It’s my favourite thing in the world. My favourite sensation and state of being. I know this because for no other state of being have I made such great efforts to make last longer when the time was up. When that alarm goes off at 7am, my first thought every single day is, “What lie can I tell my boss so I don’t have to go in to work?” Then, I sober slightly, and begin rationalizing how many times I can afford to press snooze without being late. Every day I press it too many times and every day I am late. Only by a minute or two, but still, every day.
On weekends when I have to pick up Gabriel, I often offer to pay my partner to go pick him up for me so I can stay in bed and sleep. I will offer unreasonable amounts of money that I cannot afford and will rationalize payment solutions in my head that involve cutting out food and not paying my phone bill.
I am so overwhelmingly desperate for one more minute of that intoxicating, total bliss of the physical promised land, for one more minute of succumbing to the heaviness of my eyes and body that feels like a hot water bottle blanket is drowning me in a bed of the sleepiest depths. When the sound of that alarm goes off, it truly feels like a physical impossibility to fight the weight of sleep.
When I was new to Nanaimo, I was in first year Jazz. I was living on my own for the first time, and had no friends. I had a morning class a few times a week. I maybe got to it 3 times the whole semester. The rationalizations I mentioned that occur in my current life, were even more powerful back then. I could never come up with a reason that I NEEDED to go to class. Nobody needed me to be there. Nobody was going to call my mom if I didn’t show up. Nobody was picking me up for school. It was all on me to catch the bus and go to class. With no accountability, nothing was powerful enough to beat the need for sleep. And eventually I accepted this as an issue of powerlessness. It seemed to me that no matter how strong of a will I had the night before to get up and go, it was squashed by morning. There were no solutions, except to admit that I could not beat this, and I needed to work within my limitations and never take a morning class again. It helped to realize this and finally stop fighting it and beating myself up about it.
I have found much more success in getting out of bed for work. At work I have responsibility and accountability up the yin yang. And if somebody is picking me up to go somewhere, then I will be ready for them. Accountability is really the solution I have found for this baffling spell of SLEEP.
All this being said, I am not Narcoleptic. And in saying that, I tip my hat to every effort made by people living with Narcolepsy to spread awareness, advocate for themselves, and for all others who struggle with sleep related conditions.
Not suprisingly, the organizer of SLEEP IN 2015, Julie Flygare, has Narcolepsy. She has been an advocate for her condition for many many years, and has brought tremendous support to my partner’s life since they met at the Narcolepsy Conference in Denver last year. Meeting others who share the same struggles can create strength and hope where there wasn’t before. I have seen my partner come to life with an acceptance of his condition and passion for advocacy. He now has friends to relate with, and inspiration to share.
Let’s support Julie and Ciro this weekend by taking part in SLEEP IN 2015! I’ll see you on Sunday during the live webcast of my band, Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys, when we will perform just for you!