On Thursday and Friday I was unwell.
Of course, I felt guilty for this, and ashamed. Although I would never blame others for their own illnesses, it’s always my own fault if I’m unwell.
This is because there is always something wrong with me. This is because I know I don’t get enough nutrition and I know I am not fit. This is because I blame myself for not being able to sleep well and for having minor chronic illnesses.
When there is something negative about my life, I hold myself responsible. (When there is something positive in my life, it is due to luck or chance, not anything worthy that I have done. )
Most people who are ill feel sorry for themselves, not ashamed. Most people look for sympathy, not for excuses so that others won’t despise them for getting sick.
The biggest thing I feel ashamed of is my constant tiredness. This is generally due to not getting enough – and not good enough – sleep. My tiredness is also due to semi-regular headaches and migraines, but they are largely due to the the lack of adequate sleep.
There is clearly a whole lot of psychological ridiculousness going on here!
In the past, I have not pushed myself to do things when I am tired, but have instead done something sedentary, such as watching TV or reading. This hasn’t worked. I have not felt less tired, it has not helped my migraines and it has not helped me sleep better.
Recently, I have tried to push through my lack of energy, so that I will get a sense of achievement and perhaps be physically tired enough to sleep better. This hasn’t worked. I have felt more productive, and sometimes more energised, but I have ended up feeling rushed and stressed and run-down. It has not improved my sleeping at all.
But this week, I have a cunning plan.
This week, I will do everything and do nothing!
“But that’s craziness!!” I know you are crying!
Rein in your incredulity!
You see, the biggest flaw in all my previous plans has been one simple thing: I have not actually slept enough. It didn’t matter how much I rested, it didn’t matter how many energising things I achieved, in the end, I’ve been sleep-deprived – and most of my subsequent negatives stem from there. So the nothing is not just chilling, it is actually curling up in the dark and doing nothing. Hopefully actually napping, but at least giving my body, my eyes and my head a proper rest.
I will nap whenever I feel heavy-headed, whenever I feel sleepy, whenever I feel a little tired. I don’t care if it is only 10am, if it is the middle of the day, or if it is only two hours until bedtime. I am going to nap when I actually feel sleepy and when I am not doing other properly active things.
I know that just napping is not enough, so I will continue to push through my tiredness to do other positive things. I know that I find it easier to exercise if I’ve already been doing it regularly. I know that I feel less stressed and more positive in general if I have been out in the world, getting things done. So I will still exercise, even though I’ve been discouraged by my weariness and illness recently, I will still go out and see people, do chores or try new things! I will do all of this knowing that I will come home and nap.
Now, I know that daytime napping is not an ideal long-term solution to sleep-deprivation. However, I’m hoping that as a temporary measure, it will take a lot of pressure off my nighttime sleep.