What’s in an hour

Adam spent all of yesterday with his Mother, although it was the day after he always spends one day with her around his birthday, so I had a quiet day spent just doing what I do online and yes finishing off the remains of the carryout. When will I learn? I am not in day two of not feeling well thanks to my stomachs dislike of normal food, I actually woke in the middle of the night because it was so painful, I rarely wake due to pain, so it must have been bad. I was in bed and well asleep when he made it home, he was still on the bus heading back when I spoke to him to say good night and of course snoring on the settee when I got up, so nothing unusual there then.

I have found myself trying to work out what the real impact on my life the amount of time I spend sleeping and why I am so determined to always be busy when I am awake. Each night I loose 11 hours, well not really, I suppose I loose if I am honest 7 hours, I used to sleep just 6 or less and I sleep every afternoon for between one and 2 hours, so let’s say I lose 9 hours a day. Imagine just what would happen to your life if you lost 9 hours of it every, single, day. What would have to go, not be done or not enjoyed just to be able to fit in what has to be done and that includes work. On the surface sleeping so much does sound like nothing of any importance, especially when you don’t have to work, but it is, it’s actually something really important, as I am sleeping away my only life.

It was sleep that forced me into cutting the number of days I went into the office, as just getting ready and going back and forward by taxi, meant that I had to loose 4 hours sleep, 4 hours that I really struggled with losing. Add into that the fatigue that was caused by that extra exertion and well it did far more damage than was made up by the contact with people and just seeing what was happening first hand rather than through my PC’s. Getting up and sitting here logged into the office systems and working, meant I was more awake and more able to carry out all of the things I had to do. It isn’t something we really think about, but exhaustion is extremely stressful and causes pain and headaches that we wouldn’t normally have, exhaustion causes mistakes, as your brain just doesn’t function fully and frustration levels rise continuously. It is something that we rarely think about because not many of us really ever try to function in that state. I think the only other time in my life that I knew what exhaustion really was, was when Teressa was tiny and thought screaming all night, every night was a fun thing to do. Most parents will remember that stage even if it only lasted a few weeks, but imagine feeling like that every day, for years, not days, regardless how much sleep you had.

At first, you adjust and you make time to sleep as much as you can, but even getting your full 8 hours just isn’t enough, so you start going to bed earlier and earlier until you have no life other than work, that was the point I stopped my daily jaunt to the office, but I was still tired, never really awake. Housework began to slip, as did my interest in the things I used to enjoy, as I just didn’t have the energy. I could no longer have a social life, or do anything at weekends as all I could think about and do was sleep. You would think that once I stopped working that it would have made a huge difference, that I would have had more energy, more get up and go, but I didn’t, what I had was more time to sleep and I have used it to do just that, but still I am always tired. I decided to draw the line at the point I started sleeping 11 hours each night and set up a routine of getting up at 7:30 just to keep some normality in my life. I still wake up every day wanting to sleep longer, just as I am when I go to bed I am extremely unsteady on my feet, my muscles are clamped and walking difficult. My body takes about an hour to wake up to the point I would say is my best of all the hours I am awake, but that’s still the real bummer, I never feel fully awake, I am always tired and always getting more tired as the day goes on.

So here I am with a whole 11 hours to my waking day, that is all I have, not a minute longer and I have to live every minute of it as I have so little to waste. Yes, I push myself and yes if I didn’t, well maybe I might feel that bit better but I don’t want to waste a second that I have, as I have less and less daily to waste. Those 10 years I was given to live last year are ticking away and I don’t want to spend all of them asleep. I can’t work but I can still be a productive member of the world and like most of the jobs I have found myself doing over the years, I sort of fell into this one without the intent to ever be here. Somehow I seem to be doing good out there and making other people feel better and want to make more of their lives and I feel privileged to be in this position. So there is no way I am just going to stop, to lie down on my bed and sleep. I don’t know what would happen if I went to bed tonight and I didn’t have my alarm set, I have no idea just how many hours I would sleep for or how many hours I would be left each day to do something useful, all I know is I don’t want to take any chances, so the alarm stays set.

I expect the time will come when I won’t be able to stay awake as many hours as I do now, it’s logical as it has slowly reduced year after year, but the thought of losing even just one more hour from any day, far less every day, right now just isn’t acceptable. It might just sound like one more hour asleep, but it is one less hour that I have to live, it doesn’t matter how you think of it, that is a cold hard fact. Technically sleep is still living, as is being in a coma, but it is only living to those around you, you yourself have no input, no interaction, and no growth, they are the dead hours in all of our lives, but normally the awake ones add up to more, I can’t get the physical hours back, but I can try to fill those I have with as much positive action as I possibly can and that is important to me, it’s my own personal definition of life.


Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 26/04/12 – Finding myself

The past few days are still taking their toll on me as yesterday afternoon I slept for 4 hrs and I was in bed again by 10:30 last night. To be honest I will accept exhaustion any day before bad pain, at least when asleep I don’t feel anything, OK I know the argument that I don’t sleep as well because of the pain and that why I’m so tired, but I still don’t feel pain so who cares! I kind of like to see it as my body catching up on all the hours I lost when surrounded kids, (not just mine) and working jobs that expected 24hr work a day, whilst calling it just 8. It seems the older I get the more I realise that nearly everything in life is some sort of trade off and I often think that that is a lesson I wish I had been taught as a child along with cause and effect. I know, it’s OK, I’m not that……

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