Hello. My apologies for the missing social media posts. I’ve either been deeply asleep, or near-comatose for every moment of the last four days, wherever and whenever that was possible. And I mean wherever, and whenever it was possible.
If I was microwaving something for 10 minutes, I’d lay down on the floor of the kitchen and sleep through it. In addition to my 5-20 minute sleeps, thanks to Mom’s new medication and The World Curling Championships, I got to sleep for three hours at a time, twice, during each day! The longest I was awake was four hours.
Of course this is all me catching up on sleep I’ve missed for over six months, since Mom’s behaviour shifted. That wasn’t a lot of sleep in there and what did exist, was broken and half-alert. Several times we’ve thought we’d sorted her sleep and calmness out, but nothing has lasted more than a few days before this.
With her safe, sleeping through the night, and having more focus, I can finally relax. And as soon as my body got the signal it was safe to rest, it took over in an amazing way. That’s how we’re intuitively smart, and why we don’t have to think as much as we are taught to do.
Humans only deal with so many conditions and our nature has built ways to handle them. We are built to live. We have all we need by our very nature. We did not invent new emotions as a result of the Industrial, Electronic or Internet Revolutions. We are still either scared or happy or in love or excited or worried, etc.
In this case, I went through an extended period of time experiencing high physiological stress. The situation is something that requires a lot of technical thought, the management of someone with tumultuous illogical emotional responses, enduring some abuse, some heartbreak, and a lot of lost sleep.
In response to my environment and conditions, my body pumped me with the chemistry I needed to stay awake and do what I had to do. Later, when my brain noted a new pattern, it signalled my body that Mom was safe. My body immediately switched my chemistry to what it needed to help me recover. All without me thinking consciously about those things.
It’s a cocktail of chemistry still being studied, but this was a powerful dose of it. I could fall asleep in an instant, and it was so deep it was like my bones were sleeping too.
This is to deal with ‘stress’ the way an animal does. Physiological stress is unavoidable in life. But animals don’t engage in thought-based stress. They don’t envy, or hold grudges, or pine for the past, or a different present.
If we use our own thinking wisely, it means that we can be tired and know it. But as long as we do not venture into telling ourselves the story of how tired we are, or about how much we want a break etc., then tired is just another state of mind. But add thoughts and we get suffering in return.
This was an intensely stressful experience. The painful thinking I did was agonizing and, being so, it strongly encouraged me to stop thinking it. But a lot of people don’t know how to do that, which means their physiological stress gets compounded by a stressful identity. In a high=stress case like this one, that could be dangerous.
I cannot stress enough (yes, pun intended), people should work on learning to understand their thinking better. Life is already hard enough at times. We don’t need to compound that with innocently misguided use of our power of thought.
As for me, I’m grateful I didn’t overthink it. Yes, I’ve got a ton of work and laundry to catch up on after four days of sleeping, but I do it gratefully. This is the best I’ve physically felt in half a year. Even though I’m not 100% yet, the improvement is so awesome I’m thrilled. And this time I think it might hold. Fingers crossed!
Do not add loads of thinking onto your stress. It will only make it worse and take focus away from developing solutions. Things are what they are and we can do what we can do and there will be some overlap with our capabilities and needs or there will not be. But either way, the rest is just thinking.
You guys take care. And make sure to get a good sleep. Viewed from the right perspective, it’s like a wonderful meditation we get to live inside. Sweet dreams.
PS I cannot believe I’ve written this blog for eight years and yet had never used this title. I guess I must have believed I already had. That is how reality works. 😉
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.