Up late, overwhelmed, and panicking about life. What do I do to mitigate the damage, and what do I do to stop this from happening again?
posted by SNWidget to health & fitness (31 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
It's about 1:15am, and I've managed to stay up, thinking about how much I haven't done this weekend, and driven myself to panic. This, in turn causes me to stay up, not sleeping, and panicking. A vicious, awful fucking cycle that I keep going through about once a week.
It usually goes like this - 9pm rolls around, I realize I still have some stuff left to do. No big deal. I can get it done before 11 or so if I start now. I don't. I screw around, avoiding doing the work, usually because it's stuff I don't want to do. Then it's 11. Oh man, it's late. I should already be in bed, and I haven't started. I'm useless. This is where the spiral begins.
Usually, at this point, my wife goes to sleep, asking me to go with her. I don't, saying I'll just stay up to work a little, and then come in. It doesn't happen. I stay up until some late hour, still screwing around, getting nothing done, feeling guilty. My stomach gets in knots, I feel awful, and start thinking about how worthless I am.
That's where I am now.
I have two questions:
1) How do I mitigate the damage for tomorrow? I'm a graduate student, and on Tuesday, I teach two courses in the morning, have a rehearsal around lunch, and then have a class of my own after that. I'm all but ready to e-mail the students and cancel the class (it would be my first time doing it), but I feel even more nauseous about that. I haven't prepped for the class, and if I don't cancel, my plan is to wake up at 4 or so and try to make some sort of lesson.
2) How do I stop doing this? If you go through this pattern or spiral, how do you break yourself out of it? I feel like I had about 3 chances tonight to stop this (get work done at 9, go to sleep with with at 11, give up and get some rest at 11:30ish), but I ignored all of them, lying to myself that I'd get something done.
This is coming from a panicky, tired place, so it may be a bit rambly. I don't want to wake my wife up in the midst of a panic attack, so talking to her is out for now, at least. If you go through my posting history, you'll know I have problems with depression, anxiety, and ADHD, all of which I'm working on getting treated.
Right now, though, I need some help dealing with this very familiar pattern.