Last night I had a party in my bed.
No, this is not another essay about my dating life. This is a public service announcement that might revitalize the Just Say No campaign of the Nineties and is a good example of my non-perfect life. If you ever thought that I had a perfect life. Which I don’t.
This little story is for everyone who does things they are embarrassed about but don’t feel like they can tell anyone. This is for people who are occasionally haphazard and need an assistant to get from Point A to Point B. And the Point B I’m talking about here is Bed.
This is for you. Read it and your self-esteem will soar when you compare your life to mine.
Let’s back up.
It was my daughter’s graduation from college weekend. I was feeling an appropriate amount of emotion. A little sad, a lot proud, the usual amount of tired. I’d gotten through the orchestra playing the graduation march without sobbing, the humorless speaker without sneering, the conferring of degrees without falling asleep.
After the celebration dinner, I managed to brush my teeth and I thought, take my very unsexy progesterone pill (can you feel the tension building?).
I put my head on the pillow and fell into a deep slumber-and at 2 a.m., the trumpets of my central nervous system blared, “Get the F up Ann! You have a world to run right now!”
I sat up.
Look, I know a lot of people wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, but I am not that person. I am the person who falls asleep and you wonder if I died until I turn over at 5 a.m. with a smile and a to-do list turned on in my brain.
I tried to suss out what was happening. Was this a delayed euphoric response to my retirement from teaching? A delayed stress response from realizing that if I have a college graduate it must mean I’ve suddenly aged considerably? Is the laboring of my heart a delayed response to my Diet Coke at dinner?
I had to calm down.
Attempting to go back to dreamland, I tried that deep-breathing thing. That works, right? In deep for seven, hold for four, out for eight. Nothing. Wide awake. I dialed up rain noises on my phone. Took two Tylenol because I was sure I had a pain somewhere that needed numbing. I tried to read.
And still, the horns blared.
Then I retraced the steps of my bedtime ritual.
This is when I discovered that instead of taking my very unsexy progesterone accidentally took an Adderall (yes mine, shut-up). For those keeping track at home, that was Point A.
Adderall, for those who don’t know of it, is a time-release amphetamine that helps manage Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m a words girl, but I did the math and it wasn’t good. I was in for approximately eight to ten hours of heart-pounding, house-party-kind-of-drug-induced-stimulation all by myself in my bed. No arriving Point B.
Party of One.
Here’s what I did with my time.
- I cut my hair (sorry, Liz) with nail scissors I found while searching for a facial scrub.
- I washed my face with the facial scrub.
- I cleaned the toilet, sink, and bathtub.
- I watched two videos on how to give yourself your own gel manicure.
- I bought a gel manicure blue light.
- I direct-messaged friends until I found someone awake. I chatted with them until they stopped chatting with me.
- I wrote several to-do lists that will take me through 2025.
- I wrote a Ted Talk on how throwing all your stuff away does not make you a good person.
- I considered running for president.
- I searched slang terms for Adderall: red dexies, red pep, lid poppers, beans.
- I Googled how to counteract the red pep.
- I considered wine but thought that was way too 1990.
In case you thought you’d like to try amphetamines sometime in your life.
This is what happens when a goody-two shoes accidentally take a mind-altering drug.
What I learned.
- I would make a terrible rock star.
- I will never over-use chemicals of any sort, except maybe cleaning supplies.
- Adderall is powerful, and while it really turns on your brain, it doesn’t do a thing for your critical thinking during the midnight hours.
- If you are going to jack up your central nervous system, hide your credit cards.
Why am I telling you this?
- We all make mistakes.
- If I can tell you about this ridiculous night of mine, you can tell someone about whatever it is you are feeling embarrassed about.
- The more we talk about our mistakes, the more we connect with people on the imperfect human level where we all live.
- Because shame is embarrassment hidden and baked to perfection over time.
- Because perfection is a trap where your sadness lives.
I love you guys. Let’s party, but with cake instead of pills.
This is going to be my presidential platform.