I Don't Want To Sleep, I Just Want To Sit And Watch "The Office"

Sleep is a hard thing for a manic-depressive. It seems like we're either getting none or getting too much. I don't know about other people, I don't really talk about it at length with others too, too much, but it seems like sleep hygiene is something we struggle with.

I think it's something Americans struggle with in general, to be honest, since I'm always seeing articles on Lifehacker about how to sleep better or sleep shorter or how to nap better or cure insomnia or some shit like that.

For me, it's always been about wanting to stay up late -- not wanting to have to shut things down and end the day I'm in. I want to read more of the book I'm reading, or watch more TV, or now, dick around on Facebook more. The thing is, I take it to some compulsive extreme, because I do this long past the point when everyone else has gone to bed and there really aren't any more posts to refresh and I've read everything "interesting" on Gawker and Cracked and Jezebel and Lifehacker and every other link to every other post that caught my eye on Facebook that day and made me laugh and got me mad and spurred me to all kinds of emotion but no action.

I never want to turn off the lights and shut it down. Sometimes, not even after I've taken the medication designed to help me on my way. I don't know why -- sometimes, it's because I have *nothing* to do the next day, so I convince myself it's not a big deal if I stay up way, way too late -- and sometimes, it's because I know I do have to get up the next day and I am dreading getting up, so if I don't go to bed, then I don't have ... to ... get up? Terrible logic.

It's the same weird mental trick that keeps people poor (one I also suffer from). It's the one where you spend your whole paycheck on payday (or soon thereafter). You'd think that after being poor for two weeks, you'd be more careful this time. Instead, you are so happy to have money again, that you spend it RIGHT NOW in case you don't have any any time soon. Unfortunately, spending all your money RIGHT NOW is what makes you not have any money any time soon. It's a twisted, fucked-up spiral.

Same with sleep. Being tired and hating the morning might be somewhat hard-wired (I do believe that some of us are just made to be more night owl-y), but staying up too late and then having to get up early and then being super tired is not giving the morning a good rap. But that's not the morning's fault, you know?

Some of it is just stupid kid stuff. The rebellious part of me that says -- I'm an adult, so I can go to bed when I want. I don't want to have to go to bed at 10:30 p.m. Then, there are the times when I've TRIED to go to bed at 10:30 p.m., and still woken up at 3 a.m., thinking I had had a full night's sleep. Sometimes you can't win for losing. (Is that the expression? And if so, what the fuck does that mean?)

So, even though you're not supposed to leave lights on -- TVs, screens, computers, phones, etc. -- sometimes, I put on a movie or a TV show or something to help. And one night, I decided to start watching The Office from the beginning. I've gotten re-hooked. It's started another problematic thing -- that I just want to do nothing and watch The Office all day. Hard to get these blog posts in when I want to get lost in the world of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton.

But what I'm left with is maybe more depressing that not being able to sleep. When I watched The Office the first time, I was completely swept up in the Jim/Pam storyline. I wanted to know if they'd ever get together and what it would be like and what their lives would turn out to be. I totally identified with Pam and also with the smartassery and whimsical romance of Jim. I wanted to see them fall in love and find themselves. I think I thought that's what we were all doing.

However, this time around, I'm completely obsessed with and immersed in the world of Michael Scott. I am focused on this man who is so desperate to find love and companionship -- who wants people to like him but is also nearly incapable of NOT making people dislike him with the way he acts and talks and just does crazy ass shit. But even as he does these crazy, horrible, ridiculously outlandish things, there are these moments when he seems to cut through it all and put down some serious truth -- about the world he lives in or about the situation that's going or about himself. It's wild.

But is that where you want to be? Almost 40 and identifying with Michael Scott? No. Not really.

Excuse me. I'm halfway through Season Five.  I have some Netflix to attend to.

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