Question of the day.

Are you an early riser?

My answer:

Yes and no. I think I wrote about my crazy weird sleep a lot on here. I don’t like the morning lark/night owl classification of people, well I don’t mind it in general but it just doesn’t really work for me personally because I could say I’m sort of both and neither. πŸ˜€ And I’m sure I’m not alone with this. So in this post, I’ll go beyond just answering the question and try to explain in more detail why this labelling doesn’t work for me and what’s the deal with my sleep exactly, especially for those who don’t know me outside of the blog.

Basically, if you don’t know about it yet, I’ve been totally blind since birth, and totally also includes no light perception, so, quite naturally, my brain has always been more or less confused what time of day, or night, it is, so instead it decides on its own. There were times in my life when I was quite frustrated about this but generally I’m used to it and it’s just how it is.

Whenever my Mum talks about what my siblings and me were as babies and toddlers, she always says that she had no big problems with me in terms of behaviour then, except for sleep, and she learned quickly that mid-day naps were not for me ’cause then I’d be full of beans for most of the night, and that would of course affect my parents as well. I now know that there is something called non-24-hour sleep/wake disorder, which is a circadian rhythm disorder affecting mostly totally blind people, but I only learned about it as an adult and I’ve never found any resources about it in Polish so I don’t think anyone in my surroundings as a child even had an idea about it existing, plus even though a lot of problems that people experience with it sound familiar to me, I’m not sure that that is exactly what is the problem with my sleep, because it’s a bit different for me. I’d say it’s kind of more irregular, but at the same time I guess I seem to struggle with the whole thing less than most people with the condition and it’s easier to manage by things like avoiding naps, while many people who actually have non-24 diagnosed or are very sure of having it don’t seem to be able to resist the urge of napping as easily as I can, and no, I’m not particularly self-disciplined at all, although I do hate naps because they turn my clock upside down, but there are times when you just can’t fight it. I guess in my case, it must be quite a mixture of things causing the circadian rhythm situation that I’m in. I was born with hypopituitarism, and of course pituitary regulates a lot of things, and according to my Mum it’s circadian rhythm as well. I was taking growth hormone injections as a child as I had a deficiency of it and I remember reading somewhere that this hormone plays some kind of a role in regulating the circadian rhythm. And then of course there’s all the mental health stuff on top of it and it definitely has a strong impact on one’s sleep.

At this particular point in my life though, I’m happy to say that it doesn’t really matter whatever the name of my sleep problem is, because I can adjust my life to my brain’s whims if need be, having a very flexible schedule and being in charge of my own time for the most part, not having to work at strictly set times or anything like that, which is a great luxury after having had lived a very structured life earlier at the boarding school, where I felt quite sleep deprived a lot of the time, not just because of the schedule but also because I would often stay awake at night willfully when I could, to be able to do something more than the usual school stuff, like write the Jack Hamilton novel, journal, listen to music or just plain be with myself and my own thoughts, which I felt was essential to my mental wellbeing and for which I didn’t have a lot of space during the day but which also made me a zombie the next morning. I don’t think that, even if I had a diagnosis and a label for it, someone would actually be able to offer me a lot more help. I have an impression that accepting it as something that is a part of me (which of course wouldn’t be as easy if my life right now looked differently) and not fighting this all the time has actually improved my sleep situation over the last five years.

Usually what people say to me when I tell them more about my sleep problem, regardless whether they’re just casual people or some professionals, is that I should try melatonin. Since it’s such an obvious thing to try, I did and a few times. It would always make me feel drowsy during the day even at low doses, and, very bizarrely, I had the weirdest, scariest nightmares on it. Even more bizarrely, I’ve heard I’m not the only one in the blind community who had this experience, even though I also know a bunch of blind people who take it with no problem and it really makes a change for them.

