I don’t know about you guys, but i’ve always been big on sleep. I was always the girl who fell asleep first at sleepovers, the girl who took daily naps after school, and the girl who didn’t need eight hours sleep, she needed ten. I’ve Googled it plenty of times, but I’ve never been to see a doctor, because I doubt there’s anything wrong with me. I feel in-tune enough as an adult now to know that my body just likes me to sleep for longer than the recommended eight hours a day, and that’s OK. It doesn’t leave me groggy, it doesn’t make me lack energy all day, at worst it just means I’ve just got fewer hours in the day to get my to-do-list ticked off.
As a student, ten hours a day (or ten and a half if we’re living in an ideal world) was easy to get. You go to sleep at 2am, you wake up at midday. Easy. The dream. Life. It was all in the need of the greater good – sleep, happiness and a healthy Me! But it turns out the real world doesn’t want you to get ten hours sleep, heck it doesn’t even want you to get seven or eight. Most people, especially those that live in cities, spend a hefty amount of time on their weekdays commuting, which means early alarms (and even earlier alarms if there’s a gym class calling your name in a menacing matter), followed by a long day in the office, maybe a few work or social events, some chores – because that washing up, stack of ironing and tea-stained bed sheets aren’t going to do themselves, lead to a horrible, unhealthy lack of sleep. It’s exhausting and it leaves you constantly searching into the future for the next time you’ll be able to sleep in without having something pressing to wake up for.
You know what else it makes you do? Cry. When I first went to the doctor’s about my possible mental illness, I told him that crying was one of my symptoms. Like, a lot of crying. He told me that crying wasn’t actually a symptom of depression or anxiety, it was a symptom of exhaustion. We are now exhausting ourselves out regularly to the point of nothing tears. The type of tears that come when you collapse on bed after a long day, the type of tears that come if you lose your headphones, or snap your debit card or don’t get a text back from that boy. The type of tears that don’t warrant you crying at all. Because you’re stronger than that and WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU CRYING OVER NOTHING FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS WEEK?!
I’ve stopped crying. Sort of. I cried when the decorating and the mess that comes with decorating got too much. Not a proper cry, just a single baby tear that rolled down my cheek, like i’d forced it out (I had). But crying isn’t a part of my routine anymore the way it used to be. Why? Because i’m not tired anymore. Sure, I get tired and need a nap when I think it’s a good idea to eat a big bowl of pasta for lunch, but i’m not that sort of tired where i’m, forever pining for my bed and a lie-in and to have no plans.
You’re not mental because you can’t stop crying. You’re just bloody tired and you need to cut yourself some slack. Our bodies weren’t made to support the sort of lifestyles we throw at them. Remember that next time you’re blubbering behind your glasses on the train and hoping no-one can see you.