It’s been almost two weeks since my week-long trip to the coast for work. I got through the week without any major drama (OK, maybe some minor drama, like the text I sent my partner that said “I hate the f***ing beach.”) and I learned some seriously cool things in the security class, but I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t cost me dearly in terms of my already limited energy and ability to function.

By the end of the week I had more or less settled into a routine; get up and get ready for class, walk the dog, grab some fruit, yogurt and coffee from the hotel breakfast bar, and go to class. Come back at lunch to walk the dog, eat leftovers from the previous dinner, and head back. Dinner I picked up from a restaurant and ate in the hotel room, and then I’d take the dog for a longer walk (we went to a local park one evening, and then the beach the night before I left, which was crowded with people, prompting the above text) and then quietly read or color  until about 9 before turning in for the night. It was in some ways kind of peaceful but in others stressful; for instance, I still had to make my way around a strange town and I have absolutely no sense of direction. And then there was the tropical storm, and the stress of making sure I didn’t forget anything when it was time to leave.

It’s funny, when I made a last sweep of the hotel room and headed out, I had this weird, almost sad feeling. I can’t really describe it, it was like sadness, but not really sadness? I mean, how can you miss somewhere that you’ve only been for 5 days? Especially when it’s a room in a hotel in the middle of a shopping mall? Yes, I was excited to go home — eager, actually — and yet there was this melancholy feeling, too. I get settled into routines, and I don’t like change.

I drove straight through and made it back in good time, and managed to get the rental car returned without too much trauma (I came home to a gas shortage due to a pipeline break, and filling the tank back up proved to be a challenge) the next day. I rested as much as I could the rest of the weekend, but I’ve been run down and struggling ever since. I’ve been fighting major daytime sleepiness and insomnia at night, and struggling with really epic executive function issues. In fact, the harder I have tried to catch up at work, the worse I seem to be slipping behind. It feels like my brain and body are both moving through molasses.

Saturday I slept seven and a half hours, then took two more naps for a total of almost ten hours, and I was still groggy. Sunday I napped again in the afternoon yet I still started the week feeling worn out and sleepy. I have no attention span and am barely able to communicate coherently (things make sense in my head, but not so much when I try to explain to someone else) which adds more stress, which wears me out more, and it becomes a feedback loop. I’ve also wrecked my cuticles again; having the spinner rings had redirected the worst of the picking for a while, but I fell back into it when I got really nervous.

One thing I’ve decided is that the ProVigil that I take for the daytime sleepiness during the work week is doing pretty much nothing for me during the day, except making me feel worse, and is messing up my sleep more at night. I didn’t take it today and am going to skip the rest of the week and see how that goes.



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