Sleep Eludes Me

So tired, yet sleep eludes me. Dancing just out of reach like a flirtatious lover, rubbing fingers along my shoulders then tiptoeing away as I turn to reach for him. I laid here and tried to get underneath all the thoughts, yet it was as if a boulder were lying on my chest. I struggled to climb down behind its mass, turning. It didn’t work. Exhaustion sits on my shoulders, yet here I am, bleary eyes gazing at this screen. Maybe writing about the elusivity — is this even a word? — will help me to get even a half an hour of blissful sleep.

At some point in the near past I did reach over and look at my phone and discover I had not turned off the wifi. Bad. Bad. A guarantee I’ll awaken. But by then it was too late.

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Insomnia is Evil

Insomnia, you are an evil bastard. I’m working on some alternative techniques to deal with you and finding some success, but alas, not yet enough. I’m still mostly thoroughly exhausted.

Some tricks:  Put an extra earplug or two under your pillow so when one of the two you wear nightly invariably falls out, it is not necessary to wake enough to reach over and open the drawer to the bedside table and find another, thus waking further and making sleep impossible. One other thing to note about earplugs, find the kind that work best for you and buy 1000 of the damn things. Manufacturers seem hell bent on reinventing wheels that work just fine every few years and you may discover that your best earplug choice disappears from the drugstore shelf, never to be found again. Buying the entire supply ensures you’ll have enough of your favorite for years.

Keep your eye pillow within arm’s reach for the same reason listed with earplugs. Anything that can be done before really waking will increase the likelihood of falling back to sleep.

The light-blocking shades available at hardware stores are the best thing since sliced bread. Nothing beats them for keeping out the dark. They’re worth every penny.

All the usual insomnia advice about not drinking caffeine later in the day, not drinking later in the day, keeping your room temperature at a point that doesn’t cause too much warmth or too much cold, and eating before bed so you don’t wake up hungry are  all useful too. Considering I have the smallest bladder on the planet, I really have to follow the advice about not drinking anything. Actually having to rise out of bed is a sure sleep killer for me.

I’m trying this Buddhist meditation thing. I have to become really mindful of my body, then focus on my breath, then move through my body and find tension and note that it is there, and move my mind back to this if it slips away. I find that focusing on my body and my breath forces my mind away from the usual suspects that cause it to spin, work and money. I’m getting better, but my brain seems hardwired to know if I’m going to have to get up in an hour or less anyway and will not go back to sleep, no matter how exhausted I am.

Insomnia is a bitch. Over twenty years of this. The only thing that really makes it better is feeling completely secure, and that hasn’t happened for years now. I can’t imagine that this will be a part of my life until I die, but I’m beginning to think that it will. Maybe it will even cause my death since sleeplessness is blamed for so many causes of death.

I Can’t Categorize This One

I’m not a seed, or a hipster, or anything that can be classified. Female? Wow, that’s original. Aren’t many of those around.

Have I mentioned lately that I’m in love with Isabel, Milla, my pets, and my new house? Not necessarily in that order. Well, that order, except the two children are interchangeable. And I do love my new little house. It’s not large, by any stretch of the imagination, but it suits us fine. My dad is bringing Isabel a playhouse. It used to be my sister’s children’s, then Milla’s, then niece Sarah’s, now Isabel gets it and she gets it at home instead of at my parent’s, which is nice for her because we rarely venture there. It’s a little blue house. I need to scrub and repaint it. I will probably choose a color other than blue to blend with the landscape.

I must go to bed. I must also confess, to the very few who read my blog, that in times of stress I resort to prescription sleep aids. After nearly two decades of insomnia, I finally gave in and asked Miss Doctor, is there something I can take while breastfeeding that will help me to sleep through the night and not wake up worrying about any number of things at 4 am? Why yes, there is one pill, and it won’t make you drive across the city to your boyfriend’s house in your sleep (like Ambien did the one time I took it four years ago). I was lucky I wasn’t killed. She said Ambien is not tested for breastfeeding. I would not take it, in that case, even if it weren’t for the driving incident. So I’ve been stressed about starting my own practice. I will be partnering with a friend and in that I’m grateful. I’m not concerned about the practice part of it. I do that, have been doing that for three years. It’s the bringing in business part that scares me, and the tension with the people I was sharing with before. Things have not been pretty and I don’t like this at all. So, the sleeping aid. C’est la vie. But it’s working and it’s working now so I’m going to snuggle my three-year-old, the three-year-old who now wears UNDERWEAR, I might add, because I knew she was ready and I told her three-year-olds wear underwear all the time and not diapers. She’s a champ and it’s going swimmingly. As is this paragraph. It has swum from one topic to the next. Amazing paragraph it is. I’ll let it go now and proceed forthwith to bed.

