Only You Can Save This Blog.

13 May

I have gone to bed so late, so many weeks in a row that I might just start skipping sleep altogether in order to avoid the awful process of waking up.  I keep telling myself I’m going to go to bed early on a weeknight or sleep in late on a weekday to hit the reset button but I never do.  I tried it a few nights ago but couldn’t get to sleep (very unfunny) and I ended up wasting 3 hours of my night just lying awake in bed.

So I just stay up doing frivolous things, trying to make my day last longer so that I feel like I work and have a life.  I don’t – it’s a facade.    I don’t stay up doing anything important; I just stay up.  I eat peanut butter toast and watch entire seasons of shows on Netflix and spend an hour on StumbleUpon and read people’s Facebook updates.  I’m so lame that it’s becoming painful.  

I have gone so many weeks on four hours of sleep a night that I have to peel myself out of bed in the morning.  There has never been a better display of man’s willpower than my waking up each day.  I set three alarms – each 15 minute apart from each other.  The first is the time that I would like to wake up.  It’s my ideal.  If I get out of bed at the first ring, I’ll be 5 minutes early for work, freshly showered,  have eaten breakfast, will have an outfit I’m not miserable in, and will be sporting a fine face of work-appropriate makeup. If I get out of bed at the second alarm, I will have to choose 3 out of 5 of those options.   If I get out of bed at the third, I will have to forfeit all but one.  

But lately I’ve been so tired and miserable that when the third alarm goes off, I snooze it for another 15 minutes.   When I wake I will accomplish none of the above tasks, but the jump start I get from knowing I will be late for work if I don’t wake up immediately and bolt out the door in 10 minutes or less is the only thing that will get me up.

I’ve been doing this over and over again.  Yesterday it got so bad that I couldn’t possibly leave for work unshowered again so I still slept in and resolved to be late.

This has to stop.

I’m a good worker.  I really am.  I usually work right through my lunch break and stay late and break lots of labor laws and things.  But lately I’ve been so absolutely zombie-like that I can’t bring myself to get up and at ’em in a timely manner.  I recall having to peel my eyes apart and splash my face with freezing cold water a few days ago just so that I could see straight enough to put my clothes on.   Once I get there I only make it to 11:30 before I need to go order the the tallest, tastiest, non-coffee but coffee-like drink I can stomach in order to get myself to have enough energy to type an email.

I look like death.

When I go outside, I’m as a member of the underworld visiting the surface for the first time.  The light disgusts me, the bird chirping echoes through my weak, soggy brain, and my limbs are all worn and jagged from being jolted into performance from a dead sleep.   I suddenly find myself absolutely incapable of effective communication.   If I attempt to string more than two sentences together, my brain goes into a total meltdown and my eyes travel up and to the left, where they sift through the soft, gooey, deteriorating pockets of my mind for the right word.

It’s usually a simple one.  Like “pants”.

I only have two options from here.  I can either find a way to restore sleep to my body by effectively going to sleep earlier, sleeping in later, or just giving in to my urge to conk out at my desk instead of guzzling caffeine.   Or I can keep going on as I am and become a fully-fledged, certifiable whack job.  Unable to find the words for anything at all, my sentences will deconstruct themselves into incoherent babblings.  My eyelids will sink down to allow only a sliver of light into my eyes.  My face will become pasty, droopy, and inspire fear.  No longer able to force my body to function without allowing it to recharge, I will ooze from place to place on the floor like a slug.

A decomposing, incoherent zombie slug.

I will be unable to keep my promise to write a blog every day because I will no longer be able to comprehend language.  Already, I find myself staring at my screen wondering what to write.   Not because I have no idea, but because I cannot navigate the idea.  I compose entire paragraphs that seem to be written by a 3rd grader who speaks English as a second language, delete them, and upgrade them to that of a 6th grader who speaks English as a second language.  I stare at commonplace words for several minutes, suddenly questioning if they’re really words at all.

My lack of sleep is threatening thejackieblog.

If I don’t post tomorrow, come to Pittsburgh and search the streets.  You’ll find me there, oozing my way through the masses and hissing at daylight.

