I’m still not sleeping well, by the way. For example, I finally fell asleep a little before 10pm last night (I used to fall asleep closer to 8pm) and woke up at 2am this morning. Since “lack of sleep” was a weird motivation to trying to go vegan, you’d think I’d just start with the meat and the cheese already. But, I’m happy with other things, so I’m sticking with it.
This is new to me though, the whole not-sleeping-well thing. And I have to remind myself of it often. I’ve been feeling depressed lately, which is unusual for me as I’m more of the Mind-Numbing Anxiety type of emotional turmoil, not the Depression and Sadness type. I mean, the depression and sadness comes and goes, but it’s usually overshadowed by the anxiety. But not now. Zoot without sleep is depressed. (Zoot without sleep is also not good with typos or spelling, so pardon all of those things in this blog entry.)
I have to say to myself, “It’s because you are NOT SLEEPING.” Otherwise, I start really feeling overwhelmed by how pointless it all seems.
For example, lately? Exhausted Zoot has been super-depressed about the issue of gay marriage in my community and the state of Alabama. While I tried to find hope in case #3 going against the ban in the state supreme court, I have been reminded not to get my hopes up. For good reason, but still. That depresses me, that my friends who stand with me in the fight for equality – they have to remind me that there’s no way any judge at the level will rule in favor of gay marriage. But they’re right. And then periodically Facebook will tell me “So-in-so liked this article” and it’s a religious article providing more support for why Gay Marriage Is Wrong and I get sad because my friend liked that article. Or I read a thread where the discussion is civil, I’m not friends with anyone (I hope) who just outright thinks all gays should be stoned, but still – so many of my peers stand by it continuing to be illegal and I just feel hopeless. You hope your children will have a better future, but then you go several weeks without good sleep and you see that a friend thinks that gay marriage is harmful to society and suddenly you wonder why you even bother. Exhausted Zoot gets very hopeless very quickly. But I need to remind myself: ZOOT IS EXHAUSTED. CHILL OUT.
And then Exhausted Zoot reads about a blogger who feels shame and not using her words when she should and Exhausted Zoot becomes very disappointed in blogger Zoot. Blogger Zoot never talks about racism either. There are a lot of things Blogger Zoot never talks about. Like how she is staunchly pro-choice and is grateful that when she needed that choice, the laws were actually more in favor for that than they are now. Blogger Zoot doesn’t talk about how frustrated she gets that if you support any sort of legislation that might enforce a small bit of regulation on how a person gets a gun, or what kind of gun they get, that you immediately are against the 2nd amendment. Zoot loves the second amendment! Zoot up in a house with guns and raised by a hyper-responsible gun owner! But Blogger Zoot can’t talk about any legislation she might support that slightly reduces the availability of some guns, or the ease to get some guns, or she will be raged on for being against the second amendment. WHY IS THERE NO GRAY AREA ANYMORE?
Blogger Zoot never speaks out about those things because Blogger Zoot gets scared about upsetting people but now Exhausted Zoot reads that Dooce article and is disappointed in herself and depressed I have to remind myself again: ZOOT IS EXHAUSTED. CHILL OUT.
And then Exhausted Zoot gets sad because she becomes an exponentially worse parent and worse wife when she’s tired. I woke up at 2am, WIDE AWAKE, and sat there thinking about all of the ways I screwed up yesterday. Because I lost my patience and was tired and was stressed and all of those failures had me looking at my entire life’s work as a parent and Exhausted Zoot came to the conclusion that she is the worst parent in the world. EVER. And I feel sad and guilty and wondering if my kid’s are going to ever be able to overcome all of my dreadful parenting to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. But then I shake my head a bit, slap myself in the face and say, out loud: ZOOT IS EXHAUSTED. CHILL OUT.
Exhausted Zoot is disappointed she has yet to read those Non-Fiction books that she got at the library. Endless YA Fiction is not going to make her smarter. Exhausted Zoot is disappointed that she hasn’t mowed the grass yet. Or put up the laundry. Exhausted Zoot is basically living in a world of disappointment and sadness and can’t seem to see anything clearly without a cloudy mist of gray over everything. Luckily, I know it’s because I’m exhausted that everything is so tainted, but STILL. Knowing that doesn’t seem to dilute the feelings of hopelessness and sadness.
It’s hard when you’re just tired all the time. It’s hard to be rational. I had been avoiding taking any sort of sleep aids because I really need to get up early to try to get work in before the kids wake up, and sleep aids often mess with my natural biorhythms. But, I think I’ve reached the point that the emotional damage Exhausted Zoot is inflicting on Hard-Working and Happy Zoot, far outweighs the damage any sleep aid might do.
Rational Zoot is still there. I’m constantly reminding myself: Vegan for 10 days! Bike rides to the library with the kids! 3-mile fun runs with Nikki! Tons of progress with big projects at work! The clothes are clean even if they are all still in the laundry room! Books are being read, even if they aren’t about theoretical physics! But Rational Zoot only chants those things for about 15 seconds every hour because SHE IS SO F*CKING TIRED.
Here’s to A) Making it through today without falling asleep and B) Dosing up with sleep aids tonight in an effort to try to regain my sanity. Even if it has me miss my early morning run I need tomorrow.