Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I'm Not Super Woman

How long are your days? Everyone's varies, I imagine, but mine are really short. My husband's days are really long.

The time I get up changes, but in general it's between 11 and 1. Bedtime varies, too, but is also between 11 and 1, and then it takes me 1-2 hours to fall asleep. I usually get 8 1/2 - 10 1/2 hours of sleep. That leaves me with roughly a 13-14 hour day.

During the week, Hubby gets up at about 6. He works from 7 am to around 6-7 pm.  He squeezes in a shower and supper, and a couple minutes of downtime, a couple minutes with me, and maybe a couple minutes of doing something that needs to be done. Then, waaaay overtired, he crashes into bed and conks out in literally seconds (I've counted) - usually also around 11-1, because he likes to go to bed the same time as me. This gives him 4-6 hours of sleep a night, a 12-14 hour workday, and about 5 hours in the evening during which he is EXHAUSTED. I don't know how to convince him to go to bed earlier, and I know it's costing him his health. It's disheartening and a little scary for me.

You may wonder why I go to bed so late and get up so late. It's because I don't have a choice. Well, unless I want to risk having a seizure. Which I don't. My kind of epilepsy, JME (Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy), is characterized by jerking of the arms in the early mornings and after too little sleep. (There are other lesser triggers as well, but this is the main one.) Too much jerking usually equals a grand mal seizure. So I control my epilepsy with medication, sleep, prayer, and watching my other triggers. In this way I only have, on average, a grand mal seizure every 1 1/2 years. Not bad, eh?

So, yes, I hate sleeping so much. It sucks. It hurts. It frustrates others. I've missed out on many morning events and will miss out on many more. Little things, like restaurant breakfasts that close by 9, 10, or even 11. Sunrises. Parades. Big things, like weddings. Funerals. Christmas. Scheduling in "life" is different for me and my hubby. Think what booking appointments, taking vacations, and family gatherings would look like for you if you could never start your day before 11, noon, or even 1 am. That is my life. I hate inconveniencing and disappointing those around me. Some have chosen to understand and work with us; others haven't.

BUT. If sleeping in is what keeps my jerking at bay? And thus keeps my seizures away? If sleeping in actually does the opposite and helps my whole day NOT be wasted (since jerking keeps me in bed for the day)? If sleeping in relieves my mom's stress ten-fold? My husband's stress a hundred-fold? If sleeping in helps my body not feel for days like it was run over by a steamroller (what a seizure feels like)? And helps me keep my memory and emotions fairly intact (a seizure wreaks havoc with both for weeks)? Then, yes. Then I accept the remedy.

I do wish I could be "super woman". I would like to hold down a job, birth children, adopt from overseas, homeschool, have friends, write an amazing, consistent blog, encourage people spiritually, scrapbook every week, cook healthy meals, exercise, volunteer, drive, take vacations, host people over at our home...the list could go on. But this is not who I am. Whether due directly to my epilepsy, my short days, other health issues, past experiences, faults of my own, or reasons I do not understand, this is not who I am. I probably never will be my ideal "super woman".

And that's okay. As long as I am who my Saviour, Jesus, wants me to be. And I am. He wants me to be His. I believe Him and I trust Him so I am His. I know that He is in control and this brings me HUGE comfort. What also brings me peace is being willing to do whatever He wants. When I was fighting to do what I wanted because I was scared His plans would be scary and sad, I wasn't at peace at all. When I was willing to do His will, I learned that He takes away desire for the things He doesn't want you to do, so that it isn't as big a deal as you thought it would be. It's ironic, but the lack of desire for the thing I wanted was the very thing I feared! But when I let Him run my life, well, of course you don't miss something you no longer desire. Silly me. God always knows best. I really, truly believe this.

I've gotten a little off track. Let me conclude my thoughts. I have short days that make me feel like I can't accomplish everything I feel like a woman my age should. It's also hard for me to miss out on morning events and I know it's hard in some ways for my loved ones, too. But to avoid seizures and the stress it puts on my already-exhausted husband, I accept the remedy of sleeping in. Also, as long as I am the woman God wants me to be, it is okay if I cannot be the woman I desire to be. In fact, if I desire to be a woman that pleases God, I will most likely lose the desire to be "super woman". I am so thankful for the contentment that a trusting, dependent, relying, and willing relationship with Christ brings.