I’m having one of these days where, despite the fact that I slept a solid eight hours last night, I can’t seem to really wake up. Right now, I’m writing this sentence, it’s taking me about ten percent of everything that I’ve got to string these words together, all while the other ninety percent is fighting this huge battle just to keep my eyes from closing shut under their own weight. Every time I blink, I’m getting more and more worried that I’m not going to be able to muster the energy necessary to open them back up.
I don’t know how to explain it. Like I said, last night’s sleep was pretty decent. It was better than decent. But waking up was such a struggle. If I didn’t have to use the bathroom, I’d probably still be laying there, comatose, deaf to the sounds of my alarm clock ringing in the periphery of my consciousness.
I struggled to my feet. I went downstairs and thought, coffee, I need coffee. That’ll wake me up. And I made a pot, I drank like three cups. I felt the caffeine doing something, my heart rate picked up, my leg started tapping violently against the floor. But I still wanted to go back to bed.
So I did, I closed my eyes thinking, all I have to do is lay down for a little bit, and once my brain realizes that, thanks to all of that coffee, I won’t be able to go back to sleep, it’ll have no choice but to fully wake up and commit to getting this day started. But then I looked at my phone and it was eleven-thirty.
I’m still tired. At this point I’ve had probably over ten hours of non-consecutive sleep, but I still feel like I could hit the pillow and be good for the rest of the day. I’m getting flashbacks of high school here. I’m having physical memories of what my body felt like all throughout my adolescence.
There wouldn’t be a single day where I’d get eight hours of sleep. It was always this huge fight to get up in the morning. My parents would have to scream me awake. And I’m not trying to say that my parents were being overly harsh or anything, but it was the only way I’d get out of bed. I imagine it to be what people feel like coming to after having been trapped in a really long coma. I’d hear voices, I’d have this vague knowledge that my time for sleeping had come to an end, but I couldn’t really do much more than turn over, let out a muffled, “All right! OK! I’m up!” lying through my teeth, hoping that my parents would leave me alone for another two or three minutes of precious sleep.
And then I’d finally stand up, I’d go to the bathroom and take a shower. Sometimes I’d fall asleep sitting on the side of the tub waiting for the water to get hot. Other times I’d go through my whole morning routine, I’d brush my teeth, get dressed, and head downstairs for breakfast, all before blinking and realizing that I had never really gotten up in the first place, that my whole morning had thus far been a dream.
I always hate it when I hear certain people talk about how they only need four or five hours a night. They’ve got to be lying. Every once in a while I’ll have to get up for something really early, and I’ll have one of those four or five hour nights. I feel like I’m half dead, like I’m pissed off, my eyes want nothing more than to stay shut, and every instinct is telling me to look for the nearest cushion, somewhere where I can curl up into the fetal position and remain there unconscious for the next three or four hours.
I’ve got to go to work tonight. I know exactly how it’s going to go down. I’m going to drag my feet through the whole shift, just trying my best to get through the night without anybody commenting about how slow I’m moving, or that I look really beat. And then around an hour before closing, I’m going to get a kick of energy. For some reason, my body is going to decide at around ten or eleven that now is a good time to snap into action.
And I’ll be screwed. I’ll go home and I’ll be wired, unable to relax, incapable of doing the one thing that I wanted so desperately to do all day long, to go to sleep. It’s going to affect tomorrow’s wake-up time, it’s never going to stop. I’m going to be half-asleep for the rest of my life.