My daughter is just over 15 months old. In her short life, she has learned to walk and to talk. She can dance and feed herself with a spoon. But among the life skills in her repertoire, there is one vital skill that is noticeably lacking – the ability to sleep. She has never slept through the night – ever. The longest stretch of sleep she has gotten in her entire life is 7 hours. The longest I have gotten is 4. Yes, you read that right. In over 15 months the longest stretch of sleep I have gotten is 4 hours, and that was the exception, not the rule. On an average night, she wakes up every 2 hours, or 4-6 times. So when you ask me how I am, and I respond “Ok. Tired.” it is a colossal understatement.
At this point, I am running on such a massive sleep deficit that it is thick and palpable, with black finger-like appendages that have permeated every single facet of my life. Sometimes I am emotionally volatile in ways that I never knew possible, lacking patience with myself and those around me. I over react on a daily basis. Other times, I am devoid of emotion altogether and apathetic to those around me.
Some days, I lack the mental acuity to answer even the most basic questions. Other days, I hit some sort of transcendent plateau of existence where I seem to have a higher sense of clarity and lucidity than the average person. On those days, my life feels surreal.
Most days, I trudge through, not quite sure how I am awake and functioning. I am in the trenches of a war that feels like it will never end, waiting for backup to arrive, but it seldom comes. And when it does, the enemy shoots it down quickly, putting me right back on the front lines. I am not sure how much longer I can hold the line. The enemy is fierce, and cute as hell, making my defeat all but certain.