Sleep Beckons

All the time, every day, I have ideas of stuff to write. Then it gets to the end of the day and I’ve been going and going and going all day long and I’m floored by exhaustion and there is nothing left of anything I thought of earlier. I’ve taken to carrying a notebook again and jotting notes, but so little time makes it nearly impossible to care when I actually have time to sit here and do it. I’m exhausted now, but figured I would throw in a paragraph. I’m so tired that sitting here I feel like I’m tipping. I’m probably not, it’s just that vertigo from need for sleep.

I can’t do it anymore. I have to go to bed. None of what I wanted to write seems more urgent than the need to lie down. Maybe it’s because I’m a single working mother. Maybe it’s because I’m a lazy lout. I don’t know or care right now. Sleep. Sleep.

I Remembered Insomnia

I remembered that I didn’t sleep last night, that I woke at 4 in the morning and that the brain turned on, even though I ran through every means I know to try and shut it off, short of taking drugs, which are not useful when taken at that hour because they leave me feeling hung over the following day and I could not afford to feel hung over.

I remembered that I lay there thinking about finishing my taxes, and whether I’m getting enough exercise, and money, and my children, and global warming, and the novel I am not writing enough of, and you, even though you don’t deserve my thinking.  I also remembered that I thought “You don’t deserve my thinking” and took pains to steer my thoughts elsewhere, even if the alternatives were not very appealing either.

I remembered when I felt tired at 8 and couldn’t understand why because 8 is not that late that, oh yeah, I didn’t sleep last night, and that also, oh yeah, I didn’t go back to sleep, which I usually do, and that, oh yeah again, I had to get up at 7 a.m., but that when the alarm went off, I reset it for 7:20, but still didn’t fall asleep, so I reset it for 7:50, but finally gave up and got up at 7:30 because lying there and not sleeping was foolish and that if I did fall asleep I would feel misery at having to awaken.  Yes, this is a too-long sentence, but forgive me because I’m tired.

Bedtime

Tonight I ran, pushing Isabel’s stroller, for a half an hour.  Ava ran with us.  We ran up and down hills and across sidewalks.  Many of the sidewalks were bumpy because of large tree roots.  I love the large trees; I do not love the large roots pushing up the sidewalk.  However, given the choice, I would take the trees and the bumpy sidewalks over no trees.

Anyway.  After I ran I came home, took a shower, and made dinner and washed the dishes, then Isabel was tired so I put her in jammies, changed her diaper, and put her to sleep.  I lay there too for about a half an hour.  It was only 9 o’clock.  I could have completely stayed asleep, but I was still wearing contacts and had not brushed my teeth, and then Milla came in to kiss and hug me goodnight, and I knew if I stayed there I would wake up at 1 and not go back to sleep.  I got up and started working on my book and now I’ve hit a wall, a tired wall.  I can’t write anymore.  I have to go to sleep.  I still have not taken out the contacts or brushed my teeth.  Ack.  I’m going to have to do that before I can sleep.  Instead I sit here and type this.  Okay, I quit.  I’m going to bed.

Third Person Lara

Lara is staying up too late.  It is her own damn fault; she fell asleep with her infant at about 6:30 in the evening and slept until almost 9.  Bad idea.  Bad idea, indeed.  Now Lara is awake.  But Baby finally fell asleep at half past midnight, so Lara can go to sleep too, after she brushes and flosses her teeth.  Poor tired Lara. Let’s hope her infant doesn’t wake up at the butt crack of dawn.

Lara thinks she should change her name, but she doesn’t know what name to change her name to.  She doesn’t like the name Lara.  It is such a wimpy name.  Plus no one can pronounce it properly in the United States. It’s always LORuh or LAIRuh, not LARuh, like car, or bar, or far, or tar, or mar, or even the letter R.  It’s not hard (or the word hard), or difficult even, but people here can’t do it.  And even when she spells her name for people, they still stick in the damn U.  What the hell, people?  There isn’t a U.  It’s not the same name.  Laura is the feminine of Lawrence.  It is a Latin-based name.  Lara is a Slavic name.  It is not related to Lawrence.  But try telling that to the morons who refuse to call her by her proper name, dang it.  Annoying.

Okay, awake is going to win if Lara does not head to her bed.  First to the bathroom sink and the toothpaste and the toothbrush, then to the bed.  Sleep.  Sleep.  Ahhhh…