What’s Keeping Me Up

I’m tired today. With good reason. We’ve had a lot of heavy weather, lately, and keeping my driveway cleared and my steps shovelled has been more than a full-time job. I’m also drifting into that zone where I’m so tired, I don’t really sleep, which is not good.

I’ve been trying to put my finger on what’s been keeping me up — both late at night, and first thing in the morning, when I wake up. For a while, I was doing really well at just letting myself gradually wake up, but over the past several months — especially since the beginning of the year — I’ve been more “on it” when I first start to wake up in the morning.

Part of it, I think, has to do with my job. I work with a lot of folks in different time zones, now, and I sometimes wake up to problems that are hours old. It probably shouldn’t bother me, but I want to do a good job — I’m probably over-compensating at times, but something about being out of the loop doesn’t sit right with me.

Another thing is this year-end performance review and year-beginning goals-setting. January is nearly half over, and my boss still hasn’t finished putting my goals into the system. I keep having to chase them about this, and it’s driving me nuts. Plus, then my head gets going about them preventing me from getting on with my job, and some very unpleasant conversations take place.

I’m probably not relaxing enough. I know I’m not resting enough. I need to find some activities that I enjoy which can help me chill out at the end of the day and bring me some happiness. It’s hard, with the fatigue. Last night I tried to watch a movie, but had to lie down and sleep, half-way through it. I was exhausted. Didn’t get my nap. Just worked. Like crazy. And spent a fair amount of time at the start of the day on activities which were not fruitful. My mind ended up wandering all over the place — due to fatigue and listing out way too many things to do, most likely — and I frittered away the first three hours of my workday.


So, what do I do with myself? I think that doing stretching in the evening while I’m watching a movie would be a good thing. Also, I need to get back into reading more. That’s a bit of a problem, because reading tends to tire me out, and if I don’t have a really good reason to be reading — if I’m just doing it to relax — I don’t feel like I’m really getting everything, and that upsets me.

I guess I’ve just got to take the pressure off. I came up with some pretty big new year’s resolutions, and (as I often do), I kept adding to them with things I had resolved to do last year, but didn’t. And the old pattern re-emerged.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Because now that I know the old pattern emerged — that unproductive habit of “snowballing” my activities, adding one after another after another, till NOTHING ever gets done, and I feel like crap — I can do something about it.

Take steps.

Be pro-active and get myself back on track.

Break down the different pieces that make up the whole, and take them one piece at a time. And tie up loose ends. For sure.

Tonight I have no evening activities planned. This is good. I’ll be able to just settle in for the evening, relax, and hopefully get to bed at a decent hour. No coffee after 2 p.m. for me. And supper needs to be at a civilized hour — not 10 p.m., like last night.

The main thing is, to not get stopped by the old tendency to get down on myself. Just see what’s there, see what’s working and what’s not, and step by step approach things with positive change in mind.

And take the time to celebrate, when things go right.


Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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