Thursday, August 4, 2011

A lesson in sleep depravation

One of my favorite things about living in my place is that the people who just moved in on the first floor like to BBQ at midnight right underneath my window.  There's really nothing better than trying to fall asleep with burger smoke wafting in your window.  No, really.  There's nothing better.   Except everything.

Because the last thing I need, when I already have problems sleeping, is to be lying in bed craving burgers like a pregnant woman.

But I'm not pregnant.  Because apparently to become pregnant you have to first do something called "having sex" which I have not done in some time.  But I did just recently go back on the pill so I'm pretty sure the sex will soon follow.  That's how it works right?  No?  Oh.

Speaking of which, when I was in Regina, I joked to my mom in the airport that I was pregnant for some reason and then after I laughed and said, "As if" or something equally cool, my Mom told me, in all seriousness, that I should really consider getting a friend with benefits.  I know I briefly mentioned this in my last post but I really wanted to make sure, just in case you missed it the first time, that everyone was aware my own Mother is recommending this to me.  Because I guess she thinks I've really come to that point.   But she couldn't be more wrong.

I've passed that point.

Anyways.

Back to the not sleeping.  I went to a behavioral therapist a few weeks ago to see if she would help me with my not sleeping due to anxiety problem and, basically, everything she said I already knew because I've done a lot of research and also because I'm super smart, but, that being said, there were a couple of things she recommended that have seemed to have helped a bit like not having caffeine after 1pm and not reading in bed.

I think she was pretty frustrated at the end though because she was super pumped about all her, clearly recent, findings about insomnia and kept reading from her little paper and saying things like, "researchers say" and then she would list off all the things you should do if you want to get a good sleep, all of which I already knew and also tried but I humored her and said I'd try them.  And I did try two, as noted above, so I've basically already put in 100% and it's up to her to fix me.

One of the things she said was important was to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, which I've heard before and also believe but don't necessarily like to practice.   She asked me if that would be something I would be willing to do and I said sure, I can get up at 7am every day.  And then she said that weekends were included and I said, no deal.  Or I might have just started laughing. Either way I think she got the point.

I can't explain how much I love sleeping in.  And not sleeping in until noon or something crazy, just sleeping in until 8:30 or  9am.  I love it.  If I have a shitty week of sleep the only thing that gets me through is the knowledge that I can sleep until as long as I want on the weekend.  If I wanted to get up at 7am on the weekends I'd have kids.  And I know all the parents out there are laughing because I'm so silly thinking that 7am is early if you have kids and I'd be lucky to SLEEP IN until 7am on weekends if I had kids.  And to them I say, I don't care.  7am is early.  I don't like it.  End of story.

And then she got the idea that if I go to bed at 10pm but don't fall asleep until 1am, then why don't I go to bed at 1am?  Why indeed.  Mostly because if I went to bed at 1am I wouldn't fall asleep until 5am because the problem isn't I'm not ready for bed, the problem is  I can't stop thinking about stuff when I am in bed and if I went to bed at 1am I would not only be thinking of all the crap I usually think about, I would also be thinking  OH MY GOD IT'S 1AM AND I HAVE TO GET UP IN 6 HOURS which wouldn't really help things in my view.

So, at the end of the session she was all, "Do I have your commitment to getting up at 7am each day?" and I was like, "Sure" and she was all, "Even weekends?" except it wasn't a question it was more of a stern statement and, really, I tried hard for about 2 seconds to pretend I was going to do it but then I just started laughing and said, "I'm not going to lie.  I'm totally not doing that.  I'll say I'll do it but on Saturday when the alarm goes off at 7am I guarantee you I'll just turn it off and go back to sleep."

And she was kind of taken back a bit but she was a real trooper and kept her composure and said, "Ok, can I get your commitment that you will go to bed at 1am every night?" and I was like, "I really don't understand the value in this exercise," and she was all, "JUST DO IT," or something and I countered with the commitment to go to bed at 10:30pm and she said it would be better if I went to bed at 1am like she said or, at least 12:30am and I sort of agreed so she asked which one would it be, 12:30 or 1am and I said 11:00.

And then I think she cried a bit.

I'm pretty sure I'm getting my money's worth.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can men and women be friends? Let's discuss.

I watched When Harry me Sally for the first time last night.  I know, how could I possibly have just watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time last night?!  Where have I been?!  I know.  I'd seen parts of it but I'd never seen the whole thing and last night I thought, "Hey. What the hell.  I have absolutely nothing to do on a Friday night so why don't I watch a movie from the late 80's that everyone has seen except me?"  Why indeed.

And just so you don't think I'm completely pathetic, I did also make some delicious "clean eating" chicken curry with homemade spelt bread and yogurt dip.

I'm not entirely sure why that makes me less pathetic, but it was delicious so I win.

