I wish I were sleeping

I battled my snooze button this morning. I must have punched his clock three or four times but the bastard kept coming back before the count of ten was complete. Always on nine. The prick always gets back up on nine.

I can’t honestly say whether or not I’ve been sleeping well. It’s very hard to tell. I go to bed, I fall asleep, and at about three or so in the morning I wake up and spend the remaining two or so hours tossing and turning, dozing in and out of sleep. When the alarm hits the last thing I want to do is get up.

Over the weekend I think I slept for eight to ten hours Friday and Saturday night. I just didn’t want to get out of bed. It’s not so much that the bed was warm or comfortable, I just didn’t want to have to deal with the real world.

I’d set down a goal to do some writing every day less than a week ago and it only took two days for me to fall off the wagon. Even tonight, as I write this, I’m resisting the urge to just turn y computer off and head to bed. Sleeping is gradually becoming much more preferable to being awake.

Oddly enough I haven’t been this physically healthy in a long, long time. My new job has me moving constantly for two four hour sessions five days a week. I can feel my muscles toning and my overall energy is increasing. The two hours after lunch are now my most energetic, which is a complete switch from the rest of my life where the two hours after lunch were the times I had the most trouble staying awake.

The job is, for the most part, a good place to be. Certainly better than some of the jobs I’ve held in the distant past. I get to work indoors and the heavy lifting is maxed out at fifty pounds. The pace can be fast but, so far, never overwhelming. The people I work with have been doing this for a great many years and know the flow of the work almost instinctively. When things are at a normal pace I’m pretty much left alone to do my job, which I’ve always preferred. When the pace picks up and things get busy I suddenly find I’ve got help. Today it got busy enough that there were four of us working in concert to get shipments together and out the door. Then, when the rush ended, they all went back to their own duties and I was left to my own devices.

Aside from some minor personality challenges, something that might naturally work itself out over time, I’d have to say this is one of the better jobs I’ve held.

Which is why it’s so hard to admit to not being happy.

I have happy moments, even moments of contentment, but I’m still struggling with an overall feeling of just not wanting to be in the real world. I don’t know if this is actual depression or just some overall ennui. I’m not morose all the time, but there are definitely dark hours. I’m not unable to get out of bed, yet, but there are some mornings where it’s definitely a struggle.

I have to make an appointment with the Wound Clinic to measure my legs again. They were measured a few months ago to make custom compression stockings for me since the off-the-shelf versions aren’t quite long enough. Unfortunately when the custom stockings finally arrived after six weeks I tried them on only to find they were shorter than my existing stockings. They are so short, in fact, that I suspect my measurements were done in inches and the stockings were built in centimeters.

I was juggling two jobs and switching over to a third when this all played out so I hadn’t ever gotten around to replacing them. I did report the poor fit when the pharmasist called me up to find out how they were doing, but other than that the custom stockings have just been sitting in a drawer.

A few weeks ago I phoned the pharmasist back and requested she order me another set of off-the-shelf stockings. My current set are starting to show signs of wear and since they’re my only set I wanted to get them replaced before it was too late. The pharmacist assured me she’d call me when the stockings were in.

Weeks later I get a call from one of the nurses at the Wound Clinic. Being at work I let it go to voice mail. She called three times and, when she finally managed to leave a message, complained that my phone didn’t allow her to leave a message the first two times she called. Which is the first time I’ve ever had anyone have issues, but whatever. She then informed me in my message that I would need to make an appointment to have measurements done again. Apparently they’re not going to let me just get standard stockings again, I must get the custom ones. Which is irritating because that will take another six to eight weeks.

Whatever. I call the number she left me to make my appointment. The secretary looks up my file and calmly informs me that my case had been signed off and that I would need a new referral from my doctor to get another appointment.

I’m sensing a huge bureaucratic load of shit in my future and I’m really not looking forward to dealing with it. I need new stockings. The current ones, while not a perfect fit, do the job. The custom ones fit so poorly they won’t even stay up on their own. I don’t have the time to wait for another set of custom stockings to come in, especially if whatever communication fuckup that happened before happens again and I get stump sized stockings. I need replacement stockings and I need them now.