I’d say the way my circadian rhythm works right now is that, most of the time I have a bit of a compromise with my brain, where both of us are having our requirements that need to be met but also try to be flexible as much as possible in regards to one another. I guess people with classic non-24 can’t afford that on a regular basis as their brain are less inclined to make a compromise.

I sometimes say that my brain is in something like a constant mild jet lag, travelling between different time zones. The times when I’m asleep or awake, or at least sleepy and alert, shift in a bit of a cycle. I still haven’t fully figured out how exactly it works, what kind of rules are there at play or maybe how many hours it typically shifts per what amount of time, because time involves too much math for me. And there must be many factors at play which can influence the way this cycle evolves, but there definitely is some sort of a pattern, even if it’s a subtle or a complex one perhaps. I’ve had my iPhone for over half a year now and I’ve been logging my sleep since then, but that hasn’t really given me much more of an idea so far either.

I’d say that one specific trend in my circadian rhythm will usually remain more or less of a thing for about a week, but it also depends on my lifestyle and loads of other things. So my brain may think one week that it’s really cool to wake up at 7:30 AM and go to sleep by 12 AM, which is okay with me too and this is always the sleep schedule I’m trying to aim for, because even if it doesn’t work out, I think it’s better when you have some sort of a reference of when you should/want to sleep and be awake. And then, gradually, I may be waking up later and later and falling asleep later and later, until at some point I won’t be feeling sleepy at night at all and will end up having a zombie day, which is, as you probably know already, what I call a day after a sleepless night. I typically have one zombie day a month, more if I’m stressed or something weird is going on. Zombie days are obviously quite horrid, I don’t think I have to convince anyone as I guess most people have enough first-hand experience of that, but I’m quite used to that and they seriously can have their upsides sometimes. The biggest upside to a zombie day, however, is that it resets my brain clock. It hardly ever happens that I’d have more than one zombie day in a row unless I’m having a lot of anxiety or something else is seriously off. Usually, after a zombie day, I’ll have a fabulous night of restful sleep and, if I go to sleep early enough – that is I think something between 7-9 PM –
chances are high that I’ll wake up feeling very refreshed in the morning and wake up at a decent time similar to when most human beings in my time zone wake up. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be able to fall asleep just as smoothly and decently, but a reset has happened, so I have a chance to try and do everything I can to continue a normal or near-normal sleep-wake cycle for as long as possible.

It doesn’t have to always look this way though, because I can just as well wake up early and go to sleep early, or wake up late and go to sleep early, any combination is possible. What particularly seems to disagree in my case with what I know about non-24 is that for me the amount of time I spend awake or asleep also shifts over time, whereas, at least from what I know, for non-24 folks it’s only the times. It can also change whether the amount of sleep I’m getting feels enough for me, for example I may be sleeping like four hours and wake up refreshed and bursting with creativity, or another time I may be sleeping just as much and feel like I could use some sleep. That’s also been the case lately, since about last Thursday, as I keep finding it difficult to fall asleep at night and usually do about 1 AM, and then wake up about 4-6 AM and would love to sleep more but it just doesn’t work. I still prefer that than over-sleeping which usually makes me feel awful even when it’s actually what I need and is refreshing.

