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My Brain Has Officially Stopped Working

This week has been all sorts of insane. I started a new job to supplement my old job dropping to an “on call” type of status. We are still trying to sell our house and had our first showing. Donnie has had some work issues keeping him out late two nights. I started a triathlon training class. I’ve just been frazzled beyond belief and several things yesterday proved it.

  • I tried to turn off of a bridge taking the kids to school, getting in the wrong turn lane to drop them off.
  • I then headed home and forgot I needed to go to my new job until I pulled into my driveway.
  • Then I made a wrong turn getting to my new job and ended up trapped in a parking lot with “permitted access only” just trying to get to the right road.
  • I tried to control my phone with the trackpad on my laptop.
  • I forgot dog food for the 90th time. My poor dog is going to starve to death.

I’m just tired and adjusting to a new’ish schedule while 90 other things are going on is making all of my brain cells misfire and cease working. It’s like the neurons for normal behavior are taking a break so the ones for learning new equipment (my new job requires I use a fun 3D scan/camera) and making long commutes and showering – all things I’m not used to – can use all of the energy. My brain is basically so busy trying to make it to work across town that I forget how to use my phone.

So today’s entry is here as a notification if I’ve missed anything important or forgotten anything or done anything stupid – this is my excuse. This week has just been chaotic, to say the least. I apologize to anyone and everyone who I’ve neglected.

It takes a lot out of me to have to shower every day.

ZZZZzzzzzz…

Remember when I used to brag about how well I slept? I mean, I woke up consistently early on my own with no alarm, but this was easily balanced out by going to bed at 8pm. I consistently got 8 hours of sleep every night. I was awesome.

And then, over the summer, we started staying up later. Like until 9pm or so. And I was still getting up around 4am so my sleep was dropping to 7 hours or less. But still! Some nights I went to bed at 8 and still got my 8 hours, but 7 is still pretty good! Right?

And then school started back up and having to get everyone up and ready early shifted my brain a bit and I started waking up around 3:30am. And this was rough because this brought me UNDER 7 hours consistently and y’all? I had been spoiled. 7 hours or more is required to keep me functioning. I know I’m the only adult in the world who gets 7-8 hours sleep regularly but SLEEP IS IMPORTANT. I NEED SLEEP.

So now with 9pm-10pm bedtimes and 3-3:30am wake up times I was LUCKY to get 6 1/2 hours sleep. And this was not pretty.

AND THEN THE DAMN TIME CHANGED and y’all? I started waking up FOR GOOD FOR THE DAY, before 3am. Which had me – if I was lucky – getting 6 hours of sleep every night. And this was NOT acceptable. And I’ve been complaining about this CONSTANTLY.

AND NOW I WANT TO PUNCH MYSELF FOR COMPLAINING.

6 hours in a row would be LUXURIOUS.

But, no.

For the last 3 nights I’ve woken up around 11:30pm – WIDE AWAKE. Or midnight if I go to bed at 9pm. WIDE AWAKE. Basically, I got to sleep and THREE HOURS LATER I WAKE UP.

I even took melatonin last night and it usually gives me GOOD sleep.

But no. I woke up around midnight and just did some work.

And I hate myself and my life.

This is all your getting out of me today. I know it’s the suckiest entry whining about sleep but y’all? THIS IS INSANE.

How long do you go with this kind of insane sleep schedule before you call your doctor? Because three days in and I’m already thinking I need to be institutionalized.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Nikki has been fighting headaches on a pretty regular basis with this seasonal shift and Wesley is still waking up with leg/foot cramps. (Although – recently – he’s waking when I’m awake so NO BIG DEAL!)

Anyway – it’s 3am and I’m feeling tired again so I may try to get some more sleep. Give me some advice, will you?

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Miscellany Grumblecakes

Yesterday was SUCH a Monday.

First! Parent/Teacher conference with Wesley’s teacher where I learned – quiet shockingly – that he did AWFUL on his standardized tests recently. AWFUL. His reading score was in the “Urgent Intervention” category which is INSANE because he has entered that “reading” phase much earlier than E or even Nikki did. He’s reading EVERYTHING now. Of course she IMMEDIATELY calmed me pointing out that it only took him TWO MINUTES to take the test. So, you know, he just doesn’t give a shit. It’s much easier to teach someone to read than it is to teach them to give a shit.

Had a birthday lunch with Nikki which was actually quite wonderful, but then – of course – tripped in the parking lot going out to the car afterwards. BECAUSE…MONDAY.

Then I got the headache from HELL that afternoon – 3-4 hours of headache. I had to “cook dinner” (it wasn’t much “dinner” so I do use that loosely) around 4:45 because we had swim from 5:30 to 6:45 and then soccer from 7-8. (There was a reason we swore to not do two sports at once – THIS IS WHY.)

And it just felt like a general level of chaos which is the WORST because Monday’s are already insane emotionally, I need them to stabilize as much as possible. But nope! Not yesterday!

So – as you can tell by this featured image (If the image is blocked at work? The picture is ME EATING DONUTS) my new plant-based stance does not hold strong on my most stressful days. I’m still falling off the Krispy Kreme Donuts In The Publix Parking Lot wagon. That’s how you know I’m REALLY stressed. Herbivore OUT…Stress Eating Krispy Kreme Addict In.

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Exhausted Zoot Bounces Annoyingly Back and Forth Between Third Person and First Person Narration.

photo (4)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.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Guess What! I’m stressed! I know! That’s never a topic of conversation around here, is it? Me? Stressed? Anxious? On Edge? Terrified? Mortified? Uneasy? None of those words are ever used to describe anything I’m ever feeling! What a change of pace and tone for me to be writing about anxiety! WEIRD. THIS IS ALL NEW TERRITORY OVER HERE.

(I evidently took too many sarcasm supplements today.)

It should come as NO surprise that I’m a wee bit stressed. We have officially decided to stay here and not relocate to New Hampshire. While it’s a relief to have THAT decision out of the way (which was an INCREDIBLY difficult decision) now we enter the zone of…Finding A Job Before The Office Closes. And this is not a fun zone to be in. And it’s full of regret and doubt since that INCREDIBLY difficult decision left behind a guaranteed job.

SO, basically, I’ve been eating my feelings for 2 weeks solid now.

It should come as NO surprise that I’ve gained 8lbs faster than I’ve ever gained 8lbs in my ENTIRE LIFE. If I was in a weight gaining contest, the percentage of weight I just gained in the amount of time I gained it should win me some kind of Emotional Eaters Of American trophy.

It doesn’t help that Ben & Jerry’s has all of these new flavors of ice cream out. And I must try them all. And by “try” I mean “eat an entire pint in one siting” because you really can’t decide how you feel about an ice cream unless you eat an entire pint in one sitting.

But, last night I realized that Donnie is stressed too. And he doesn’t get stressed. Not really. And since it is HIS stress and NOT mine, I felt kinda selfish taking possession of it all and using it as an excuse to eat 2 plates of nachos for dinner. So, I crammed my face full of cookies and then went to bed deciding, This is it. I’m not taking this anxiety as my own and eating my weight in spinach dip because of it. Instead, I’m going to be a supportive wife and try to be there as a strong support system for my husband which I can do better if my face is not buried in a bowl of Cool Ranch Doritos.

I just felt selfish, all of the sudden. Like I was taking possession of all of the stress in our lives and using it as a crutch to explain my binging. And while I do have a right to be stressed, this is his stress. It does, of course, impact my life…but it’s his job and career and I need to try to use that same energy that I use to inhale a dozen donuts and try to focus it on him instead.

Just think of us, okay? Both of us?