Although my house still smells like curry, a full day after, so I guess I lose a bit as well.

Anyhoo.

One of the questions, or the question the movie brings up or, I guess, brought up 22 years ago when everyone else saw it, is: can men and women be friends?  Like, really friends.  Without the sex and stuff.  And when I say friends, I mean close friends who hang out all the time.  Not just friends you chat with at the office and hang out with every once in a while in a group setting.  Just to be clear.

Now, I've always been a strong proponent of the "Hells yeah, they can!" stance because I have and have had a lot of male friends.  I've always said that, while I get along well with women, a lot of things women do annoy me and I'm not very girly so, when given the choice, I would always hang out with the guys. For example, at a party where, in the kitchen the women would be talking about weddings and babies and other crap that I have absolutely no interest in, I would go hang out in the other room with the guys and drink and watch football and stuff.

And I needed my guy friends because who else would I "keep it real with" when the other girls played games and were petty and catty and superficial and delicate and walked around with their ass cheeks hanging out of their shorts and then complained when a guy hit on them.

And to the "misconception" that in any girl/guy friendship there is always one, or possibly both of them who want to have sex and that sexual tension is always just hanging there and getting in the way of things or, alternatively, they actually do have sex and either completely fuck up the relationship or pretend it never happened - but, really, no matter how hard you try you can't pretend that never happened -  I would always scoff and shake my head because I had plenty of friendships with guys where there wasn't any sex or sexual thoughts at all on any side.  And how did I know?  Because I told the guys whom I thought were interested in me that I wasn't interested in them that way or, at least, I hinted very broadly, so if I wasn't having any sexual feelings, that clearly would have shut down any sexual feelings on their end right?

It's just recently come to my attention that I may have been slightly naive.  After really giving this some thought I realized that the beliefs that I noted above are no longer the beliefs that I have now and I'm not really sure when I missed that bus but it seems to have left a long time ago.  In reality:

  1. I have a lot more friends now who are girls than friends who are guys.  And it seems that I've managed to pick some really awesome women to be close friends with.  And they don't play games and aren't petty or catty or superficial or delicate and they don't walk around with their ass cheeks hanging out of their shorts. Well, most of them don't anyways.
  2. When I'm at a party now, and this is truly a rare occurrence, I tend to hang with the ladies.  Why?  Mostly because I don't drink much anymore, but also because most men there are married and are hanging out with their wives and, if they're not married, they're on the prowl which is awkward or they're drunk/high with the other single drunk/high men and behaving like jackasses.  I'm not entirely sure how I didn't see this before.
  3. I actually like listening to my women friends talk about their weddings, and now, babies/children/teenagers.  Because they're my friends and, because they are important to me, their lives interest me.  This is apparently news.
  4. Men are absolutely NOT less petty, catty, superficial or delicate than women.  Absolutely. Not.
  5. And, finally, and most importantly, when I went down my list of "close guy friends" I realized that for almost all of them at least one of the following criteria applied:
    • I have had sexual feelings towards them.
    • They have had sexual feelings towards me(no matter how much I denied it because I just wanted someone to hang out with and do what I say - yes, really)
    • We actually did have sex and:
      • We are no longer friends
      • We are not as good friends as we were before
      • We pretended it didn't happen(see above)
So, what does that say?  Can women and men be friends? Like, real, true friends, without any sex or sexual tension.
I honestly don't know that answer.  And that makes me kind of sad.  Because I really thought that I knew this one.
And I want to be the kind of person that can do this.  The kind of person who can have close guy friends and not have any feelings other than friendship.  And be secure in the fact that they have only friendship feelings also.  But I can't read minds.  So, just because I'm not feeling anything that doesn't necessarily mean they're not and vice versa.  It seems inevitable that one of us will eventually get hurt.
And, while my Mom is all about me having a friend with benefits(true story)I've been down that road before.  It seems like a good idea in theory and in Ashton Kutcher movies but when you actually try it out and think it's really fun and going really well and maybe this could possibly develop into something more but then you find out from a co-worker that he's started dating someone else and it's "pretty serious"?  That really fucking sucks.  Or so I've heard.
So, now's your chance to weigh in.  For those of you who actually still read this despite the fact that I regularly go through severe posting droughts.  
I would love to hear any thoughts.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Why I should just get drunk on Mondays and call it a day

Most of the times when I don't sleep well, I can make it through the day pretty easily.  In fact, if I didn't constantly whine about how tired I was, most people likely wouldn't even know I had only slept for 3 hours the night before.

Then there are days when I wake up after not sleeping well and I'm a giant raging bitch.  I don't know what happens that makes these sleepless days different from other sleepless days but it's not pretty my friends.

And then there are days when I don't sleep well and I'm a giant raging bitch, and these days are rare, but it's almost like the world knows I'm teetering on it's edge and it keeps flicking me in the head with shit all day just to see how far it can go before I completely fall off.