If you spot me, stick me with a bear tranquilizer, put me on a park bench, and force the regeneration to begin. 

The High Hurdles in Slug World



27 Responses to “Only You Can Save This Blog.”

  1. Ro May 13, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Honestly, I get more and more disturbed every time I read your blog. Are you following me? Are you in my BRAIN!?!?!?!? I, too, am determined to have a pseudo life in the evenings- staying up to watch XFiles on Netflix or play my Monsters game on the PS3. My ideal wake up is 7:30. I don’t bother. I set the alarm for 7:35. I usually end up at 7:50. I can manage a shower, but make up and breakfast have been completely thrown aside for as long as I can remember. I’m just about to complete my usual 20 oz travel mug of coffee (after the cup I have at home while getting ready). As I stare at the sad butt of it, I’m wondering how long I can handle waiting until I go make a new pot. Entirely for myself. It’s a good thing a recent Yahoo news article says that 5 cups of coffee or more can reduce a woman’s risk of a certain type of breast cancer. Unfortunately, I rarely believe anything Yahoo news has to say…


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      Don’t be alarmed – we’re just the same sort of soul. That’s all.

      Also, you drink a loooooot more coffee than me. One grande mocha something or other makes me all jittery.


      • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

        And what monsters game on PS3? Not PixelJunkMonsters. Please tell me it’s not that. Because kindred spirits or not, that would be a disturbing similarity.


  2. Renee Mason May 13, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    When that was happening to me, Melatonin worked wonders. Wishing you a lovely weekend full of slumber. I must say, for a zombie slug, you sure are funny!


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      Thanks, Renee 😉 It’s a tough gig for a slug.


  3. Sarah May 13, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Story of my life! I’ve tried several methods to wake up on time, but they have yet to be successful. I set up two different alarms, set 15 minutes apart (one set on Faster Harder Scooter) and I even leave my window wide open so that the very noisy traffic wakes me up. I always manage to turn the alarms off, and pass out again. Oh and the loud traffic? It only seems to lull me back to sleep.
    I actually figured the only time I’m able to wake up at decent hours is when I sleep “early” (11.30 max). Quite a hard feat in itself.
    Have you tried staying up one whole night? That way, you can sleep earlier and fix the pattern. Good luck keeping your eyes open during the day though.


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

      The things I do to set myself up for waking-up-success are quite amusing. Everything from buying the loudest, most obnoxious alarm possible to putting it in creative places in my room so that I can’t turn it off in my sleep, to these regularly practiced intervals to set the time to. Ridiculous.

      Staying up all night was an excellent idea. And doable. So I did it last night and have every intention of sleeping in tomorrow. Here’s hoping 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing 😀


  4. Patrecia aka Misswhiplash May 13, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    This is cannot possibly exist on so few hours sleep. You seem to have come out of your regular sleep pattern.
    Have you tried taking 1 paracetamol at night that always works for me?
    You have me really worried now ….

    love P


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      I love all these little sleep tricks I’m getting under my sleeve – thanks for sharing yours. And no worries – I’ll come around 🙂


  5. pegoleg May 13, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Jackie, can’t keep this up. How about some warm milk and going to bed 1-1/2 hours earlier? Try reading insurance policies – that always puts me out.

    p.s. Sorry about the salt I dumped on you. I didn’t recognize you oozing along the streets of Pittsburgh. That had to hurt.


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      haha weeell I do have some Benefits Package info lying about the place that I should get familiar with. Thanks for the tip.

      Also – there’s no excuse for not recognizing me. I posted a picture.


  6. Ro May 13, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    PS- If you’re anything like me it’s not that you can’t sleep at night, it’s that you really just don’t want to go to bed out of principle, despite loving sleep. Oh weekends. How I live for you…


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm #



  7. middleagedplague May 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    My Friend: Stop!

    A blog a day is exhausting, especially one like yours in which you take time to craft sentences and string together coherent thoughts.

    Grant yourself permission to step away for awhile, and don’t worry about whether you’ll lose readers if you’re not in their e-mail box everyday. That’s along the lines of not stopping at the rest area because you don’t want to re-pass all the vehicles that you did earlier on the highway.

