For years I felt that falling asleep was entirely out of my control and it happened at very inconvenient times. Namely at school and at work. I once fell asleep at a museum… standing up, leaned against a column…
It wasn’t until at the age of 29 that falling asleep at work was such a problem that I decided to seek an evaluation. At the time I was working exclusively as a therapist and I loved working with clients and my team. It was the paperwork that followed every interaction that was so mind-numbing for me that was a problem. It was so bad that eventually just the thought of doing the paperwork made me drowsy. Many times I would start the paperwork and wake up hours later.
The reason I sought an evaluation was for anxiety. I was starting to fear that I might lose my job because of what felt like an inability to complete a very important part of my role. It wasn’t until I met with a few psychotherapists that I realized that my anxiety made perfect sense but it was the drowsiness that was the real problem.
It feels so strange to reflect on how blind I was to all of this, especially being a therapist myself, but the drowsiness I felt when bored was something that I accepted as a part of who I was and I unconsciously worked around it for most of my life. Now that there was no way around doing this type of very boring work did I have a real problem.
I now have a much better understanding of how my brain works and how to work around this and I want to talk more about that in the future. For now, I just wanted to share my story in hopes that other people who experience something similar can learn that they are not alone.