I’m exhausted. I’d like to say I’ve been working hard. I have been working. I just haven’t been working harder than usual.
Truth is, I didn’t sleep well last night. The mice were running in the wheel inside my head when I went to bed. And I think maybe that squeaky axle needs a little grease.
I’m always saying I don’t have trouble sleeping, and I don’t – usually. Trouble sleeping is one of the more common ADHD traits, but one I rarely have to deal with. When I do have trouble, I usually know why. Stress!
I spent a month or so, after my wife died, unable to sleep more than three or four hours a night. The cure was not time, but sheer exhaustion. I finally fell asleep one night and slept like Rip vanWinkle for nearly 15 hours. Life looked a bit less bleak after a full night’s sleep.
And it still looks less bleak – most days. But every now and then I find myself lying in bed at night worrying about things that won’t stop being worrisome. Worse yet, sometimes after finally falling asleep, I awake early in the morning to find my mind has not yet stopped spinning. So worry is my ADHD symptom. Worry, not ADHD induced sleep disorders.
If I don’t get up when I wake up early, I’ll toss and turn for a long while unable to fall back to sleep. I’ll finally have to get up anyway when the alarm goes off. Since I won’t have slept since waking up, I realize that I might as well have gotten up immediately.
As if being exhausted isn’t enough for me, guess what happens to my ability to focus? Yep, gone! And without focus, I bounce from one thing to the next with my mind playing that old list of excuses …
“I have to write a post. I’ll just put this away first. I’ve been meaning to clean out this cupboard. That doesn’t belong there, it goes in the side door closet. Oh, so this is where I left my hammer. What was I looking for it for? Oh yeah, I was hanging a picture in the guest room. Where did I put the nails? Oh, and where did I put the picture? Maybe the nails are in my bedroom. Nope, I’ll try the office. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing a post.”
Large chunks of my day disappear as I wander from trivial task to mindless distraction and back again. To be fair, the bits of time that are vanishing in my rear-view mirror are of a very low quality, due to my lack of adequate rest, but those bits of time were mine just the same and now they’re gone.
The worst thing is that I’ll stay up late into the night trying to make up for the wasted time. Experience has taught me that the sooner I go to bed, the more sleep I’ll get when I’m suffering the effects of a bad nights sleep. But I’m not the kind who learns from experience. I’m a whole ‘nother kind of fool altogether. I’m the kind of fool that learns from hindsight, but once I’ve learned my lesson I promptly forget it. I probably didn’t learn it well enough, probably because I was too tired. I should get a good nights sleep before I try to learn about lack of sleep, don’t you think?
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Last reviewed: 9 Mar 2012