To say I’ve been burning the candle at both ends the past two to three weeks, would be an understatement. Eight hours of sleep is luxury I haven’t been able to indulge in and a busy work schedule, moving, helping my dad move, trying to handle all the things that come with moving finally caught up with me last night.

I had great intentions coming home from work yesterday. I took care of a couple of errands before grabbing a large cheese pizza, a pint of ice cream, and leaned into the excitement of watching Freddy’s Nightmares finally streaming on ScreamBox. I got in the house, enjoyed the first episode, and felt like it was going to be a great night. It was my final night alone before Brandy returns and I thought it would be a good time to just focus on relaxing and myself. But it didn’t take long for the messiness of the bedroom to start to get to me. And since this is what we are basically living out of right now, I needed it to be a bit more organized.

The problem was I had four boxes of my stuff that I had been going through. I had a box of Goodwill, a box for Decluttr, and stuff I needed to display once I had my shelves. There were dozens of cords spread out across the floor that had spilled out of the box and made for an unsightly mess. So, I started cleaning them up, and then organizing the boxes, then clearing off my PS4 Pro so I can sell it, and so on. My relaxing evening turned into more work and the anxiety began to overwhelm me.

In an attempt to calm myself, I took a bubble bath in our large garden tub, one of my favorite activities. I channeled my inner Dude and tried to take it easy, bu I struggled. I just couldn’t turn it off. It was like my gear was stuck in productivity mode and that allowed all sorts of stress and anxiety to overwhelm me. The floodgates were open.

I got to bed at a decent time, but for the first time since we’ve lived here I began having issues with the sound. Our upstairs neighbor, who I’ve barely heard until last night, was pacing the floor and doing things until 1 AM. The vibration and popping of the floor is so startling, anytime I’d fall asleep, it would wake me right back up. I don’t think the neighbor was doing anything intentionally, I think it’s just an older apartment with terrible sound insulation. But having grown up on military bases and near train tracks and all that, I’m used to noises, but this was beyond it. The feeling of the walls and floor moving was enough to startle me over and over again. So, I couldn’t sleep, and then it all began at 5:45 AM when he/she woke back up and started again.

Around 12:45 AM, amongst the buzz of a sound machine, a large fan, and a air purifier (none of which were a match for the noise I was dealing with) I had a panic attack. Tired, mentally exhausted, and fed up, my mind was left to wander and ruminate on everything that has gone on lately. The large amounts of money spent, the renting of a “decent” apartment, the thought that I won’t be able to afford a house next year, the way my stepfather used me and attempted to buy me off, and worse the fact that I really feel alone in the world. I didn’t realize life was going to be this hard and with my lack of family its scary feeling like you have no safety net. No where to go where you are welcomed or wanted.

In the past, when I’ve felt like this, I’ve scaled down everything I own to the bare minimum. It’s what happens when my survival mode kicks in. I feel more in control and like I have more options when I have less things to drag me down. I’m trying not to go down that road this time, but I am in the midst of decluttering just because we are living in a smaller space (in some ways) and we do need to be a bit more mobile. I’m not really sure what the future is going to bring.

I called out of work today to hopefully give myself enough room to feel a bit better. It’s not a total fix by any means, but I’m hoping resting all day, getting plenty of sleep, and watching some funny TV shows has done me some good. I also am hoping that unburdening my soul here will also factor into me feeling just a bit better. I want to dig down deep, pull out the bad stuff, and hopefully release it. Later, I hope to get a few minutes to meditate and I’m gonna slow down a bit the next few days.

I also have a plan to leave a polite note for my neighbor if the sound becomes a regular issue and/or move my bed into our second bedroom. It’s tiny and a fraction of the size of the master, but that doesn’t really matter if you can’t sleep. Plus I’ve been living in a tiny bedroom for the past six months.

My goal for us moving into this new apartment and for this year was two words: simple living. Reduce stress, distractions, save money, and enjoy our free time better. I know all my work lately has been for this goal, but I think I’m going to have to realize that I can’t go quite so hard, so fast to reach it.

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