taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, March 28, 2005

I've just hit the wall of exhaustion.

I am tired in a way that sleep can't cure. I am deeply, bone-tired, completely spent, perhaps even hallucinating and not realizing it. I'm swilling pot after pot of coffee and getting the shakes but little else. I'm cold to the bone, shivery, and my neck hurts.

And still life goes on. There's things to be done and people to be seen and meals to be prepared and children to entertain and jobs that await me at work.

Over the past year since the Bee's birth, I've probably gotten a proper night's sleep.... um, never. Not once. I fall into bed at eleven or midnight. I'm woken throughout the night by my husband, who is a restless and loud sleeper, or by the baby, who is, well, a baby. I wake at four or five and can't get back to sleep. I know I'm tired, in the way that I know the earth is round, but I can't actually experience the tiredness enough to fall back asleep. I nap, and though I'm sleeping, it never feels like I've actually fallen asleep--in my nap dreams I'm running around taking care of a milliion little details, and I wake up in a sweat.

The funny thing is, I didn't until this moment realize how deeply tired I am.

I said to my husband yesterday, "Wouldn't it be nice to go on vacation and..." And I stopped. Because I couldn't think of anyplace I would want to go or anything I want to do. And then he filled in the rest. "And just sleep..." he said dreamily. "Just sleep for two days. Can you imagine?" We sighed wistfully. Such a thing seems impossible, a fantasy of such epic proportions that it could never ever come true.

I know from experience that this is the hallmark of the baby's first year. You go without sleep for months and months. You never once wake up on your own--you are always awakened, forcefully. You don't even realize it's happening. And sometime around the end of the first year you look back and say "Whoah! What just happened? What have I been doing?" And realize you can't even remember half of it because for a whole year, you've been dragging yourself around with your eyes at half-mast, red-rimmed, barely able to form a coherent thought. And then it hits you, the wall of exhaustion, and you realize you cannot survive another minute unless you get some fucking sleep.


At 3:39 AM, Blogger chang said...

Welcome to America, Claire.


I suspect the 1 year old doesn't help things much.


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