I hadn't planned on writing anything today but I've been feeling tired and it's affecting me in ways I'd forgotten it did so I thought I would write about that. I could pass it off as being cranky, which is how I think it comes across to other people, but it feels a bit different than just being cranky. To me, I'm reacting in "easy" ways, following well-established emotional pathways because I'm too tired to try to react in another way.
There are two main emotional pathways at work: anger and depression. For much of my life I've had anger issues; pretty much any negative emotion I might have translates into anger, and although I've done a lot of work in that area, those original pathways and reactions are still there and easy to find. Therefore, when I'm really tired and something doesn't work like I think it should, I feel this huge anger. Some of that reaction is that I have limited energy and can only imagine things going one way; any deviation from that and poof! I'm feeling angry.
I've also been depressed for much of my life, so that's an easy pathway to find as well. After my primary breast cancer in 2000, I had huge cognitive issues and spent a lot of time feeling really stupid. For whatever reason, that particular reaction is now the "easiest" one. If I get mixed up, I automatically assume it's me being stupid and that just leads to thoughts like "I can't do anything right" and "I feel like I'm pointless" and "why am I even here?" and poof! I'm feeling depressed.
This isn't to say that these reactions are always there, or that I stay in them because I have done a lot of work in these areas. But they are the "easiest" reactions and it takes work to pull away from them and it's harder to do that work when I'm really tired. At least I can see these reactions happening, which is a big help because then I know that my brain is just taking the easy route.