There was a time in my life when I worked 3 jobs… I barely slept… I wasn’t eating much… My bills were piled up… I was struggling to survive… I remember days when I would dig between the cushions of the seats in my car looking for loose change so I could buy a cup of coffee from the deli. Days when I would go to the ATM and pray there was enough money in my account so I could fill up the gas tank and get some groceries… Sometimes, I was lucky… Other times, I went hungry, literally.
I was fortunate enough to be on a “friends and family” plan at the local gym… so my dues were $50 per month, which is cheap in the area where I live. The gym was my escape… my refuge… from the nightmare I was struggling to overcome.
It’s funny, I look at people on social media nowadays talking about “Team No Sleep”… or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”… really? What’s so great about not sleeping? Do you think it’s cool? I mean, I didn’t sleep because I was bartending at two different bars and working full time during the day, digging myself out of debt that an ex-boyfriend had manipulated me into. No, I’m not looking for your pity. I’m explaining that I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t. I was running from bill collectors and hoping the Repo man never showed up in my driveway to take my truck. yea, it was rough…. but I survived… I worked my way out of that financial hole and paid all my bills off, month after month until finally, I was able to breathe again.
So, I find it somewhat entertaining when I see people glorifying that they don’t sleep… guess what?… unless you’re working several jobs because you HAVE TO…. You’re a fool. Lack of sleep makes you crazy. You start hallucinating, repeating yourself, and can act in a manner that is hostile, volatile, irritable, and inconsistent. Rest is crucial and if you’re depriving your body of it, it will catch up to you.
Now, on the flip side of this, do I work a lot? yes… I do. I left a secure 6-figure salary to pursue my passion… and while there is merit in staying to true to myself and living out my dreams…. sometimes, my dreams are not manifesting into checks fast enough and things can get a little tight. All good, I’m not worried about it… I know I’ll be fine, just might have to put forth more effort, or take on another job to make ends meet. But you certainly will not see or hear me glorifying putting my body through hell… absolutely not. I love sleep and it’s most certainly a priority.
Maybe I’m not driving a flashy car or wearing the newest pair of trendy sneakers… but I love my life and I’m a much happier, balanced person because I know when to say “when”.
If your life reflects something similar to what I mentioned earlier about struggling to get out of a hole, I feel your pain and I know how difficult it can be… Keep pushing, keep fighting and never give up. Things do get better… Have Faith! When the opportunity comes for you to lay your head down and close your eyes…. take it and breathe…