I just posted this article on FB:
It popped up on my news feed and I read it because, well, I have a chronic pain disorder, that hurts, sometimes, a lot.
And, I am not the only one I know in the neighborhood that has a chronic illness.
I’m not crying out for sympathy, I’m writing because I am on vacation and I’ve been astounded by just how much sleep I’ve had and continue to need – some days, more than my 85-year-old father.
I’m working down here – plenty of hurricane cleanup, but it’s not like I’ve been felling trees and re-shingling the roof.
My days involve morning coffee while I lie on my heating pad, chores, nap, chores, dinner, bed early. I even fell asleep sitting in the sand on the beach.
Mentally I read through a list of reasons for why I might need so much sleep down here:
getting a much-needed rest from working so many long hours at home?
being lulled by the sound of the waves?
Then I think that this pretty similar to how it is when I am at home – the main difference being that I am not working 12 hour days so I do have the luxury to lie down, often.
It freaks me out sometimes. Is it just laziness? Do I not like to do work?
At home I worry about not pulling my weight around our home – because I don’t.
My ex constantly berated me for my unwillingness to work hard (another term for laziness.)
So every time I put my head on the pillow, that voice runs through my brain.
Throw in my ever-present anxiety, and you have the perfect storm.
And yet, I could sleep all day; sometimes I do.
And then I feel slovenly and guilty as fuck.
But after I read that article, I thought, “Oh yeah, you do have that pain thing going on.”
So then I clicked on a link to yet another article and read these words:
“Am I lazy? No. I can do a load of laundry or cook a meal. I can usually get my son dressed, fed and to school in the morning (though not always); however, it usually means I will need to sit down and rest and recover from a simple tasks that most people take for granted.
Sure, I can take a nap whenever I want. But I never feel rested. It doesn’t matter if I have had two hours, 12 hours or 20 hours of sleep, my body can just never seem to catch up.”
For just a couple of minutes, I was able to let up on myself, show myself a little compassion.
Those warm and fuzzy feelings didn’t last very long because the voices in my head, and the ones that I imagine are screaming in everyone else’s heads, are louder than the more gentle, soft ones.
I will not be a victim to this and will not use it as an excuse.
But, sometimes a valid reason is just that, not an excuse.