4 Nov., 2020

The election has got me worried. It is the morning after. Specifically, 3:18am the morning after, and I have the TV on the returns on PBS. I turned it on last night as soon as I could, watched about ½ an hour, but knew I had to be up early this morning (albeit, not this early), so I turned off the TV, took extra Klonopin, and grabbed some sleep. Slept from 7pm to 9:15. Got up, and did a few things that really needed done, like cleaning the kitchen, and listened to the returns on the TV in the next room Biden was ahead by about 85 electoral votes, but it was early; still, most of the coverage was about what Trump would do if there were a clear Biden victory. Scary stuff.

Went back to bed around midnight, or 12:30am, and worried about Trump’s ad hoc junta. Something built from his base, plus their firearms (which you know they have), scared me more than the constitutional “well regulated militia.” A gang of impassioned “base,” running around quite literally half-cocked filled my nightmares as I slept in a sweat from about 1am-2am. Woke up, and drifted off, dreamlessly (as far as I could remember), for another ½ hour. Got up and walked a bunch of trash out to the dumpster, then had some yogurt and fruit, followed by coffee.

It is 3:30am, and I am up for the day.

It’s fine. I’ve slept almost 4 hours, and after 8:30am, my schedule is clear, because I don’t work until 4pm, when I teach over zoom, so I have a chance to get a nap. I may still accumulate 5 hours of sleep.

This is how it works. I sleep a little here and a little there, and hope it adds up to something livable out of 24 hours. I can manage of 5 hours out of 24 for a couple of weeks at a time, or 4 out of 24 for a week, or 3 out of 24 for a couple of days in a row.

This current long stretch of very bad insomnia has been at least 9 weeks of 4 – 5 hours out of 24, in fits and starts, mostly at night, occasionally a ½ hour in the very late morning (between 9:30am and 12:30pm), and then once in a while, at first, every 10 days or so, still in fits and starts, a day where I sleep 8-10 hours out of 24. I have not had one of those for a few weeks though.

Admittedly, those long days happen mostly when I do not have to work, and I take extra melatonin and some Benadryl, and half and Ambien, and sleep through the morning. Instead of being up during the little hours, I sleep until 1:30am, and am back asleep at 3am, and sleep until 7am.

This has been going on for so long now, I am beginning to wonder if it is going to be the pattern until a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered, or some kind of very effective treatment—some “magic bullet,” if you will, that allows my work days to become active again.

I do not do enough during the day, as much as I try to.

I take the dog on extra walks, and they are long walks. I ride my bike everywhere I possibly can. I used to go hiking at the state parks with my son, and take him to the movies, and the zoo, the museum, and Chuck E. Cheese.

I am still teaching, but most of it is over zoom. That doesn’t take as much energy as teaching in the classroom. For one thing, I sit. When I teach in the classroom, I am on my feet the whole time. It has just registered on me that when I teach in a classroom, I am on my feet 7 hours a week—just for the religious school. That doesn’t even include the hours I spend on my feet during the preschool.

Maybe it’s time to apply for some crappy day job just to fill my time. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I can deliver groceries for Amazon, or stock shelves at Walgreens. It won’t be for the money; it will be for the sake of getting out of the apartment and doing something. It might help me sleep.

I need to look into this.

I realize the job market is very much deflated now, but I see plenty of “We’re hiring!” signs outside of Walmarts and CVSs. People are probably not flocking to them, because they are part-time, and minimum wage, but that’s all I need.

Well, now I know what to do today, if the election results are not in, and I need a distraction.

10/11/2020 Edited to add: I will not be punching a clock at Walmart or CVS just yet. I have signed up to flex-drive for Amazon deliveries, and possibly for Uber eats as well. I don’t expect to make a lot of money– a little though, but mostly, these should fill some time.

Published by Chava Freya

Insomnia is a brain-based disorder I’ve had since I was at least 16 years old. Anti-anxiety medicine doesn’t help, except when there’s external anxiety exacerbating the problem. Sleep hygiene is irrelevant, because it’s not the problem, although I have submitted to it five different times, including having sleep specialists actually come to my home and advise me on rearranging furniture, buying special pillows, forbidding TVs in the bedroom, telling me the bed was for nothing but sleep, sex and reading, and when that didn’t work, then nothing but sleep. Period. That was the biggest failure of all.

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