Today I thought it would be fun to chart my moods swings over the past several months of unemployment. As you can see from the below, it’s been very up and down, but upon closer analysis I’ve actually uncovered some interesting tidbits.
- My insomnia started when I was in my “fuck-you pink-slip” high phase, which as it turns out was likely fueled by high levels of cortisol running through my body. How did I know my cortisol was crazy? Well, there was the obvious physical evidence (a flourishing muffin top), but to rule out ice cream consumption as the main cause of the muffin top growth spurt, my chiropractor suggested I take a saliva stress test to measure biochemical imbalances. As it turns out, my cortisol levels were three times higher than normal at bedtime, which explains my inability to sleep. No sleep exacerbates anxiety. Anxiety means cortisol. Cortisol and ice cream feeds the muffin top that in turn gets me all hopped up on shitty foods (and caffeine) that prevent sleep. Wee…what a fun cycle!! My naturopath, who interpreted the results of the stress test, used words like “adrenal fatigue” and “pre-diabetic conditions” so now I’m in the process of making a complete lifestyle change (diet, exercise, meditation, etc.) because the alternative doesn’t sound pleasant.
- The chart also indicates that despite efforts to reduce cortisol levels the past two months by using the natural remedies above (which are slow), maybe the best medicine came in the form of actually make a decision about my future. Could all this soul-searching over the summer have been more stressful than getting a pink-slip or having a job that I didn’t enjoy? All signs point to yes.
- And finally, did switching to decaf actually improve my ability to make a decision about the direction of my future? I don’t have any scientific evidence that this is the case, but I can’t help but think it did. Caffeine is known to feed anxiety and when you’re sleep deprived and anxious, making an informed and rational decision is close to impossible. Instead, you seek solace in ice cream.
Well, there’s the recap of the “summer of Keri.” Wasn’t that a fun ride?
As many of you know, I’ve been sleeping like shit for several months now and I think I’ve finally reached full blown insomnia which is what I consider a late-stage side-effect of unemployment. I keep having the biggest brain farts and it seems my first language (uh…English, duh!) has actually become my second language. I’ve started calling my new first language the “language of insomniacs” and today I thought I’d post some tricks of the insomniac trade; a survival guide of sorts to help fellow insomniacs communicate in the waking world. And, for those of you who aren’t insomniacs (lucky bastards!), this guide might serve as a translation tool should you encounter an unemployed insomniac person who’s trying to speak, but you don’t know what the hell they are saying.
Overview. Insomnia makes it difficult to verbally articulate anything. Stringing sentences together so that it’s coherent is close to impossible and sometimes you completely use the wrong word in a sentence. For example, this weekend I said to my boyfriend “is the grill ready for refrigerator?” What the f*ck does that mean? So yeah, I do this kind of thing all the time now and I’ve decided that rather than beating myself up about feeling like a stupid dip-shit, now I’m just turning every brain fart into a game.
- The sentence above “is the grill ready for the refrigerator?” makes no sense UNLESS you’re playing a “word game” and then it makes perfect sense! I’m trying to tell my boyfriend that there’s something in the fridge that needs to go on the grill without telling him what that item is and now he needs to guess.
- Trouble stringing sentences together? No worries! If you speak a second language like Spanish or French, why don’t you try speaking your second language first! Maybe insomnia only impairs your ability to recall your first language. Now, if you are like me and don’t remember any of your high school Spanish unless you’re sauced in Mexico, then you’ll have to try something else. I have resorted to using sound effects and animations to try to get my point across! This has really become my new insomniac primary language and I call it “charades with a twist.”
- Misplaced items? If the coffee carafe ends up in the cupboard or the cereal box keeps ending up in the fridge, then you’ve got the makings of this fun insomniac game! I call it the “sleep deprivation scavenger hunt.” Just tell the human you live with that you’ve designed a scavenger hunt inside the house with various household items and when they find all the misplaced items, you will bake them cookies or something.
Well, I hope this was helpful. Doubt these tricks will work in a job interview, so it’s probably best to only play these games with friends and family. Oh…and if you find any typos in this post, they aren’t typos jerkface-person-who-sleeps-well! Remember, we’re playing a “word game!”
When I picture a “lady o f leisure”, I see a woman who’s cold chillin’ – she’s well rested, relaxed, and has a carefree way about her. She’s doesn’t have to jack herself up on coffee each morning, just so she can stimulate her brain enough to remember the English language in order to write cover letters for job applications on-line. She’s not on night five of the Flip-master 5000. Translation…the Flip-master 5000 is the name of my nightly sleep routine. Flip-masters are very active, flipping from side to side an average of probably 15-20 times a night. Each flip, requiring a half-conscious pillow adjustment so that it’s tucked just right under the neck and head. And, we don’t look like sleeping beauty when we sleep; instead we have a furrowed brow and look very serious and we are serious – serious about trying to get a good night sleep!
Anyway – just had to rant a bit about the no sleeping thing. I’m much better today though thanks to Advil PM, but hate the idea of having to pop pills all the time just to shut me down for a night sleep. If anyone has any good sleep tips, drop me a comment.