So because of all that, as you can see, I can’t really say whether I am an early riser or not, it really depends. Like I said though, I do try to stick to some kind of sleep-wake routine, by having an alarm set to 7:30 every day and falling asleep by midnight. I do think 7:30 is pretty early. That does help with having a bit of a reference for my brain to what’s relatively normal, or getting back on track faster when things get messed up. I don’t know if that makes me more of an early riser, because even though that’s what I aim for and I manage to succeed sometimes more often and sometimes less, I don’t push myself for all means to get up at 7:30. If I wake up at that time and my brain says “No way, I want to sleep at least three hours more!” that’s what we’re doing, as long as there is nothing I have to do urgently in the morning and nowhere to go. Same about going to sleep. If it’s 11 Pm and my brain clearly doesn’t want to go to sleep, I’m not going to force it unless I really have to do something important the next day in the morning, but even so, I probably won’t be able to fall asleep anyway and will only get stressed about it more when lying in bed than if I were doing something more productive instead until I’ll feel sleepy. And feeling stressed makes me only less likely to fall asleep. I also won’t typically lay in bed if I wake up at 3 AM until my alarm goes off, unless I truly feel I may fall asleep again soon. If I don’t fall back asleep in about 15 minutes, and don’t feel any more sleepy than I did when I woke up, I’ll usually get up, unless I really have no idea what I could be doing this early and don’t feel like getting up. Usually I regret it though, because if I stay awake in bed for too long after having slept earlier, at some point I’ll often start feeling groggy and then drift off straight into sleep paralysis. It’s not the case every single time though, which is why I sometimes fall into this trap, thinking that maybe this time it won’t happen and not wanting to get up at such an insanely early hour, and then it starts happening so quickly that I can rarely pull out of it. Sleep paralysis is one sleep-related thing that I do find very difficult to live with.

I normally try to restrain my brain from sleeping after noon as that hardly ends well and is rarely actually properly restorative, but sometimes is very difficult if not impossible to resist if I had a bad night’s sleep. And like I said I really hate naps and avoid them at all costs. Sometimes when my sleep cycle is really messed up and it bugs me, and I can afford having a super low key, lazy day of doing nothing and possibly being a mental mess, I’ll go as far as to force a zombie day to reset my brain clock. I’ll get as much sleep as possible one night and day, and then won’t go to bed at all the next night. Sometimes that works, but sometimes I have to give up and go to bed early in the morning and sleep through most of the day, other times I just have to have a nap and then end up right where I started off. These days, ever since I’ve started having more frequent migraines, I don’t really do that because it’s a sure thing to give me a migraine, and migraines always make me sleep more so it just no longer works and is generally rather unpleasant and radical.

Other than that, my anti-anxiety medication also works for sleep and it really helps me immensely in crisis situations, but I try to only take it when I absolutely have to, plus I often only know that I’m going to have trouble sleeping when it’s already night, and no point taking anything for sleep at night as that will surely make me properly hungover tomorrow and I hate the feeling with a passion.

And of course I also have a lot of other ways of dealing with all the sleep stuff, which a lot of people typically use when they struggle with it. I have my sleep habits like how many pillows I sleep with, the fact that I listen to music quietly while sleeping or read before falling asleep, etc. and cultivating such habits helps me fall asleep and create a sort of sleepy atmosphere. I love to listen to Misha purring before sleep, even though he never purrs loud. I like having a hot bath before sleep when I can, or a mug of cocoa or something else that would make me feel cosy in a sleepy way. Or I like to imagine something calm and friendly before going to sleep. That doesn’t always work, because I’m a professional ruminator, but when I can focus on all things Bibiel-friendly, the results are often very good.

Okay, now over to you. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you wake up at 3 AM and can’t fall back asleep, what do you do?

My answer:

As someone with quite erratic sleep-wake cycle which shifts a lot, mostly due to the fact that I have no light perception, I end up in such a situation quite often. Unlike a lot of people who struggle with sleep problems and disorders though, it’s not a huge source of frustration for me. Largely because it’s always been like this, and now I’m in a very comfortable life situation where I am in charge of my own time so everything is very flexible, I can sleep in if I need to, I can go to sleep very early if I was up all night, or I can have a more low-key day if I’m a zombie running on no sleep. Having lived in an exactly opposite way most of my life, where I did have to live a very structured life and having to fit in my constantly more or less “jet-lagged” into it, I appreciate this luxury all the more. So it’s not a big deal for me usually if I can’t sleep at 3 AM or wake up at that time.

