>New year, old issue. I spent the entire week reminding myself that “re-starting” is terribly hard for me. I don’t regret anything from my break, but having two weeks “off” from my normal schedule was devastating to my ability to function at school and at home. My daughter was sick on Monday, so I missed the first day back. I still got up and tried to work, but I did not exert the energy that I would have at school. The rest of the week, I limped through school and crawled through my evenings. I got the bare minimum done each night, and I still have a ton to correct that I had hoped to finish over the break. Finally, I spent the entire day yesterday attempting to find some enthusiasm and verve. Didn’t work. I made a small amount of progress today, but the correcting remains untouched.
My frustration in all of this is that I continue to experience the same things over and over, AND I let them get to me each time. My angst around the current fatigue is not nearly as bad as it has been in the past, but I am still upset. I am also struggling to get work done, work that must be finished soon (hopefully some of it tonight). Even as I type these words, I have more “unresolved” tasks flooding my head. I am realizing that I will be lucky to get comments on even a handful of papers. But, that will be better than nothing.
I must continue to accept what I am given and let go of what escapes me. One paper corrected is one less that I will need to do tomorrow. Plus, I made a difference for at least two students last week with the extra help that I provided them at school. Ironically, I participated in a Gallup survey today. The phone call was humorous because I felt like I was all over the place with my responses. I am definitely in a healthy income bracket and know that I live a good life, but I am also unhealthy and depressed – both because of my chronic condition and because of my anxiety. At the same time, I had to remember when I got off of the phone that I am incredibly lucky to live the life that I have. We have a beautiful house and savings. Both my wife and I are blessed to have jobs that we love, and our daughter receives an excellent education at her school. So, even though narcolepsy makes my life far from simple, I am blessed to have so much. It does not change the agitation that I often feel from my low energy, but it does help to ground me in my daily living.
>I know that narcolepsy tends to move in waves for me, but the last few days have been hard. I have had a decent start to 2009, but I also realize that my energy is frighteningly low. On New Year’s Day, I met with my teaching team. We got a ton done in 2.5 hours. It was also wonderful to see them, but by the time I got home, I was spent. Some of my mood is a natural reaction to the end of a break. I NEVER get done what I hope to get done. Even as I work to accept my limitations, I continue to assume (wrongly) that I will be far more productive than is possible for me. I also tend to lose sight of how hard “daily life” can be. I went shopping on January 2. Spending my Christmas gift cards undid me. Three stores and a handful of decisions sapped what little reserve that I had. Even going on a date with my wife yesterday was draining. We had a wondrous evening and enjoyed viewing Valkyrie, but we got home at 8:30 PM and I faded. Today is my last day of break. I got some work done for school, but I am struggling to focus for even 15 minutes at a time.
While I understand that days and weeks like this are possible, it is still hard to stomach it. I desperately want to be productive. I work hard to celebrate the things that I do get done. Yesterday, my wife and I planned out our budget for 2009. It took time, but we did great work. I also have done a bunch of research on cell phones and the new plan we will like select within the week. Those efforts definitely make a difference in our home. And, the school work I did today is a great thing, but I want to be able to do more. I want to feel like I am making progress. Sadly, I don’t. My expectations remain unrealistic, but I also seem to have times when I don’t let in the joy.
A piece of this is connected to having my parents here. It is hard for me to be comfortable in my own home when we have guests. The fact that it is my own parents makes me even more uneasy. I wish I knew why I felt like this when we have guests. Perhaps, I just find it hard to relax completely when others are around. I know that I worry too much about what others think of me. Beyond all of this, though, my stomach is a mess. I am experiencing far more reflux than I ever have. I have not been good about what I have been eating, but this seems to go well beyond that. I also know that I am out of the drug that I take for reflux. I would guess that something is happening there too. All I know is that the amount of acid in my stomach seems insane. I feel bloated, but I also feel like my throat is on fire at times.
As much as I wish I had another week of break, it will be good to go back to school tomorrow. I need that to help me have routine. Breaks and unstructured time are always bad for me. Having to go to my job provides an easy way to organize my day. At the same time, I know I need to figure out better strategies to rest myself and to renew my energy. I have done good things during this vacation. I need to hold onto those memories. I also need to ground myself in the moment, even when the moment doesn’t feel quite right.