Meltdown City, Population: Me

I’m okay. Or I will be.

Have you heard of spoon theory?

It’s a metaphor used to “measure” (intangibly) how much energy someone with a disability or chronic illness has. While you can’t literally measure energy this way, you’ll sometimes hear people saying things like:

“Hmm. I’m not sure I can go to that concert on Friday. I don’t have enough spoons left.”


“She wanted to go to the mall and out to eat, but I told her I didn’t have enough spoons to do both.”

Am I making sense?

Anyway, I feel very low on spoons. My ambien is working well, but left and right, people are telling me, “That’s addictive!” or “You’ll sleepwalk!” or “This causes night eating!” or “There’s memory loss associated with that!” I already don’t take the ambien on the weekends, just to give myself a break and to continue to gauge how much I “need” it. I know lots of people are much more in favor of natural supplements. Heck, I would be too … except that when I take them (or over-the-counter sleep aids), I feel like life is impossible in the morning. It’s as if the sun doesn’t rise. I can’t imagine climbing into the shower, let alone making it into work.

I took ambien last night. Plus a supplement, against my better judgement.

This morning, I couldn’t peel myself out of my bed until after noon. I hate that. And then I took a 2.5 hour nap. And plan to go to bed soon too. I feel like I have no spoons available, and there’s still a whole day of work left PLUS I have to work Saturday too.

I emailed with my editor today. She’s brilliant and lovely, but it always sends me into a tailspin. I wonder if I’ve conditioned myself this way. I am Pavlov’s dog. Ring the bell and I panic.

I need more plot. This is perpetually my problem in writing. I hate plot. I just want deep conversations and great kissing. And to learn something new.

Am I the worst writer in the history of the world?

Feels that way, a little bit.

I need to go sleep.


6 thoughts on “Meltdown City, Population: Me

  1. You know what causes memory loss? NOT SLEEPING. I know they mean well (because I’m constantly tempted to give unsolicited advice myself, out of genuine care), but every choice in life is a trade-off. Believe me, as a mother of small children, getting sleep is the #1 priority for humans to function properly. Everything else is secondary, even hydration!

    • It makes so much sense. My illness is invisible (thyroid disorder), but I definitely have a set number of energy spoons. I think a money/budget metaphor would work well, too. Lately I haven’t even had enough physical/emotional/mental energy at the end of the day to watch a TV show, yet I wonder why I can’t seem to get the dishes done. Tomorrow I’ll have to wash my spoons before I can spend them.

  2. “Am I the worst writer in the history of the world?” I realize that you are in remission, but that sounds suspiciously like a question to which the best answer is, “I don’t answer OCD’s questions.”

    As for Ambien, if it works for you, I am grateful and hope you can keep taking it as necessary without any emotional burdens. I imaging sleepwalking or weird dreams might provide some good material for your writing.

    “I need more plot. This is perpetually my problem in writing. I hate plot.” This is fascinating because on the rare occasion when I am brave enough to try to write fiction, I have the opposite problem. I can come up with lots of plot ideas but I don’t even know where to start writing a character. I think I lot of people with scientific minds would have the same issue. So, this “problem” is really a way you can compliment other minds in this world.

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