I would just like to note for the record that today for once I do not feel like crap. I’m not feeling fantastic, wonderful, and amazing, either, but at least life is not feeling like something particularly difficult to bear. Hey, I’ll take it.
It’s the first day of school. We’re one of those areas where summer vacation ends early, because it’s Arizona, it’s August, and what else are you going to do? It’s too hot to do anything. Neither my son nor I can believe he is in second grade.
He crawled into bed with me for a few minutes before the alarm went off. Then while he used the bathroom, I went downstairs and got a canned coffee drink out of the fridge. This is my solution to the chicken/egg problem of how to be awake enough to make coffee without having coffee first.
I stumble through the morning. The caffeine barely does anything. I take my Adderall. I am still almost a zombie as I make breakfast. It feel like only the fact that I am not cooking breakfast brains keeps me form qualifying for full zombie-hood. It’ll be two hours before the stimulants really kick in.
He’s fed, dressed, and off to school with a hug and a kiss. And I think about things, which is never a good idea.
I’ve had good health news lately, yet I still don’t function like I used to, even accounting for an additional couple of years of age. And even that wasn’t ideal. Is this just how it is, at 42? Gawd, how does everyone else even function, if that’s true? If I’m getting better, but it’s still this hard, I can’t imagine.
I find myself thinking, wondering: How do I keep doing this? I take care of him. I’m doing okay. I’m a good daddy. But it’s just about all I can do. I’m seeing a counselor, working on my own life, but between session, I can hardly move forward on any of the things we talk about.
I’m sure I’m not the only one, especially as a single dad who has his son most of the week and every other weekend. I’ve get it better than a lot of divorced parents, in fact, in terms of from my son’s mom and her family. But there are times I think, “I just can’t keep doing this.”
It’s not an option, of course. I’ve been his favorite since before his mom left. It was obvious that he should stay with me. I’m his rock, his foundation, his home. When his mom left, I made it clear that he was the top priority, even though her thinking at the time was muddled. I made sure he wasn’t the one forced to leave his home. I’ve been there for him, as I know my father would have been there for me, had cancer not taken him from me much too early.
But it would be nice to be able to save up my energy, to know I don’t have to conserve it to care for him, and instead use it to get my feet firmly back under me again. Don’t know if that’d even be possible. But I miss being able to hold down a normal job, and get paid on a regular basis. An old long-term disability insurance policy came through. I’ve got the means to survive for a while without worrying too much. But I look at this country and wonder if there’ll be any safety net left when that runs out.
And it’s not just money. Everything feels like such a big effort. Life shouldn’t feel so ahrd. It didn’t used to. I know because I used to be able to ahndle it better. I’d have bad days, but I’d catch up. Things would average out okay.
I’m just kind of rambling now. I can feel the adderall kicking in. An otherwise empty stomach and a Coke chaser seems to help with that. :)
Tonight I have the sleep study I’ve been looking forward to. They’ll hook me up to electrodes. I’ll bring my favorite pillows. We’ll find out if the reason I am so tired is because I stop breathing in my sleep, or my legs jerk around and wake me up, or something else that is keeping my nights from actually being restful. It’s hard to get my hopes up when my doctors and I keep fixing health issues, but I’m still not able to keep up with life.
Okay, now what do I have to get done, now that I’m starting to feel my few hours of normalcy for the day, now that I’m medicated up to the eyeballs, and beyond? (Cue Buzz Lightyear…)
The thing I hate about going to bed at night is that I have to wake up in the morning.
It’s not that the luxurious experience of sleeping is going to end. Because I’m not conscious to feel that part.
It’s not that maybe I’ll get up a little too early, and be tired until I get that first cup or three of coffee to kick my ass.
It’s that there are these days when it takes four and a half hours before I feel human again, and even then I’m sluggish and dragging and haven’t even begun getting ready for the day.
I sit here distracting myself, just trying to keep my eyes open, while I wait for a dose of amphetamines to bring me up to the level of merely drowsy.
It’s not every day. But it’s often enough that the fear of it lingers in the back of my mind every night. And I end up sabotaging myself by staying up late because I can’t stomach the thought that I’m going to have face the fight to feel human again the next day, when I just got through with it mere hours ago today.
I think I have enough energy to make it downstairs to supplement with caffeine now.