Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sleepless In Somerset

Last night was night four of very little sleep.  It's an improvement on Thursday and Friday when I got no sleep at all so I guess I should be grateful.

I'm tired.  I'm really, really, really fucking tired!

I almost wrote a blog post at four this morning.  I'm glad I didn't or I might have spent most of today trying to backtrack on it.

You know the worst thing about insomnia?


There is nothing more boring than being awake when your mind is so tired you cant make sense of anything.  You can't do anything much if other people are sleeping.  You don't want to wake those you share a house with.  No one much else is around to talk to.  The stuff in your head is so mixed up that you probably wouldn't make any sense at all anyway. You wouldn't be able to express the crap that's churning around in your mind because mostly it doesn't make sense to you either.

Insomnia is lonely.  It makes you feel totally isolated.  It makes mountains out of molehills.  It makes you focus on the negatives and it makes you feel powerless.

I really fucking HATE insomnia!

Now obviously I'm still in zombie mode.  I've actually achieved quite a lot today all on auto pilot.  I rarely, if ever give into the urge to sleep during the day, it's not the solution and only means that another sleepless night is a certainty rather than just a possibility.  I know my brain isn't firing on all cylinders today but that's ok, it doesn't really need to but I can keep my body going in the hope that exhaustion will finally win and tonight I'll sleep.

I haven't always suffered from insomnia.  In fact it's only in the last few years that Ive had night after night of no sleep.  It's not a constant in my life.  I can't always work out whats triggered it and I find that giving it too much thought only prolongs it.

I can be happy and have insomnia or, as is more usually the case, I can have things in my life that make me unhappy or cause me stress.  I guess the common denominator is that I have things on my mind.

Ive never been big on sleep (which was a bonus when I had one 13 month old and a new born baby).  I don't understand lie ins, I really don't.  I can understand the relief of not having to get up for an alarm just not the 'not getting up' part of it.  But that's me and I fully appreciate that others see lying in bed until lunchtime on a weekend as a well deserved luxury.

Insomnia isn't about having the odd sleepless night because something's on your mind.  That's normal.  It's crap and it gets people down but usually it fairly isolated and explainable (is that a word???).

Insomnia feeds on itself and yes, I know I said I try not to focus on it too much but that's during the day, at night there IS no escape.

It first started after the breakdown of my marriage.  Another of ex lax's legacies I guess (god bless him for being so giving ;).

During the day Id worry about the usual stuff that people worry about in those situations but at night my fears would become totally irrational.

My main fear was that the house would burn down.  Now, if you've read a few of my 'shitty house' posts then you might not see that as so irrational!

The truth is that I'm fairly sure my house is safe and there isn't any danger of it exploding or spontaneously combusting but, in the early hours of the morning that wasn't really any comfort to me as I lay in bed planning escape routes.  I also used to worry that something would happen to one of the children or to me so I couldn't look after them.  Again, not totally irrational fears given the circumstances but intensified to the point where I felt I had to make all sorts of contingency plans 'just in case'.

Over time these fears have lessened.  I can see that they were mostly a product of an exhausted, overwrought, over active imagination. These days I rarely get the nightmares that filled the few hours sleep I did get and left me in a pile of tangled, sweat soaked sheets .

Life has gone on and I've moved past much of that.  Occasionally it make a brief return and sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the nightmares and reality.  But life IS mostly good.  My health has improved dramatically.  My weight has been fairly stable this year with the odd dip but nothing too serious.  I've spent hours decorating, improving my house which (despite the fact that I still have things to do) gives me an enormous amount of pleasure.

But the insomnia still haunts me and I'm soooo fucking tired of it (very bad pun intended;).

I don't know what it would take to sort this ....

Hmmm, actually, you know what?  That might not be true because like so many people I'm too fond of saying 'I'm ok' when the reality is that I'm not.  Possibly the only place I will say it is here on my blog.  The thing is that I bury the things that make me not ok so deep these days that nobody really knows they are there.  Even I don't acknowledge them because, under lock and key they cant hurt me can they?  I can carry on my life, loving, living, laughing (and it's all real, it's not a pretence, there's plenty of loving, living and laughing going on I promise you).  That's what people do isn't it.  It's called survival because each and every one of us have things burried that can hurt us if we let them.

Except ...  they do hurt me don't they?  They are the reason I cant sleep.  They may be buried but they aren't dead and keeping me awake is their way of reminding me they exist.

No one lives a life without these things.  I'm not unique and I'm not alone.  I'm unlucky that it affects me in this particular way that's all.

I guess you may be thinking that the solution would be to confront these things.  If you do then you could be right but then again, you could be wrong.  I may have confronted some of them in the past and nothings changed.  There may be things that would actually be made worse if I did confront them (and not everything IS better out in the open).  There may be things that are just too fucking painful to dig up and actually insomnia is the lesser of two evils.

I don't necessarily advocate burying or ignoring things.  I don't actually think it's the answer for most people but it is a choice that most of us make.  Sometimes being honest about things or even being honest with ourselves is the hardest thing in the world and so we're not and, if there are answers out there, solutions, a way forward that could bring us happiness or at least peace then we will never hear them because we are too afraid to ask. and too busy pretending we are ok.

That's just really fucking sad isn't it?

You know how I feel right now?  No, it's not depressed.  I've been there and this is something different.

I feel melancholy.  

Now that's a great, very underused word that describes exactly how I feel right now.  I don't know what the dictionary definition is (and for once I'm not going to google it).  For me melancholy is an innate sense of sadness, of pensive thought, a yearning for ... well, for whatever.

I guess I've been dwelling a little on my last post.  There comes a point where it really is too late and what then?

Like I said, I'm tired.  This is most definitely one of those posts written at one of those times where if I had any sense I'd leave it in draft for at least 24 hours before deleting it.

Well insomnia ate my common sense so fuck it, I'm publishing and I'll be back to backtrack like crazy tomorrow ok ;)


Suldog said...

I'm a huge believer in naps, myself. Nothing I like more than a few hours on a Saturday, maybe a baseball game on the radio, and taking a guilt-free snooze. And I find it never interferes with my ability to sleep later on. I suppose I'm just blessed (or really, really stupid.)

Sarah said...

Lets go with blessed. Im pretty sure if intelligence was a factor then I'd be getting my full 8 hours a night :).

Funnily enough, as the day has gone on Ive found this melancholy air lifting a little, maybe writing this post helped clear my mind a bit.

I possibly would have put it back into draft if no one has read it, it seems very over dramatic on re reading (no, forget what I said, that not me pretending to be ok ;).

Im accepting of most of the underlying things in my life, the not so good stuff and, in my own way (even if it's by ignoring it) I've dealt with it.

I think tonight could be a sleeper fingers crossed :)

AGuidingLife said...

I never aim for happy or no worry or even 'being over things' they are just things that if I hoped for they I would be disappointed. I just hope for a little self forgiveness sometimes and contentment. I tend not to sleep for 3 nights in a row and then by the 4th I'm just in pass out mode. I blame my age mainly. Hope you zonk out tonight.

Sarah said...

Ive had a bit more sleep the last couple of night thanks K so I feel much better. I feel pretty much the same about things, dealing with them isn't the same as being over them but it does allow you to carry on without them being in the forefront constantly wearing you down. Contentment, now there's something to aim for, I sometimes wish I could be a little more content with some areas of my life.

Catherine said...

Melncholy is a beautiful and evocative word. I'm sorry for the insomnia. I find that reading, even if it's 2am and I have to get out of bed and go into another room to do it, will quiet my brain and provide escape. Any chance it might help?

I'm glad you're back, my little nutjob on the other side of the pond.