Like today for example.  Here are some highlights:

  • Drove around downtown trying to find parking for half an hour and, when I finally did find parking(underground, yes!)was told by the old man in the little hut that it was cash only, please and thank you and only after I laid my head on my steering wheel and started to gently weep did he tell me that if I went down a couple of floors I could pay by credit card.  Which I did.
  • Realized that, after climbing up several flights of stairs and exiting the piss-filled dungeon, that I had actually parked a good 20 minute walk from my destination.
  • Suspected 10 minutes into the expedition that it probably wasn't the best choice to have brought my purse and my giant laptop bag.
  • Confirmed this suspicion on the walk back as it turned out I didn't even need my laptop at all.
  • Bought a coffee that tasted like women's perfume.
  • Drank it anyway. 
  • Got lost on my way back to the office.
  • Punched my GPS.  
  • Seriously, I actually punched my GPS.  I wish I was joking.
  • Yelled with my car window open, "IF I KNEW HOW TO 'CONTINUE TO BLOOR STREET' I WOULDN'T NEED A GPS IN THE FIRST PLACE!"
  • Felt like a fucking idiot.
  • Came home and blew my breaker.
  • Twice.
  • Joked to my friend that I'd only been home 30 minutes and I'd already blew my breaker twice because I keep forgetting I need to turn my air conditioning off if I use my microwave and, man I'm such an moron because who can't remember that?
  • Blew my breaker again.
  • Decided I would just be uncomfortably hot then for fuck sakes.
The day's over though right?  I'm sort of scared to move.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dear Summer, you're the best.

So, the comments on my last couple of posts have led me to believe that maybe you, all two of you, are under the impression that I am an unhappy person and, yes, I can completely understand that because I have, on, occasion, written posts that have expounded my unhappiness and, yes, those posts may have seemed similar to the posts I just wrote but, the difference here is, I am actually not just happy but VERY happy and the previous posts, especially the last one, was intended to be funny.  I was sort of poking fun at myself if you will.

And, clearly, I didn't really do a good job at accurately portraying the humor but, really, I'm not unhappy.  I still do have anxiety from time to time, yes, and I still have great difficulty sleeping but that's ok because, other than that, my life is pretty awesome.

I love summer, and I love summer things, and I spent most of this weekend doing fun summer things.  I went to see the Canada Day Fireworks, I went to the Farmers Market by my house and bought a pie, I ate the pie, I hung out by the lake all day today and I'm watching the Rider game tonight.  And, really, despite the fact that I found a giant beetle in my hair this morning and completely lost my shit, I would have to say that I am perfectly happy with my life in every way right now at 35 years old.

So there.  Beat that 25.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sleep is for the weak

Did I tell you about that time a couple of months ago when I went and got a sleep test done?  I think I did because I kind of remember saying something about all the wires and I thought I was a robot or something.  If I wasn't super fucking lazy I would go search for the post and then say something like, "You can find the post HERE!" and then I would link to it but I am actually that lazy so if you're really interested you're just going to have to search for it or remember or not care.  I'm with you on the third choice.  Because, really, all you need to know is there was a sleep test and I use the term "sleep" very loosely because I was hooked up to seventy thousand wires and there was very little actual "sleep" to be had.  Basically it was an awake test.

Anyhoo.

I finally had my appointment this week where they gave me the results they could have easily given me over the phone and saved me booking time off work and paying for parking and waiting in a hospital waiting room for half an hour which is unpleasant enough at the best of times, but made even more unpleasant when you're waiting in the waiting room of a respiratory clinic where the majority of the people there have actual respiratory problems which mostly involve wheezing and coughing up shit into Kleenexes.

I, however, do not have a respiratory problem which took the sleep doctor for whom I waited 2 months and 30 phlem-filled minutes to see, literally 45 seconds to tell me.

Which is good I guess because I don't have to wear a mask or sleep with an oxygen tank or anything but he also confirmed what I pretty much knew all along which is that my problem with sleep - and also, by my own self-diagnoses, with being awake - is anxiety and over thinking and not being to turn off the thoughts that constantly fill my slightly neurotic brain.

"So, great! What's my next step?  Who do you recommend?"

"Oh, we don't do that here."

"You don't?  What do you do then?"

"Not that.  You'll have to go to your family doctor."

So I did.  And now she's recommending me to someone.  And this someone, who I will see in two weeks, will be the third psychiatrist I've seen for my anxiety.

The last guy, you may remember, I lost complete faith in after he gave me the sound advice of "trying to stay away from heroin".  Or you may not remember.  Unfortunately I can't even link to this one as it was part of my "posting my blog on Facebook" purge.   Too bad, because if I remember correctly it was pretty hilarious.

