Sunday, February 17, 2013


My week experienced through "10 signs you may be sleep deprived"


1) Inability to Handle Stress - Upon returning to Tazarine this week, it took me 24 hours to go buy eggs and milk. Not because it's particularly far, but because I didn't want to have the standard conversation of "where have you disappeared to" after traveling for three days. Routine activities feel exhausting and new challenges are overwhelming instead of exciting. My inability to handle stress isn't great timing. As a fun experiment this week, I took the Holmes and Rahe Stress Test to gauge my level of stress over the past year. Give my score of 490, I am well above a healthy level and am likely to become ill or have a mental breakdown in the near future. Do they have an additional test where they track your stress levels after being told you will likely have a breakdown soon!?

2) Poor Memory - I started to compose four other blogs this afternoon, unfortunately I can't remember the subject matter or why they were interesting. Over skype, my brother-in-law asked me how the travel home from Spain went but I still can't picture anything between Marrakesh and the desert. How was your day? Good? I think? What did I do again? During my tutoring session, the Arabic term for 'worker's union' took me over 10 hours to recall. I can't remember the last time I got a good night's sleep. Countless forgotten names, dates, places, words, promises - I should be writing this down.

3) Inability to Concentrate - This week's tutoring sessions on the Arab Spring and Moroccan politics should have been my favorite ones yet, but I could hardly pay attention to what my tutor was saying. What was the question again? Listening to Darija and French was a joke, is that a squirrel? I can't focus enough to read, study or practice guitar. Even movies are lost of me: I started and stopped them constantly because I was staring past the screen instead of processing the subject matter. Even my conversational skills in English have rapidly diminished and my father delicately had to tell me "you look exhausted, go to bed."

4) Increased Appetite - I can't do much damage on this front given my desert resources, but pretty sure I would eat an entire bakery if they let me. It helps that I keep burning everything I cook because I get distracted/forget what I am doing (see #2,3,6). I did hide my extensive supply of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I know better than to leave the 1 lb gems lying around at a time like this.

5) Vision Problems - Thankfully I am not allowed to drive and have yet to be named as the head of 'Taz Construction;' however, I walked past several friends on the street without recognizing them and nearly punched a woman in the face during aerobics. A cockroach walked along my bed for minutes before I registered it was an invader. Should my eyes be burning so much? I think I am increasingly developing vampire tendencies, please pull the shades. 

6) Poor Decision-making - I lit my kitchen on fire, burnt bread, destroyed granola, used lighters next to open gas tanks, and chose to spend my time watching both "The Bachelor" and the final Twilight film. I should have a legal guardian appointed immediately.

7) Diminished Motor Skills - Anyone noticed how impossible it is too make the correct sounds? As I started relearning Arabic script, I was shocked by my mouth's inability to reproduce noises I had mastered in the past year, let alone to learn new difficult ones, used in standard Arabic but largely absent in Darija. My stairway conversations in French and Darija have sounded little more than random muttering - I wonder if the other participants walk away as confused as I do? The throat's rebellion continues.

8) Relationship Troubles - Invited for dinner? Invited for tea? Invited for a weekend getaway? Everyone in my community got the same answer this week, "I am tired, another time." Even the most loving families were ignored as I stumbled back into my apartment, desperate for another round of shut eye. Couscous and leben, we are never ever, getting back together.

9) Medical Problems - Nearly passed out/felt like I needed to vomit during this week's women's aerobics classes, been fighting a constant headache for the last three days and continue to feel 'under the weather' and otherwise exhausted. I feel like I aged 50 years overnight but still refuse to stop dancing with older women three days per week. They will understand when I pass out and vomit simultaneously, wouldn't be the first time in Morocco!

10) Mood Swings - Multiple times this week I have flipped from tears of laughter to tears of frustration and loss. These swings are starting to stabilize, leaving me in more of constant state of "duuuuur" rather than an exciting roller coaster pattern. Fleeting moments of "obviously I want to come teach you how to conjugate verbs for the next four months" are replaced with "I'll see you next year, I have to run away to the beach." From brooding over Coldplay and the Civil Wars to dance party/cleaning/nervous shaking to Kesha and Bruno Mars the next, I can't quite decide which mood will stick around for more than 10 minutes.

Overall, I feel like a boring version of Kyla; shying away from challenges, turning my back on relationships and choosing facebook over exploration. I long for a peaceful eight hours of rest and a return to energy and excitement. During the week I pushed through these struggles to teach successful classes, do housework, cook, clean and even start a new project, yet I feel like a shadow of my normal self. Pretending in the hope that this is temporary, going because I can't really stop and praying that tomorrow I will wake up rested - no nightmares, no insomnia, no headache. I want me back. Fingers crossed.

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