Sleepy

For more than a year I have suggested to my healthcare providers that I’m depressed because I sleep so much, not–as had been presumed–that I sleep because I’m depressed. The doctors have listened. But the wheels of healthcare churn slowly through a miasma of mucky insurance and murky interdepartmental harangues.

It is four days shy of a year since I sat in my psychiatrist’s office and cried over my sleep. My desperate need for it. The pressure that bore down on me every day, making my eyes feel swollen and my appendages leaden.

It’s been two months and two days since my first at-home sleep study failed. No data. That’s all I was told: there was zero data. It’s been one month and two days since the second at-home sleep study also failed due to an error with the pulse oximeter. User error is really tough to accomplish, as the thing has a fingernail drawing and straps to wrap around. Perhaps I tossed too much? No idea.

Meanwhile the sleep lab was charged with battling insurance for an inpatient study, and the sleep doctor has been on vacation.

However, I did receive a sample of a medication for wakefulness. With the doctor’s blessing and a little fine tuning, I have had many wakeful days. Let me tell you, being awake is a wild ride.

I have access to a broader range of emotions. I have bandwidth to follow movies. Did you know you can get work done when you’re awake? It’s amazing! I’m repaying the heavy toll on my loved ones from so very long asleep.

From sleeping 14-16 hours a day on average to sleeping 7-10 hours a day is a tremendous gain. Particularly because my awake hours are alert, productive, and effective. My kids have told me the difference is this: more fun, less frustration, more face time.

As the sample dwindles, I feel my anxiety toying with all the what-ifs of going back to sleep. Like a RIP van Winkle. Here but not. Un-fun. Frustrated and frustrating. Absent.

I’m fighting against that building dread by enjoying my waking moments to the very extent I can. And if I cannot enjoy, then at least I will be present.

End of Year

I plan life to be smooth, if curved, and sensical. Like this:

I prepare for a life far more messy and nonlinear.

Often, my life resembles the second wire spool: knotted, circling back on itself, with periods of thick and periods stretched thin. The year of our Lord two thousand nineteen has been no different. Instead of feeling as though I’ve ventured from A to B, I feel more like someone moved all the letters or maybe letters stopped existing.

Far from advancing in my career, I’ve spun slightly forward. Rather than resolving my medical hitches, I’ve opened more questions. I suppose a life settled, flat, and linear is actually death, just like the EKG says.

One decade ago I thought I was leaving the worst decade of my life, and in many ways I did. What I could not have known was the path ahead. The knots of grief, the threads of loss, the tangled clumps of life to be. This year ending in 9, I am more careful. I will not say a grand thank you to its passing, but I will welcome the shiny new with cautious optimism and disaster preparedness in mind.

I’ve set big goals for the new year. To grow to 2000 patrons at http://www.patreon.com/AmandaSalisbury. To contract with a new agent. To sell [redacted]. To make new and scary-to-me art. To share a vision peculiar to individuals in my life, and to move forward on those visions. I have planned a big year. I am preparing for a small year. Because that’s the balance that keeps me going even when life gets impossibly thick, thin, or tangled.

To you, I wish a new year of abundant good things, freedom from tyranny and oppression, and all the art you can stand to make. I hope for you wellness and goodness and all you need in a good measure, shaken down and overflowing.

-Amanda