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. ♣