I will try calling them all back tomorrow at lunch and see what can be done. I’m already anticipating a lot of “you’ll have to talk to the other person to get that approved” followed by “we don’t have the authority to approve that”.

Or perhaps I’m just being overly negative.

Mistakes

“1. We learn from our mistakes, yet we’re always so afraid to make one. Where is this true for you?”

Gawd, where ISN’T this true for me? Making mistakes is my one time biggest fear, especially out in the real world. There are far fewer places where I’m NOT afraid to make mistakes, so we’ll start with that list:

Computer games: because there’s a save point and if you’ve made the wrong the choice then the most you’ve lost is time. If this becomes an issue you can always just quit the game entirely and try something else. Wouldn’t it be nice if real life worked this way?

Writing: because there’s the edit and re-edit and the post edit and the scrap-it-all-and-delete-it palette of options. That being said I still find it hard to avoid self editing while I write, and this is something I always have to work against.

Public Speaking: Weird, right? So many people are absolutely terrified of public speaking, and I’m not. Why? I couldn’t possibly tell you, at least not with any certainty, but I’ll tell you anyway. Possibly because I just like having an audience and am always willing to share an interesting story. Oddly enough I can easily accept the assumption that a crowd will be forgiving of any mistakes I might make while speaking publicly, yet I don’t have the same confidence with a handful people at work. Speaking with friends? No problem. Speaking with people I’m required to spend the entire day with who don’t really know me all that well? Big problem. Speaking to a few thousand people I may never, ever see again who don’t know me at all? Zero problem.
Things I either know I’m really bad at or don’t care anything about: For example, I can’t bat worth a damn so I don’t care if I consistently miss the ball. I’m not a bowler, or basketball player, or really any kind of athlete at all. I once won an award at a golf tournament for losing the most balls into the water. I’m guaranteed to fail, badly, and don’t care, so I don’t worry about making mistakes. The moment it starts to matter, however, is the moment that mistakes have a consequence and therefore become suddenly very important.

People often push me to try my voice at karaoke. I have a terrible singing voice, and I know it, so I know I’ll sound awful. So why don’t I just let go and enjoy karaoke? Because I love good singing, and all but worship those with beautiful singing voices who can use them with skill. My own bad singing makes me cringe if I know someone else can hear it. Others who sing badly also make me cringe, doubly so if they actually think they can sing.

So… that’s a quick run down of things I’m NOT afraid to make mistakes at. If you can think of any other activity that doesn’t fit into these categories then you can be fairly certain I have a huge fear of making mistakes in them.

Why?

I’m tempted to claim it’s because I seek approval, but it’s actually the other way around: I fear derision. Not being a very public person in real life, and growing up without siblings or a father, I never really developed a very thick skin. I’m easily wounded by opinion, and am quick to anger when mocked. I’ve grown better at managing this as I’ve aged (no, honest, I have… I used to be much, MUCH worse) but I don’t know that I will ever escape it.

mistakes

The worst part of this fear is the conscious and logical awareness that people are almost never actually judging me at all. Everybody makes mistakes and it’s a perfectly normal part of learning. I know this. I understand this. But my spirit refuses to believe that logic pertains to me. Worse, my inner demons are pretty solidly convinced that I make way more mistakes than anyone else. I can rationally argue this down and logically accept the supposition that I probably don’t make any more mistakes than any other person, but my heart just won’t buy it.

Worse, this leads to the fervent belief that failure is as inevitable as entropy. Even if I’m a natural talent and perfect at something the nagging demon in the back of my skull keeps grabbing the statement “I haven’t made ANY mistakes” and stapling the word YET in dripping, bloody letters to the end of it.

I quite often think the only reason I have the courage to ride my motorbike at all is because of all of the mistakes I made in class. I’ve already done them and survived, so I have slightly less fear about making them again. Of course I try to not think too long on how different dropping a 50cc training bike is from dropping a 1500cc cruiser…