthday i’m like ‘cool still alive and doing literally nothing, awesome’ but this year i was like ‘cool still alive, awesome’. That may not sound like much, it’s literally just removing 4 words, but those 4 words are huge for me. I have genuinely spent the last few years watching my friends get good jobs, make other friends and generally have fun and i’ve been sat at home with earl grey tea and having sleepovers with a borrowed dog from the village. I love that stuff but its also nice to go for a drink in the evening and have brunch with people and do regular in your 20’s stuff. The very fact i haven’t been blogging much is an indicator that i am busy having fun and don’t have huge amounts of free time anymore, THAT IS UNHEARD OF FOR ME. This new realm of enjoying life is a big deal and i am very grateful for all the support around me that has allowed me to reach this point :).