During the school year, four hours of classes is enough to send me to my bed, away from the world for a nap. Not so much because I’m tired but because constantly being around people is overwhelming and draining. Recently, one of my favorite professors raised the issue of consistency. Over the course of the semester I missed several of my morning classes because I just couldn’t force myself out of bed and couldn’t deal with the inevitability of having to interact with people. After reading one of my essays, he brought up the subject of consistency and how it might prove difficult for me to hold a full-time, demanding job.
I work five days a week, 9 to 5, with only a half an hour to an hour break for lunch each day. By many standards my job isn’t demanding. It doesn’t require me to work after hours, I’m not doing manual labor, I’m not on my feet all day, and overall I don’t have that much pressure from the job on my shoulders. I do, however, deal with other kinds of pressure. For example, the pressure of having to answer the phones when they ring. Outside of work, I always have the option of letting it go to voicemail and then choosing when to return the call. I can’t do that at work because I’m expected to always be ready to talk to new people.
I guess everything in my life really has been coming down to the question of consistency. I have to be at work on time, I have to return from lunch on time, I have to constantly be ready to talk to people, I have to constantly be accountable for my actions and time. I’m only me. I don’t know how this feels to other people, to people without anxiety and depression. For me though, this is demanding. It’s extremely draining. It’s one of those things that I wonder if this is what separates me from other, “normal” people. Can other people do this with no issues?
After work, I don’t just go straight to bed though sometimes I do take naps. I have more responsibilities: I have to cook dinner; wash dishes; and make my lunch for the next day. Then there’s this huge dilemma because I’m drained. So drained! But I also really want to hang out with people. I want to have fun. I want to do things other than work. So, I usually don’t end up going to bed until midnight.
Unconsciously, I’ve made a compromise with myself: I do all this super draining, hard work during the week and on the weekends I lay in bed and watch Gilmore Girls. I’ve even come up with the not-so-pretty name of, “Bed Monster”. On Saturdays, I’m not Kelly: Functional human being. I’m “Bed Monster”: I stay in bed all day and avoid contact with people. Those two days are my rest days, my recharge days. I feel guilty sometimes because it’s so nice out and there’s so much I could be doing. However, I wouldn’t be able to be consistent without my rest days.
Until next time,