Perhaps the biggest challenge I've faced over the last year with Fibromyalgia concerns sleep. At times it's become so out of control I'd watch the sky slowly brighten with dawn as tears of utter frustration streamed down my face. Unable to do much more than pop more pills and try to ignore the mounting anxiety claiming my psyche. The popping pills thing didn't work, though. I'd either be too dulled out to do much of anything the next day or sleep until two o'clock in the afternoon. Certainly not moving towards the illusive forward progress of life. But not sleeping leaves me unable to function, too, pinning me into a nice little box of my own insanity.
So I decided to institute my own version of sleep hygiene. Staying up all hours of the night writing left me wired and panicked. Sleeping all day made me unable to participate in life. And procrastinating all evening on doing the dishes and packing my husband's lunch insured if I did get tired, I'd still have to get up and do work. None of that was helping what had become my most important cause. So I turned off the computer, disciplined myself to do my chores right after my husband went to bed and started learning about the world. Over the last few months I've watched a few dozen documentaries. Or maybe a hundred. As much as I've learned about history, conspiracy theories and religion I actually am learning far more about myself. I always knew I liked conspiracy theories and religion. I did not, however, realize I was an apt and rabid history and science buff.
As my knowledge and worldview expanded some very important truths were revealed to me. Over the span of our homo sapien existence being human pretty much...sucks. War, slavery, annihilation and genocide are just a few of the atrocities our species commits against itself with sweeping regularity. Dictators, emperors, kings, czars and shahs have been merciless in their efforts to conquer, consume and claim both land and people. And don't even get me started on the dark ages, I just won't be able to stop! Then there is good ol' mother nature herself, and the way her disasters and destruction have shaped human existence.
Learning about so many things I didn't pay a lick of attention to in school opened up my mind. Not only was I able to get drowsy and actually go to bed and fall asleep, my compassion and awareness of the world we live in grew. Comprehending how small I am in the grand scheme made me feel better. While I may suffer from a strange illness doctors can't explain or cure, my ancestors have survived worse. I have a comfortable bed to climb into at night, machines to wash my clothes and dishes and an automobile to drive where I need to go. These are not necessities to be taken for granted, for they make my life far better than my great-grandmother's great-great-grandmother's. Yet I do. So I guess the gist is, everyone suffers, it's just a matter of how much, why, and what on earth you do about it. But all this awareness and empathy is useless when I watch a bunch of divas tantrum and cat-fight as they drive their Bentleys and try and yell at each other through Botox-frozen faces. So I've been avoiding The Real Housewives like the Bubonic Plague.
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