I do lots of different things if I can’t sleep at night, I just take it as an extra amount of time that I can do something interesting with. Sometimes, when I’m in a phase when I don’t need a lot of sleep and can go on four hours or so and feel quite rested for a few days, I’m feeling quite energised at night and put my energy into something creative. Generally, regardless of my energy levels, I feel that I’m often a lot more creative and deep-thinking at night and come up with a lot of interesting ideas. πŸ˜€ So I’ll do some journaling, sometimes write a short story or try to write something more in my huge, neverending Jack Hamilton novel which I’ve been writing since like fourth grade and Jack Hamilton has been a great friend of mine and especially on sleepless nights, my Mum says that he’s like an old dog who’s barely alive but you’re too attached to him to put him down. I rarely add something more to that these days because I don’t need Jack as much as I used to as a teenager and we both have changed a lot, but I do not want to put a clear end to this whole thing, so these days if I write something more to it it’s usually just a little bit. He’s going to be celebrating his 100th birthday quite soon, I believe. Other times, I’ll just listen to some music and daydream (wait, nightdream) or go into my Brainworld, as I’ve always been an avid paracosmist (I’ve been a paracosmist my entire life and only recently learned about the existence of this word πŸ˜€ ).

If I’m less creatively inclined, I’ll just read or listen to music, often without even getting out of bed, although if I can’t fall back asleep for longer than an hour I usually get up because if I fall back asleep after such longer but still not very long time, I have almost guaranteed sleep paralysis and while people have varying attitudes towards it, for me it’s always been extremely scary because it features stuff I’m scared of in real life and sometimes one relatively short episode of sleep paralysis can affect me for a few days and make me super anxious.

Since we’ve got Misha, I’m often not the only one who isn’t asleep at 3 AM in this house. Misha’s sleep cycle is also totally different than the cycles of the peeps in here, so he’ll also often have loads of energy in the middle of the night, running wildly around the living room or playing with his glass balls. If that is the case, I’ll often bring him up to my room, as here his play won’t wake up anyone else, and we’ll play together.

Other times, I just go online and write with people or something, or play BitLife, ever since I’ve got my iPhone, because yes, I still play it quite a lot. Or just start my day properly, get dressed, eat something and do whatever I was going to do in the day anyway.

How about you? Does such a scenario often take place in your life? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What time do you go to bed?

My answer:

As in my answer to the previous question, my circadian rhythm is screwed up so there are no rules whatsoever in practice for what time I fall asleep. I do try to have a more predictive bedtime though if possible, so my standard goal is to be in bed by midnight, not later. I might eventually get up if I’m not having any luck falling asleep for an hour or longer, or when I’m feeling mentally crappy and if I am only able to sleep, I like to go to sleep earlier and sleep as much as possible.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (11th August).

Let’s talk a bit about our daily habits.

What time do you wake up?

My answer:

Really hard to say. It’s different almost every day, or at least every few days. It depends on which timezone my brain clock is at the moment. As you may know if you’re a regular reader of my blog, I have a problem with circadian rhythm, probably mostly due to that I am blind and don’t have any light perception or anything so my brain is probably permanently confused whether it’s day or night, but I’ve also learnt that pituitary is in some way responsible for controlling circadian rhythm – not sleep-wake cycle as such I guess or I’m not sure about this particular thing, but circadian rhythm in general, in any case, it could be relevant since I have hypopituitarism, and mental health surely plays a huge role with sleep problems as well. – Whatever is the reason, that’s how my brain works, and I’m mostly okay with it at the moment, of course it can be annoying but I am now having the luxury of being in charge of my own time at this point so I can usually decide when I need sleep and when trying to sleep doesn’t make much sense so it’s better to stay up and do something constructive. I used to supplement melatonin but it would work only to some extend, meanwhile giving me loads of vivid nightmares. I have a PRN sleep med which helps and I try to have some kind of a sleep-wake schedule at least in theory, something to aim to I’d say, but what probably makes my sleep problems worse is also that I’m not the best at sticking to sleep routine, but also I don’t want to be too obsessed with it as that could get more stressful than helpful long-term I guess. So that being said, my waking time shifts depending on my current circadian rhythm, and my circadian rhythm seems to depend on a lot of things, external and internal, I guess I’m not even aware of all of them, funny thing is also that with my sleeping and waking times, my need for sleep also changes kind of in cycles and sometimes I feel the need to sleep a lot, and sometimes I feel rested after just a few hours and get lots of energy at night, or don’t sleep at all.

