I think the first and last time I realized I took sleep for granted was after the twins were born nine and half years ago. From the moment they came wailing into the world and for the following year, I would know true exhaustion. There would be moments of uncontrollable crying, temper tantrums and total meltdowns. For me...not the babies.
All I wanted was to feel well rested. To not feel like I was going insane. That I was making everyone around miserable because I was so bone-weary exhausted. The cure for this would be just a few nights of decent sleep.
After the twins started sleeping through the night and mommy started getting more sleep, I never thought I'd feel that way again.
Boy, was I wrong.
Over the last year, I've had to do some intense marathon writing sessions, but nothing, NOTHING, compares to what I've been through since June. It all started with edits with Liam and trying to juggle revisions on a book that needed a bit of work while all the kids were home for summer break and working my outside job. Not easy at all and I had to dip into my sleeping hours to get through it. I was tired a lot, but nothing I couldn't live with.
After I finished with Liam, I had to get busy on a deadline for another book that I had to put off because I had to concentrate on the mighty lion. Again, I had to keep chipping away from my sleep to get more hours in the day. Then some drama happened with Britton--no one's fault, just one of those things that happens occasionally in this industry. I've had it happen before. Unfortunately, it put us extremely behind and me and the editing team (who were awesome BTW) all had to work tirelessly to get the edits completed to get the book out by its release date at the end of this month. At this point, I was averaging maybe 4 to 5 hours a sleep a night.
I need to reiterate. I'm a sleeper. I don't like to be tired. I like being in a good mood. I like having energy. Sleep is a necessity for me to have these things. So I sleep.
Just as I received the last round of edits for Britton, I received my revision letter for Fighting Love--my very long, very intimidating, revision letter. And sleep ceased to exist. When I was in bed trying to get a few hours, my mind was all over the place and this was even with me taking sleeping pills to make myself pass out. They didn't work. Nothing was working.
I was MORE exhausted than I was the year after the twins were born. I have never been this utterly exhausted in my entire life AND I was trying to write during it. Unfortunately, I also made myself sick. That's what happens to me. I will push myself until I get physically sick and my body says, "enough," and takes me down.
This time it did it in a form of an ulcer.
I didn't have the luxury of stopping this time though. I had to get the revisions back. Exhausted and without the added benefit of caffeine since it made me miserable. I don't know how I did it, but Friday night around 10 pm I got those revision sent back and then went directly to bed.
I slept more last weekend than I swear I have in the last two weeks. LOL. Friday night I slept for 13 hours. Got up then laid on the couch all day, dozing on and off. Saturday, I slept for another 12. Sunday I was feeling a tiny bit better, but still not great. So I spent another day on the couch then slept for another 10 hours Sunday night. Monday? OMG.
It was like I had been reborn. My energy was back. My good mood was back. I was actually smiling. It no longer felt like the skin on my face was trying to slide off. I was talkative. My stomach was a thousand times better thanks to a wonderful drug called Prilosec. There was a bounce to my step.
Sleep, people, it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.