    Take it from another Type A, trying to be Type Z personality: slow down. reflect. relax. breathe. If you have a cat, pick it up and bury your nose in its fur; if you are allergic to cats, then have a box of kleenex nearby.

    Do some serious connection time with your right brain. Believe me, your left brain will not allow itself to atrophy.


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

      Oh man, this comment was dangerous. I can’t possibly stop now – I’m almost halfway through my 2011 postaday challenge! And all the trouble I’ve gone through this far would be for nothing if I skip one day. I do love this comment and the idea of taking a while to recharge. It sounds lovely – but alas I must charge onward. I can recharge in 2012. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing!


  8. mctell2 May 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I very much enjoy the daily blogs…if you seek advice on the burn out for now?? How about copy paste a joke, a recipe or a tidbit of wisdom till you seriously recharge the writing batteries…


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      This comment is the reason I sorted through some old blog posts and found my topic for the next day – so thank you! And thanks for helping me to feel like sometimes it’s okay to take a day to do an easy post.


  9. knotrune May 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    My Mum had insomnia and her doctor told her that just lying in bed resting is better for you than getting up and doing wakeful things. Try applying that getting up willpower to switching off the electrical devices, getting into bed and lying there in a restful state, even if you don’t fall asleep. Do that for 7 or 8 hours a night and you should start to feel less icky. Once you get used to the idea that you will be resting at that time whether you feel like it or not, you should stop craving the distractions. You might even find that as soon as you give yourself the chance you fall right asleep!


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

      My dad used to tell me this growing up and I just hated the idea of it. It turns out I still do. But it’s probably excellent advice and I should take it in my grumpy, old age. Thank you 🙂


  10. Jules May 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    “This has to stop.”
    “I look like death.”
    “It’s usually a simple one. Like “pants”.”
    “My lack of sleep is threatening thejackieblog.”

    So it seems like you already know where the problem lies, but you don’t do anything about it. Why? Pull a Nike and “Just Do It” already. Seriously. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you for it.

    Less is more in this 24/7 world. Cut out the unnecessary and find new appreciation for simple pleasures.

    (Like, you know?! sleep!)

    Note: I love the little breaks you create between paragraphs. What is this technique called for you writers in the know?


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

      oh man, when you pull out snipits like that it sounds so awful 🙂

      Funny enough, I’ve been trying to do the whole “just do it” thing in a lot of areas in my life lately. Part of the problem is that when I go to bed early, I just lie awake all night, but I might be able to readjust myself slowly and surely with a bit of dedication.

      And I don’t know about the breaks between paragraphs. I wish I knew if there were a term for it – I’m not a “writer”, I’m just a girl who started a blog. Maybe someone edu-ma-cated can chime in 😉


  11. Lori May 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Ugh, it took me a loooong time to get on a regular sleep schedule where I actually slept enough. That thing they say about going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time? It’s true. 100% true. It takes a special person to be able to sleep anytime they want to (my fiance is one of those special people). My doctor wouldn’t give me sleeping pills, but she suggested that I take benadryl to help me fall asleep. So, I take two 25 mg benadryls when I can’t sleep and it knocks me out. I did that for the first few months until my sleep schedule was regulated. Good luck!


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      Thank you for the excellent note, Lori. Maybe I need to just come around and accept that I can’t be a night owl anymore. 🙂


  12. Leah May 14, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    I can relate! For me, it seems like my nights don’t get started until 9 p.m. where I’m writing, on the computer, doing whatever as I stare at the clock thinking, “I really need to go to bed.” I do finally go to bed close to midnight. But like you, waking up is a bitch. Some days I don’t shower either, then feel like crap all day. It’s awful. We’re killing ourselves!


    • Jackie May 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      Yes – I hope it’s a phase. Maybe this is a time in my life where I’m going to have to saddle up and accept that I need to go to bed early and wake up early. But if I make the change, I’d better end up healthy, wealthy and wise or I’ll be pretty darn disappointed in old sayings.



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