just notes on tiredness

Posted: April 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

Tiredness has been pursuing me harder than usual lately.  I don’t know what to do with it – usually, it’s an easy enough thing to look across my life and see what I’ve been doing to call it to me.  Not so much, this time around.

I’ve been struggling with getting very sleepy when I drive more than a few minutes alone – like, the level of sleepy that requires slapping my face and the backs of my hands or pinching myself, talking/singing aloud, rolling the window down, chewing gum, etc. to keep me functional and driving.  That’s not a new phenomenon at all, but in the past when I struggled on that front, I would easily point to only getting 6 hours of sleep most nights piled on top of being overloaded and overcommitted in general.

Pretty much every day this past week was a struggle with tiredness at work.  Not just general funk, but what I call “yawning attacks,” where I might yawn literally a hundred times in a half hour, leaving me with tears streaming down my face.  On Thursday I found myself nodding at my desk in the morning – something I’d understand completely if I were sitting there doing nothing, or if I were bored, but that’s not the case.  I was busy, I was interested in what I was doing, I had good music playing.

I’m walking around more often than not with that tummyache I get when I’ve stayed up most of the night, and my eyes aching and begging me to just close them already.  My mental clarity is kind of in the dumpster.  But here’s the thing:  I’m not shorting myself on sleep.  Yes, I rise at 3 AM every day of the week, but I’m relentless in almost always getting to bed by 7 PM.  At this age and stage of life it’s very easy for the day to crowd in and cause me not so sleep well; I’ve become increasingly cautious about “sleep hygiene,” being careful about where I take my thoughts from 4 PM on, when I get off work.  I don’t even DO caffeine anymore, so that’s not the issue.

I have a general doctor checkup coming in May; if this is still a struggle by then (God forbid!) I will ask for help there.  Meanwhile, I’m working on what I might be doing – or failing to do – that could be contributing to this problem.  I’m looking at diet and supplements, at exercise, at mental attitudes.  I’m probably going to pick up some memory foam for our bed, since the level of pain my body experiences with our broken-down mattress does interrupt my sleep and could be contributing, I suppose.  And I’m considering the spiritual angle – I’ve had some pretty trying stuff happening on that front, and maybe God will show me something there.

It’s interesting to be wrestling this hard with exhaustion in this, a year God has named REST for me.  I suppose that means we’re having a conversation.  I’d like to be listening and not just sitting there being His ADHD kid, present in body but too preoccupied to properly engage.  One of the tricky parts of being so tired and scattered is it’s very hard to collect my thoughts for the strategic approach, and it’s also easy to make impulsive choices that may exacerbate the problem.  Not to mention, my verbal filter is losing quality – more is coming out than ought to, when it comes to things that should be matters only between God and me and none other.

So I don’t quite know what’s up, but I’m on the hunt.  What I do know is if I’ll be faithful to do the “next right thing” as I come to it over and over again, it’ll work out.  I’m grateful that is a well-exercised “muscle;” I’m counting on that covering the “my part” of the equation, and there’s never any reason to doubt that God will do “His part.”

In the end that makes this, like so many other struggles, somewhat of a gift in this way:  it’s driving me to Him.  It’s pushing me to examine myself.  It’s keeping me from complacency.

I’ll take that kind of gift as often as He wants to give it to me!

  1. […] I blogged recently about my battle with fatigue, I came away with clarity:  it’s time to stop dinking around and get strategic.  When the […]

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