The Walking Dead
Seriously, I love my sleep. Now that I’m not getting enough, I find it an exquisite form of torture. One, I must say I would rather live without. There is nothing like the hours before dawn for contemplating one’s soul and I’ve been doing a dreadful amount of this. I have always been lucky in the sleep department, up until last year. I could sleep, I could sleep ridiculously well eight, nine, ten hours at stretch, even with a nana nap. Only very occasionally did I have a bad night, even with shift work, which I just blamed on hormones? I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself when I blogged about fatigue last year and remarked I only coped because I did sleep?
I so miss sleeping well. I want it to come back, I want to remember what eight hours of no thinking feels like, I want my bliss back.
Back track to last October, it was like someone had thrown a switch. Welcome to the world of sleeplessness and the land of the living dead (which is how I feel most days). Sometimes I might be able to drift off easily, only to wake a few short hours later not to be able to go back to sleep, tossing, turning and cursing. Endless upon endless nights of this. Now I’ve learnt to just get up and have a cup of chamomile tea, watch some TV, write about various things until I’m having trouble keeping my eyelids open, mindless distraction for sometimes hours on end. Usually I will get another few hours of bliss when I eventually get back to bed. I’ve tried reading but to no avail at these times because I love books and words so much, I tend to read myself into wakefulness wanting to know what happens next. Just one more page, one more chapter. Will the boy finally kiss the girl, will they catch the killer, who finds the body? Endless questions which obviously need answers immediately? Reading for me is escapism but its also living vicariously through someone else. It is not conducive to sleeping, its another world, which I find far to enticing.
I have tried many things, making sure I have a reasonable sleep routine or sleep hygiene they call it these days? Go figure, that just sounds wrong. Meditation, guided muscle relaxation and prolonged release melatonin, different breathing techniques, visits to a psychologist. Of these the prolonged release melatonin was the one that helped to a certain extent. I would at least get 5 – 7 hours. Still not enough for me but better than three. I stopped taking the melatonin on my holiday and surprisingly I slept quite well. Back to work, after my first lot of nights, I’ve returned to sleeping poorly. Even with re-starting the prolonged release melatonin, I’m not getting enough sleep, I’ve returned to the state of the damned. I am the living dead. I’m not a person that functions on three, four or five hours sleep, I find it very difficult to navigate my way through the day.
Some days I am functional, though only just. Other days I really struggle. Just following a simple conversation becomes a monumental task. I’m sure sometimes, well actually I know I talk shit, God only knows what has been coming out if my mouth, for the last six months or so? Really who knows what is the cause of my wakefulness? Stress, anxiety, maybe its just MS insomnia? Maybe it’s the depletion of my hormones? I am at that crazy age women get to? I do know my shift work impacts on it but that’s here to stay, for the foreseeable future. So basically I just need to learn to manage it.
I need to embrace it and use it, which is easier said than done. I’d love to use those hours of wakefulness well, there is always housework that needs doing? Seriously, I don’t have the energy for that. I’m sure Miss O would be less than impressed If I turned the vacuum on at 03.00 hours, actually she would probably not stir from her comatose state. Lately I have been writing poetry, yes you heard me correctly. Haven’t done that since my early twenties and I guess I am full of angst that needs some sort of escape. I find the whole process cathartic. So in a strange kind of way I feel my sleeplessness, is not just wasted hours, at least I am achieving something creative. Right? Who am I kidding? I’d much rather be asleep but at least my angst is getting a pretty good airing and I’m thoroughly enjoying making Miss O read my poems. “Mum you know poetry isn’t my forte, I hate it!” she says. Well I say, “They aren’t bloody sonnets Miss O, just read them and let me know what you think?”. The silence is deafening.