Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sida’s five stages of exhaustion

STAGE 1: Fatigue

This is usually sooner or later accompanied by hunger. Sida experiences an increasing awareness from her brain and muscles that the day has dragged far too long. If accompanied by hunger, Sida will repetitively say: “I’m hungry. Did I happen to mention I’m hungry?”

STAGE 2: Irritability

Sida progresses on to this stage if her body continues to be denied of physical rest and food. Signs of irritation are subtle in Sida, but usually manifests in the form of flat, dry sarcastic comments or jokes. The more irritated she is, the less sense her jokes and comments make. When Sida starts quoting Shakespeare (“Now is the winter of our discontent”, or “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…” ) it is time to evacuate the premises.

The length of time Sida spends on this stage depends on how the day went – if the day was a generally OK day, this stage does not last long.

STAGE 3: Delirium

Having felt tired and hungry for so long, Sida has come out the other side somewhat numb. She is chatty and giggly, but her chatter makes no sense, and no one can understand what she is giggling about. As she fights to keep her eyes open, some have likened this stage to being tipsy.

STAGE 4: Depression

Sida’s sense of justice wakes up and she can not believe that in this late hour she still can not go to bed (or, in some cases, still has not had the opportunity to eat dinner). Waves of self-pity and frustration crash upon this fragmenting irrational brain, and she will sob to herself quietly, lamenting the life she has chosen, and completely without the energy to actually get up and get some food and get into bed.

STAGE 5: Insomnia

Finally in bed, Sida tries to command her brain to switch off, but it punishes Sida for the overwork by refusing to obey. She is left lying there thinking about all the irrational things her brain wants her to process, ruminating all the decisions she made, and regretting that last cup of coffee.