Not tired as in “I need a nap.” Tired as in “my brain has stopped functioning and I hope I make it home before I collapse and have to be hospitalized.” And it’s December, so I know I’m not alone.
When this hits me – this “I just can’t do anything else or go any more” overwhelming exhaustion – first I wallow, and then I feel ridiculous, because there are a lot of people who have a lot more on their plates, so who am I to complain?
Since early in September, the pace at work has been relentless, with projects large and small thrown in among my normal job duties, so that I’m scrambling (in vain) not to lose pieces into the void as I’m pulled in two dozen different directions.
I cut myself some slack because of the lack of sleep. When I’m rested, everything looks sunnier. When I don’t, I see the world through soot-covered glasses: everything’s gloomy, and I’m more emotional.
I’ve gotten less moody over the last couple of years, and it takes longer to annoy me or make me angry. But when I’m punch drunk from lack of sleep, all bets are off. I can go from disgruntled to gratified in the blink of an eye. All it takes to make me happy may be an offhand compliment. All it takes to set me off is one wrong inflection or misspoken word.
After a long day at work yesterday, I got home, walked in my house, and burst into tears. I felt better afterward, but I crawled into bed at 8 o’clock. I slept OK, but not well enough to prevent a late-morning meltdown – you know, the kind your 2-year-old used to have, but without the screaming.
It’s been way too long since I’ve had more than four days off in a row, and there’s a week’s vacation on my horizon. I’m like a distance runner eying the finish: I can see it, but my brain is cramping and I’m hoping I can hang on long enough to stumble across the line.