You know that feeling you get when you’ve taken a nap (which maybe turned out to be a little longer than you intended …?!) and you’ve been so soundly asleep that you wake up not knowing exactly where you are and what day it is?
I hate that feeling.
For me it is almost always accompanied by an overwhelming desire to burst into tears – at nothing in particular and nine distinct things all at once.
Yes, I hate that feeling.
I sit up slowly and rub my bleary eyes. I blink in a decidedly stupid way and look around me as if this is the first time I’ve seen my well-known living room.
Dozens of tiny fragments of thoughts, dreams, events from earlier this day and events from years ago float through my mind.
I grab desperately at one of them.
I’m 17, wearing an old blue sweater and worrying about whether or not I’m going to pass my driving test.
No, that’s the wrong one.
My brain goes into super-fast shuffle mode. Anyone else ever get dizzy by looking inside their own brain?
I’m 24, married, this is my home, I just finished writing an essay and slept for too long.
That’s better, that one fits.
I really hate that feeling.
My body functions reasonably effectively for a number of hours, which it apparently decided upon without consulting me first. Then it just stops.
Whatever I’m doing – washing up, studying, writing, walking, filling out an application form, grocery shopping – I become overwhelmed with tiredness.
My eyes begin to droop. My brain goes fuzzy and stops processing information correctly. My limbs go unbearably heavy and my head aches to be laid down, as if my body hadn’t had sight of a bed in weeks.
I go into what L. has christened my “confused” mode. I have been known to set out to buy mince and tomatoes to make chilli for supper, and come back with cheese and some malteasers for a surprise for my husband … but no mince or tomatoes. Somehow my husband isn’t so excited about the malteasers when faced with cobble-food for supper … after I’ve had a nap.
Yes, as embarrassing as I sometimes get having to admit it, that is exactly what I have to do. Have a nap. Yes, I did say I was 24, not 75. I simply have to realise that that is what my body needs and the only thing my body needs. Strong coffee only delays the inevitable by half an hour or so.
If I don’t have 1-2 naps a day, pretty much when my body demands them, I don’t get anything else accomplished successfully … except for buying random items of food or sending the wrong texts to the wrong people …
I have been known to come home in my lunch hour in order to have a 30 minute nap.
It is one of those things in life to which you can only adapt. Fighting it or pretending it doesn’t exist is absolutely pointless.
I’m generally getting better at keeping them within a strict time limit … but today was not one of those days.
I’d only allowed myself 5 minutes sleep earlier and was then fully tied up with finishing and submitting my essay. I was mentally and physically exhausted and needed that sleep.
So I slept.
And woke up an hour and a half later …
Not knowing exactly who I was or where I was.
Without a doubt, I hate that feeling.