With my “ideal” sleeping schedule, I try to wake up at 7:30, because I’ve figured out after some experiments that it seems to be a generally optimal time for me, though as I said, it can look different in practice. I have an alarm – previously on my PlexTalk, now on the iPhone – and I try to stick to it when possible, but when I’m not asleep say by 3 AM I just turn it off so it doesn’t wake me in case I will fall asleep until 7:30, since usually falling asleep that late I’ll also probably need to sleep a bit longer than that, or when I feel very sleepy and it goes off I just turn it off, go back to sleep for however long I need and don’t care, unless I have somewhere to go or something really important to do on time. Also when my depression is particularly bad, sleep is my best friend, as long as I can get it, and then I turn into a real sleep escapist if only I can do it and have no plans, and turn the alarm off altogether, and turn it back on again when I feel more motivated to actually live or when it’s really necessary for me to get up at a specific time. At the moment though, I’ve been sticking to my normal waking time since a few days and I like it, though my falling asleep time is later than it should be in theory so I’m not getting a whole lot of sleep but I’m not feeling it really.

How does it work for you? Do you have any sleep routine at all and if so, are you good at sticking to it? πŸ™‚

What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA.

With many of us being in self-isolation right now, days of the week can become very similar to each other and we may get confused. Therefore, Linda has started the

What Day Is It Anyway? (#WDIIA)

series on her blog, so that we can keep track of what we are doing each day and just be in touch with each other within the blogging community during this strange time.

For me, and most of my family, this time hasn’t been really very different from our usual lives, because I am spending most of my time at home and am happy with it, so does my Mum as she is a homemaker, or a home manager as she prefers to put it, and my Dad and Olek have to work anyway. The only person for whom life has become quite significantly different right now is Zofijka, because she doesn’t go to school since about the beginning of March and has recently started to learn online. This is not easy for her, first because it’s such a quick and stressful transition for all students and teachers, and second because she is not a very disciplined child and now there’s no one really to make sure she’s doing what she is supposed to do most of the time, so if she has something to catch up on that she hasn’t caught up on in time, isn’t up to date with something, didn’t do something on time or isn’t informed, there’s no one to blame other than herself, and she has to be more responsible. Also she is such a sociable kid and now there is no one to play, she can only Skype her best friend from her old school, and play with Jocky of course but that only helps so much. Misha has been incredibly supportive of her in this time, as if he could empathise with her. He spends loads of time with her in her room, assisting her in her learning, even during her live video lessons, watching movies with her and sleeping for hours in her armchair. He is just so sweet. Still, despite the social isolation effects not having much of a direct influence on my life, I decided to jump in anyway.

