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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The seduction of soma

For a few weeks now I have felt like I am starting to come back from the abyss of mental darkness I had succumbed to. This is not to say that everything has been peachy, but I seem to have ditched a large portion of my anxiety. I am no longer faced by the question, "why live?" It does not mean that I really know all the reasons why I want to live, or that I am filled with inspiration. I just don't long for death. It's not quite as hard to get myself to do things now or at least I don't suffer the way I did a month ago. Still, I am bogged down by a moderate degree of blues and an enormous lack of motivation. I used to hate procrastination, I still do, but now I can't seem to help myself.

Lately, my greatest allure is sleep. I like the all-consuming kind in my own comfortable bed. Sometimes I feel like I could just stay there for eternity if I could just stop waking up with thoughts of tasks undone. I often get little gratification from the tasks when I do them but once I have done at least something, I don't feel so bad about sleeping some more. When I have a day before me I think of what I want/need to do and in the back of my mind, no matter how hard I try to banish the thought is: "When can I take a nap?" The nap is like my reward. I am not sure if this is because I feel so tired most of the time or if I feel so tired because I'm still a bit depressed. I don't feel crushed by life anymore but I am overwhelmed by all the obstacles in my nap schedule (Lol).

I have called in sick for the last two days because like it or not, my body finally seemed to succumb completely to the exhaustion. I awoke on Tuesday morning with a bout of vertigo that left me dizzy, unsteady and nauseaous. At the last minute I called in, knowing I couldn't drive with my disoriented vision, growing panic and unsteadiness. When I went to puke, my nose bled. I got back into bed to find the room spinning. I took some Dramamine and after a few hours, the vertigo cleared. I was left feeling weak, sore, tired and headachy. Numbness and tingles still continue to flash through my hands and feet at intervals but I have not found this incapacitating.

When I finally spoke to my doctor, I was trying to decide about going to work today. I was ready to do it, having conquered the vertigo but he said to take the day to rest and watch my symptoms. I was releived to hear that because I can rarely give myself permission to back off. I am pulled between two poles, the desire to sleep and lay around and the guilt that makes me ask, "Why does everything have to seem so overwhelming? I used to do all this before with no problem." When I go back to work, I will inevitably think these thoughts. I will be overwhelmed by the work I allowed to idle in my absence. I will question if it was worth it to use two days of emergency sub plans because now I'll have to give my weekend to my usual work and to getting new plans made up in case this happens again.

Even knowing that I have MS does not free me from the guilt. I should be doing more at home, more at work and more for "fun." I don't want to struggle under low grade depression. Without the MS, I really have nothing to be upset about and even crying about the MS is like crying over spilled milk. So I have pretty much stopped the whining but I can't seem to resist the seduction of sleep. When I embrace it without guilt, it is amazing. When I try to enjoy it and the guilt creeps in, the pleasure is tainted for me. Even at home, sick, I feel guilty about my desire to sleep and sleep and sleep. I hope my two day recovery hiatus in dreamland minimizes my desire for sleep because I expect a butt-kicking when I go back to work.


~ Charlene S Noto said...

Depression is one of the worst and when it kicks in even worse with MS, sleep is often my own method of "coping" or not coping, depending on which way you look at. Definitely keep your doctor informed because the feelings are real and can be acute (as it sounds like they are with you). Don't beat up on yourself but do try to find something to interest you. Often a new interest can pull me somewhat out of it. *hugs* You're often in my thoughts, you know.

Jen said...

I've always had more of a problem with anxiety. I had a couple of depressive/anxious episodes and the anxiety won out, making me lose about 15 lbs just from pacing around my house and not wanting to eat. Even to this day I am more of an insomniac when something is amiss. Funny how depression and anxiety are like the yin and the yang, and people can bounce between the two. For me, life is usually more of an anxiety fest... I'm even antsy at present time due to a little boredom.

Could you get some good sleep for me and I'll try to get some housework done for you? Hee hee..

Joan said...

Sweet dreams, Nadja! I'll still be here when you wake up all rested.

I'm a big fan of sleeping and napping! I sometimes wish I lived in one of the many foreign countries where afternoon naps are scheduled and completely accepted as normal behavior (or should I say behaviour?)

Shauna said...

As the Queen of Napping, at least in my little world, I dub thee Princess of Napping. Sleep. It will allow your body to repair itself. So you're really doing something even though you're asleep.



Napping is Excellent!!

Good for the body and soul.

Lazy Julie said...

Man! Can I relate to you! I have the depression and anxiety, I have the MS, I have the guilt. I do not, however, have the vertigo and it sounds awful.

I'm thinking, for those of us who don't live with another grownup, we should each be assigned a personal assistant by the insurance company to prompt us to pay bills, go to bed, go grocery shopping, fill out all the kids' forms, make and keep doctors' appts. etc.

And, finally, chatty kathy lazy Julie wants to know how to get my award?

Denver Refashionista said...

Good to hear from you all.

Julie, I just copy and pasted. I think I just right clicked on the picture. You might ask Lisa Emerich. She is tech savy.

Weeble Girl said...

You know I'm battling along with you. Fatigue and exhaustion are constant companions, especially the last two days. Doing anything knocks me out.

Sending out healthy vibes to you!