Social anxiety

A few weeks ago, I deleted my Facebook account. I’ve had it for roughly 10 years and have flirted with deactivating it many times in the past, but this time–after doing my best to mute FOMA’s* persistent siren’s call–I plan to let it lapse for good. (In true “nothing is really free” fashion, Facebook doesn’t take kindly to you leaving it behind and taking all of your sweet, succulent consumer data along with it, so it makes you wait a few months before your account is past the point of no return, to up the chances you’ll come crawling back. Or, I’m sorry, to “help you stay connected to what matters most.”

Anyway, it’s been a few weeks without Facebook, and I haven’t missed it. But I still spend a LOT of time on social networks. Sometimes, I feel like my entire day is spent cycling from Instagram to Twitter to even LinkedIn for God’s sake, just waiting for something to happen. It’s the first thing I do in the morning. It’s the last thing I do at night. It distracts me when I should be working. So, today I cut the cord on all of them.

What am I hoping will happen? Well, hopefully, I will parlay some of that anxious energy into filling my time with more meaningful things. What am I expecting will happen? Hm. Perhaps a mild existential crisis brought on by realizing/accepting(?!) that my life has absolutely zero meaning or purpose as it stands. (And then hopefully building from there.)

Either option feels more constructive in the long run, honestly. And I’m mostly excited to see what happens. (I’m also terrified, but we’ll focus on “excited.”)

*FOMA: Fear Of Missing Out


Blocks (not the building kind)

It’s taken me 11 days to post again. Here are a few contributing factors to my lack of productivity:

  • Fear (what if it’s not interesting?)
  • Anxiety (what if I can’t fully articulate my thoughts perfectly?)
  • Good old-fashioned writer’s block
    • But a more personalized version, fully informed by both items above
  • Fatigue
  • Dread
  • Depression
  • Anticipation
  • Over-inflated expectations (my own)
  • Et al.

Ironically, this list also serves as fairly decent topic-fodder. So, expect deeper dives into some or all of those at some point. However, I already have my next topic. Stay tuned. I won’t wait 11 more days this time.

The bad news? You have sleep apnea. The good news? You have sleep apnea!

I have been tired for a  year. That’s not hyperbole. Since around this time last year, I have been exhausted most of the time. The kind of tired that makes you go to the doctor. Several times over. For blood tests and referrals to other doctors. For more blood tests. To rule out lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, the elusive Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and other afflictions that, for a few days, I’d convinced myself I most definitely had. Until the blood tests came back negative. It was an endless cycle. And what started out as paranoia (“Oh god, what if I have Lupus? If I have Lupus, it’s gonna suck. Oh shit. I DEFINITELY have Lupus. I can feel it!“) morphed into a misguided kind of hopefulness (“You know what? I hope it IS Lyme Disease. At least I’ll know what’s going on.”). So, that’s been my year. I’ve had to stop doing things I enjoy: horseback riding, walking the dog…uh, existing on this earth like a normal human person. And stop doing things I don’t enjoy but actually kind of miss at this point, like housework. Working a normal 40-hr-a-week job is a struggle. On weekends it has long been the new normal to sleep 16-22 hours a DAY. Essentially, sleeping my entire weekend away. That’s time I would normally be spending with my husband, my dog, my cat, friends. But instead, I’m in bed. Sleeping. Only to wake up exhausted every time. It’s not a very fulfilling way to live.

But today I saw a neurologist to discuss the results of my recent “last ditch effort to be diagnosed with something” at-home sleep study. And he told me I have sleep apnea. So yeah, that’s right. I do not have Lupus or RA or CFA or Lyme Disease or myeloencephalitis* or whatever but I HAVE SLEEP APNEA, motherfuckers!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me. Or, I guess you might now, after reading the last few sentences. But I just mean, I know it’s not normal to be over the moon about a potentially deadly affliction. But, honestly, I am just happy to HAVE SOMETHING SOLVABLE. My doctor ordered me a CPAP machine. Not known for its stylishness, but YES known for its helping-you-not-suffocate-during-the-night-ness and its ability to improve sleep quality. In other words, to stop me from waking up 6 times an hour. I will take it. I pick it up in a week or so. I will let you know how it goes. I just hope I can get some real rest now.

*Just joshing, only horses get that. I know because I used to study horse science. Maybe one day I’ll tell ya about it.