The only area in which I do feel affected by the pandemic is that we cannot go to church as we used to. We are a Catholic family as you may know and we normally go to church every Sunday and on holidays or important feasts as well. Now, here in Poland, there can be only 5 people during Mass, so in practice that means you are only supposed to come if you have ordered it, or you are a relative of someone in whose intention the Mass is celebrated, or something like that. This sucks big time, and we are not impressed, but I’ve found that it has it’s advantages too. Now there are more religious services being broadcasted in the media, or live streamed online, I don’t think it was as much of a thing here before the coronavirus outbreak, not to such an extend. While it is of course the best when you can go to church and receive Sacraments, I’ve noticed that now, when we are praying more at home, it is easier for me to focus on prayer. I wrote on that a while ago that for me it can be really difficult to focus on just one thing at a time for an extended period of time, and that can be extremely difficult when praying or meditating. It seems easier now that I am not surrounded by a lot of people, a lot of stimuli and all that, I’m less prone to distractions and feel more relaxed and focused, and I don’t have to worry that my blood pressure will drop below what’s my “normal” because of a lot of standing in one place or feeling hot and that I will faint, which of course doesn’t help with focusing, staying engaged and present. That has been an interesting experience. I mean, I’ve often listened to Mass from home when I wasn’t able to go to church, due to migraines or something, but it’s a completely different thing when you’re lying in bed and participating very passively so this whole thing now is quite new to me. It’s Lent, and both me and my Mum have decided to take advantage of this time and use it for our spiritual development. We all, as a family, have been praying more now, together and on our own, since the start of self-isolation. I had decided to do my Lent retreat online. Mum has managed to complete her retreat in the church at the beginning of Lent before the COVID-19 situation has become more serious in Europe, but the rest of us wasn’t able to complete it fully, so I decided to make it sort of more personalised this year, make use of all the resources online, and that was not only very interesting and enjoyable and very new to me, but also, because of being more personalised, I think it enriched me more in a way, and I was able to delve in some religious topics that I’d always wanted to. My Mum wakes up early every day and listens to the Mass in Latin on YouTube. If my brain is in the right timezone and I can wake up on time without being a zombie, I try to accompany her. So in fact I guess we’re praying more than we would otherwise, even during Lent, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

I was talking about all that because today, I did wake up in line with the timezone we have here, or maybe even earlier than that, as it was just a little before 6 AM, which I didn’t expect because my sleep had been all over the place most days over the last couple of weeks, and I’d been in a phase of sleeping in late even like until 1 PM and generally sleeping a lot, I’d had to put a lot of effort into it if I wanted to wake up at a more decent hour or sleep less and a lot of the time I’d fail at that anyway because I was too groggy. I don’t like to sleep in late too often, though that happens a lot of the time to me, I mean certainly more than to a normal person with normal circadian rhythm anyway, so I’d be happy if my early awakening today would mean that my internal timezone is going to change to something less lousy, for however long that may be.

That allowed me to listen to the Mass with Mum, so that was a nice start of the day for us. Then Mum went out to get some groceries for ourselves and other family members who have it more difficult right now, and both of us plus Zofijka who also woke up by the time had a very yummy breakfast after she came back, and we drank cocoa. We drink a lot of cocoa lately, and especially so do I. I guess from being a coffee addict, I went on to being a cocoa addict lol. I still miss coffee though, nothing’s gonna change it, and I’ve lost hope that there is an equally good alternative that is good for me in the sense that it wouldn’t make me as anxious as coffee did, that I’d like the taste of, and that would make me as energised as coffee did. But cocoa at least tastes delicious, and I like to have mine very strong just as I did coffee.

Although no one in our house is particularly scared of the coronavirus and getting sick, and even my Dad stopped watching TV now that COVID-19 news are everywhere, Mum says that going out of the house is starting to make her feel a bit anxious when she sees all those people in masks, and when they tell everyone to put gloves on in grocery stores etc. She said that when she got home she felt a bit paranoid for quite a while, feeling like her hands are very dirty all the time, no matter how intensely she would wash them, and that all objects and surfaces around her are dirty and full of germs as well. πŸ˜€ I can understand that, I think I would feel similarly, even though in general as I said I don’t feel particularly scared or stressed out by the pandemic. The only thing I’m anxious about is if my family catch it, as I would be devastated if someone from my immediate family would get serious complications or die from it, but then it’s not very likely as no one in my immediate family has any underlying conditions other than my Mum has episodic asthma which is generally mild when it does flare up and is now in remission.