The guy before that was about eighty seven years old probably and based his form of therapy on the theory that people with anxiety had giant self esteem issues, and if you didn't actually have giant self esteem issues but still had anxiety you were basically fucked because he didn't have a clue what to do you. So then you paid $100 an hour to listen to him tell you all about the restaurant him and his wife went to where they served shredded beef on a bun and it was really good and you should go try it sometime and, oh, is there still 15 minutes left? Well, why don't you me about some good shredded beef on a bun places that you enjoy. Do you enjoy shredded beef on a bun?

So, I'm really hoping that this new therapist works out.  Because last night, after deciding on a topic to write a short story about and writing it in my head and then trying to figure out - again - how my marriage went wrong and then figuring out what I would wear and eat and do the next day, and then wondering what my life would be like if I had kids and what their names would be and what if they were teenagers now and would I really want to end my life because I think that I would if I had a teenager, I managed to convince myself there were spiders in my bed and they were biting me.

So I'm pretty tired.

In my defense though I'm pretty sure something bit me.  At least twice.

And it could have been a spider.

Don't judge me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Send in the clowns

So, I was reading an article in one of my health magazines about how there was this study done on women who had went through the In Vitro Fertilization process and it was found that the number of processes which were a success were greatly increased if the women who were in recovery were visited by clowns.  And  I immediately decided that there were several things wrong with this.

First off: WHAT?  Secondly:  how on earth did this actually get published?  And, thirdly: how do results like this actually come about?  Like, how does one decide that In Vitro Fertilization has a better success rate if clowns are introduced into the equation.  Who actually came up with that idea?

Was it someone who just said one day, "So I've noticed the odds of these women actually having kids is really low what should we do?  Hey, I know!  CLOWNS!"  Or was it a logic thing where a room full of women got a visit from clowns for some reason and all of them ended up having kids as opposed to a room full of women who just got flowers and someone decided that the clowns were the determining factor?  Or was it more trial and error where someone was like, "How did the monkeys do? No?  Ok, what about the puppies? Nope. Ok, what about the group of clowns? Yes?! BINGO!"

And then I got to thinking that no matter how the idea came about, someone or ones had to actually spend money doing this study.  They had to actually spend money to see if having clowns in a room while a woman was recovering made a difference in the success rate.  They spent the money studying CLOWNS rather than, oh I don't know, spending the money on actual research towards studying the process itself or maybe the female body to try to see if there is a physical or possibly more scientific reason why some processes stick and others don't.  Maybe slightly more scientific than clowns.

And then I thought, does the number of clowns in the room directly correspond to the number of babies the women has? Like, if there were two clowns would the women have twins?  And what about those clown cars?  You know, the ones where the clowns just keep coming out and you don't know how that many clowns got in there because it seems as if it never ends?  What if a clown car drove in there?!  WHAT IF THAT HAPPENED?!

And then I decided that I was just going to steer clear of all clowns from now on just in case.

They're kind of assholes anyways.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Speaking of me being awesome...

First off, I'd like to congratulate myself on running in a 5K run yesterday and beating my previous time by a whole minute.  Yes, I am truly awesome.  I can still remember my exact thoughts as I pushed myself through that last 1K with the finish line in sight. "I have never been this close to throwing up during a run in my life," I thought.  And it was the truth.  It was rough my friends.  I've let myself get pretty out of shape.  And the worst thing is that this run was my "easy starter run" which would lead to a harder 10K in July and then my goal 15K in August.  Seeing that I could barely push through the 5, I think I have a bit of work to do.

Right after I finish this beer.

Speaking of training, when you go to the gym and spend all your time sitting on the chest press machine watching a hot guy jump rope, that totally counts right?  Because you are actually at the gym.  Even if you don't do anything.  You're still there.  And everyone says just getting to the gym is the hardest part right?  So, basically, if I've already done the hardest part there really isn't any point in doing anything else.

Speaking of men, I saw that dude who I went out on a date with previously at the run yesterday, and we hung out with a friend and her husband for a while after the run, and we were talking about how my friend doesn't like going out of town for work because she misses her husband and I was all, "I LOVE going out of town because I don't have anyone to miss and also I love being alone it's so awesome."  And then I kept going on about how being alone was so great and I love it so much until dude was like, "Yeah, ok I get it," and I was like, "Woops".  So, I pretty much inadvertently ensured that nothing was going to develop further in that area. But I do actually really like being alone.  So, joke's on him I guess.

Speaking of running(See how I did that? My post is a perfect circle. I know, super clever), my body is so old and decrepit that, today, a day after the run, I am so sore I can barely fucking walk.  I'm pretty sure I am soon going to need a hip replacement.  Because I will rip my hip flexors out with my bare hands.  I am currently walking like someone who you think might have just had a lot of sex.  But you would be wrong. So, sadly, very wrong.

Suckers.