DepressionistaDepressionista: Fear and Loathing in NAPSMelissa Stephens

nap 1 |nap| verb ( napped , napping ): to sleep lightly or briefly, esp. during the day.

I wish my naps were like this.  It’s a quite enticing unrealistic description. My naps, if I could describe them, are like walking through a (p)lush field with a sundress on that perfectly accentuates my curves and right in front of me are all of my fantasies and then all of a sudden a smelly homeless man runs in and yells at me for being in his (p)lush field and to go back where I came from. I abruptly awaken from these naps with lots of fear and loathing.  I hate myself for taking the nap, for waking up from it, for not having the restraint enough to keep barreling through the day, for checking out for a brief moment so I can take a breather from my self-hating mind which tells me I never work as hard as the next person.  In my opinion, lack of sleep is celebrated in the United States.  We celebrate it because it’s almost like the less sleep you get, the more of a “trooper” you are.  When someone tells me they get eight hours of sleep I silently judge them and think, “Wow, You’re weak.” I’m tired of saying that I’m tired, I’m tired of complaining about it and I am most tired of trying to sleep at night when I am positive I’m going to be attacked by a rapist or an evil possum.

The next day I spend trying to find a time to take a nap.  Public transportation seems like a worthwhile option but then you get things like missing your stop or having a weirdo wake you up to tell you to “be careful because someone might steal your bag and then ask you to coffee at Starbucks”. Real story. Then there is internet surfing. No matter what time of day, I can read anything on the computer for ten minutes and then my eyes say, “Eff You!”  So I lay down, carefully propping my computer up on my chest in an effort to stay in the game, then I am suddenly awakened to the sound of my computer hitting the floor, ruining my nap and further instilling me with the fear that naps sabotage people.   The absolute worst is after any kind of physical…

Are you wondering why I didn’t finish that sentence?  I will tell you why.  I JUST TOOK A NAP.  I used a pillow as my blanket.  There was a specific reason for this nap.  I was typing this article and then all of a sudden the financial fear that runs my life took me over.  I don’t know how I am going to pay rent, I can’t seem to get a job that also allows me to be artistic at the same time.  I searched Craigslist, posted on Facebook, sent emails and the anxiety sent my head into shut down mode.  I took a nap.  I awoke to see an unfinished article, iChat windows with calls for help and smelly hair.  I am more depressed now because I wasted an hour sleeping my fears away, only for them to come back twelve fold.

Naps aren’t a negative thing; they just are my escape from daily reality.  I can check out by napping especially when things start to get rough.  For instance: when I have a broken heart, family troubles, financial fear or just being flat broke; if I think someone doesn’t like me, avoiding exercise, career woes, my own OCD about cleaning my room, emails piling up and the best one, when I feel fat.

But my favorite nap is right when I get out of the shower, day or night, and I see my bed.  It says, “Get in here, no one out there is asking for you, you’re unemployed, take a journey, fantasize, be happy.”  I get into that bed, towel and all, and I take the most relaxing nap of my life.  Sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes 2 hours.  The whole “too long of a nap” thing is poppycock to me, probably because I heard about it on the Today show which seems like a fake show spreading fake news for boring people. So this Shower Nap is also the best because you’re clean.  The only time I really care about hygiene that much is when I am napping.  This hasn’t happened to me in a while, because I have been counteracting my Shower Nap with bathing at night.  BOOOOOOOOO.  It doesn’t work.  You can’t sleep for six hours in a towel, with wet hair. Also, what if someone breaks into your house? How am I supposed to kick ass naked?!  Not possible.

Lets be honest ladies – if you aren’t feeling feminine in your life because you’ve spent most of it being Independent. You don’t need to go clubbing or watch a romantic comedy or buy a cheap top from Forever 21 that will disintegrate in 24 hours to feel feminine. Take a Shower Nap and you will awaken like Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.

So, naps… I don’t know how I feel about you. But come back to me.

How I imagine my self in my (p)lush field or forest.

Image by Mitch Loidolt

  • Megan Younce

    I’m the worst at naps. I’ll take a nap, and plan to do something after, but then I’m too lazy to get up and I end up sleeping through plans.

  • Anastasia Villarreal

    I love naps. I have to wait until my baby takes one. But then I feel guilty, because I should be cleaning, or writing or whatever. Then I end up laying down and couch surfing. I should just embrace the nap!

  • Mary Hudachek-Buswell

    I get 8 hours of sleep, and still contemplating a nap

  • Peggy Korpela

    I take anxiety induced naps all.the.time. And I have a lot of anxiety surrounding naps in general. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one! <3

  • Karen Lada

    I suffer from INSANE insomnia, and well, this is nice to know that I am not alone in the quest for the perfect sleep!! Wishing you the best!!

  • Emily Koenig

    I always feel like it is a competition between my roommates and I as to who got the least amount of sleep–because of course that person is the most dedicated, worthy person–it is funny how you used the word “trooper” because my friend’s line is “Buck up lil’ trooper'” whenever we complain too much. It is all rediculous because we all work hard and deserve sleep.

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