I spent a lot of the day trying to help Sofi with her school work and encourage her to think independently. I’m not the most patient person with kids, not even with Sofi, and neither am I particularly tolerant to ignorance or good at teaching others, so that was difficult for both of us. Misha was in her room though, so he was making the atmosphere calmer. πŸ˜€ Then we were watching a movie, eating crisps and bouncing on those big, exercise balls, I don’t know how they’re exactly called in English, and so did Misha with us. I don’t remember anything from the movie itself as I always struggle with following movie plotlines and it wasn’t anything I was into, just some teenage-y kind of movie, and we were talking meanwhile so I don’t think Sofi registered much either.

I’ve also bought some new English books for myself, and an audiobook for my Dad (in Polish of course) so he can listen to it at work.

It’s evening already, and I think I’ll soon be going to sleep, since I’ve had such an early start. As you can see, there hasn’t been much going on, but overall things are going well. I’ve noticed that I am actually having somewhat lower anxiety levels since the world has began self-isolating, which makes sense as a lot of my anxiety triggers are temporarily gone or have decreased to the bare minimum. So, subjectively, so far, I can’t say I feel the toll of this whole situation.

How are you doing today? How has the coronavirus outbreak and its consequences affected you so far? Are you feeling very worried or anxious? Or maybe bored? Let me know. πŸ™‚ Or write your own #WDIIA post.

 

Share Your World.

I know I’m quite late to the game, but I am still going to participate in Melanie’s

Share Your World

this week. πŸ™‚ Here are the questions and my answers.

 

What do fish do all day?Β Β  What thoughts do you think they have?Β  (Credit to the awesome Teresa and her Fibbin’ Fridays for this one)

Play hide and seek, try to survive and not let other fish/water creatures/fishers catch them, tell each other stories and fairytales about life on the land.I don’t know what they think about but their minds must be really busy since they can’t speak. If they are sea fish, maybe they enjoy people watching during the summer when people come to the seaside?

What celebrity would you have as a SPOUSE, if you HAD to choose?

Oh that’s a tough one as I’m rather ignorant about celebrities, I mean there is hardly anyone that I would know well enough to be able to consider as a spouse. I have my music crushes, but aside from Enya and Cornelis Vreeswijk they aren’t really celebrities and even Vreeswijk is a celeb only in Sweden, and Enya probably wouldn’t be too glad being called a celebrity, she’s just famous. Besides, Enya can’t be my spouse because I am straight, and even if I wasn’t, I’ve always regarded her kind of more like my secret second mummy, someone I’ve always admired, especially as a teen, not in a way you admire someone you love in a romantic way. Cornelis has been long dead before I was born, and, as much as I admire his artistic skills, great mind and all and feel a lot of connection to him in a crush-y way, I really don’t think a romantic relationship between us would be a good idea, it would be a grotesque! We have too much and too little in common at the same time, if you can understand what I mean. πŸ˜€ and I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a relationship with someone who has so different beliefs and views and had already had three spectacularly failed marriages and dozens of other romantic relationships that didn’t work out, even if we have a lot in common intellectually/emotionally and on some other levels. Also he was terribly paranoid, is that called Othello’s syndrome? And was addicted to… well, almost everything. And goodness he could be my grandad unless I could time travel, I am not a gerontophile. But then again, I doubt many celebs would be on the same page with me in terms of views and beliefs, and I find it essential in a long term romantic relationship. My two other crushes – Declan Galbraith and Gwilym Bowen Rhys – would be more doable as my potential spouses, though I don’t feel like I have as much in common with Declan as I used to, or as I used to feel, so I guess Gwilym would be the best fit (ethe moreΒ  that I would love to live in north Wales and we have quite a few common interests, but we are very different in terms of personalities though that’s actually cool here), but then as I said he’s not really a celebrity, not how people usually imagine celebrities, unless we could call him a local celebrity. πŸ˜€ Other than that, I guess it would require much more thinking and research for me to come up with an answer. πŸ˜€ Oh I kinda like Alexander Rybak (the guy who won the Eurovision in 2009), and he seems very cool and pleasant, but I’m not crazy about him enough to be his spouse, and Zofijka would kill me, because she likes him much more than me, so much so that she would probably accuse me of stealing. So no, no idea. πŸ˜€

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever broken?

