Last year, when I was still trying to “fix” things about myself without having to face up to stopping alcohol, one of my “tricks” was The Phase of Getting Up Early.

I love the early morning when everyone else is still in bed. It feels like “free” time, like anything I accomplish then is a gift to myself for the rest of the day because I could have still been sleeping. It’s always been time for me to do things I might normally feel a little guilty about, like some drawing or yoga, or following an online course or – of course – writing these words. I used even save up to do my school work at this time because I was tired (or sometimes tipsy) in the evenings, so those were no good to me.

Getting up by 5:30 tends to afford me enough of a chunk of time to really feel like I’ve gotten stuff done. But this school term I just haven’t managed to do that. Mornings have been all about the stress and rush of getting everyone ready and out the door. I’ve slept ’til the very last possible moment before getting up – and even a few minutes past that at times.

I miss those chunks of morning time. I don’t need it as a bandaid over other problematic behaviours, but it could still offer something to me, I think. But I’m tired out in the mornings. Today I did pull myself out of bed – a little after 6, so not lots of time to myself, but time for a little ceremony of coffee and an article or two to myself before tapping away here.

But the “nod” is creeping back into my head and I find myself wondering if I might not have been better off to just have grabbed that extra hour of sleep altogether. I’ve been sleepy-tired all weekend. Started with a busy Friday, but I can no longer blame that. I headed off towards sleep on the earlier side last night, but it just wasn’t coming. So I added in some Yoda Nidra which helped me relax just about enough to drift off and then – boom! My old terrifying friend the “Wake Up Gasping For Air”.

It’s been a long time since he’s come calling and I’m never quite sure what’s going on with it. Am I panicking in my sleep? Is it some form of sleep apnea? I just don’t know. What I do know is that my pulse is on the low side again – I caught it drifting into the 40s when I was relaxing in bed last night – and I wonder if this may be having an effect. At least this time I know it’s not being artificially lowered by the beta blockers, so I imagine it’s just a fitness thing. Whether or not it’s affecting my sleep is another thing. It seems more likely that caffeine is the culprit, however. We went to the cinema to see “My Little Pony” and I had a large, HazlenutShotNesspresso.

Well, I know I’ve been taking more caffeine than ideal lately, but I also know I’m likely to keep doing that until the cons outweigh the pros. I’m not sure that I’m there just yet.

In other news, I read this article this morning about Highly Sensitive People. And followed the links to do the test and scored 25 on a test whose “alert point” was 15.

I’m always on the hunt for diagnoses and labels for myself. Do they help? I guess they can help as a shorthand for people to know the basics of how to react to you. I guess they can help me not feel so guilty for having a hard time fitting in in the world. I guess that can help as a shortcut explanation to those who have to live with me every day.

But there’s a danger. In resting in a diagnosis. In using it as an excuse to do no further work, to stop trying and say “Well, it’s not my fault because X”. It may not be my fault, but I still have to live in the world. And whether things are my fault or not, people will still have the reactions to the “me” that they experience.

Also, the same shorthand that allows people to make allowances for a condition is also a shortcut to prejudice and stereotype. Especially in areas around mental illness or different mental processing setups.

I guess none of this is going to stop me seeking out “Test Yourself” checkboxes on the Internet though!