Don’t ever leave your expensive things with me, especially tech stuff. πŸ˜€ My most spectacular achievement was spilling kefir al over my Braille-Sense (yes, the current one, and yes, it’s still alive somehow) about five years ago I suppose, I was in a state of euphoria (yeah ultrarare for me, but I had a sound reason), and as far as I can remember didn’t exactly know what I was doing, but I somehow had to move my arm very suddenly and quickly and there was a glass of kefir standing quite close to the Braille-Sense so before I could react in any way it was all soaked. All euphoria gone in a second. It was scary! Not only because it’s just awful when you break something expensive but I had to go to the boarding school the next day, and it meant that I’d be going without most of my music and books and it was going to be a very difficult time for me because of that, and not only because of that.I was determined and desperate and took it to school with me anyway as I couldn’t face it otherwise, I tried drying it with a hairdryer to make it work at least a bit and I did manage, but still the Braille display was screwed up and something inside of it under the keys was all soaked up in kefir so when I was using the keys they were actually doing whatever they wanted, not at all what I wanted them to do, and working on it was terribly slow. Also, I didn’t take one very important thing into account when taking it with me to school, it soon became very characteristically smelly and the smell was extending itself further so I freaked out that our whole room is soon going to smell with kefir and I had to do something about it, so I sent it to get it fixed. I remember feeling very concerned what they will think of me there seeing that it’s all soaked up in kefir. πŸ˜€ It’s funny now, but I was stressed out like hell. Mind you that Braille-Sense is a specialised device so the servicing was also that bit pricier than your average laptop or phone. I have quite a history of breaking tech stuff in this or that way, however I haven’t spilled kefir over anything else thankfully, I’m extra sensitive about such stuff now. πŸ˜€

When was the last time you slept more than 9 hours in a stretch?Β  Why?

On Wednesday, the night from Tuesday to Wednesday that is. It is not a rare occurrence for me. I am blind, without light perception so my circadian rhythm is not particularly steady and gets dysregulated very easily, but also I seem to have very varying need for sleep, and I don’t really know if that’s as normal for the blind. It’s like sometimes I can sleep 2 hours and wake up feeling rested and energised, or I can sleep for 4 hours and feel as if I had no sleep at all and am a zombie for the whole day, or I need 12 hours of sleep suddenly for no apparent reason. Sometimes when I don’t sleep at all at night I feel crappy afterwards, very anxious or zoning out all the time or can’t wait until the evening, even if it’s just 7 PM, because I want to sleep, or sometimesΒ  don’t even feel any difference with how I feel after a sleepless night vs 9 hours of sleep and am perfectly OK and wouldn’t even mind staying up late sometimes. It seems to go for me in cycles though I haven’t yet figured out how exactly it works and what – other than messing up with sleep routine or something external that changes my sleep patterns in an obvious way – causes the change. Anyway, that night I am talking about I slept for 11 hours, from 11 PM to 11 AM, and I suppose it was the anti-anxiety medication that I took in the evening that knocked me out, perhaps together with feeling a bit tired after a lot of social interaction – a lot for my standards. – I actually wrote about that night very recently because of the series of Scotland-themed dreams I had then, that I absolutely loved. I normally hate sleeping late or very long for no apparent reason but I loved the dreams. Oh and my record so far is 19 hours, and I wouldn’t like to beat it, it was quite an odd and a little bit creepy thing, actually more so for my family than fr me. πŸ˜€

Share something you were really grateful for this year (so far):

Misha, Misha and Misha first of all. I sometimes really wonder how I coped before I had him. He makes loads of difference for me in different aspects of my life. My family and all my online friends definitely. Also that I am finally on disability allowance, that always helps and I feel more secure financially.