Sleep is both my nemesis and best friend. I had absolutely no idea something as simple as falling asleep at night would become the bane of my existence before I got sick. We've settled into a rather symbiotic existence at this point, but the amount of work it took me to get here is astounding. A rather enlightening experience on Tuesday night reminded me how awful not sleeping is, and what a mess my life quickly becomes without it.
I shut the computer off and went to bed at 2 AM, like a good girl, even though my mind was racing and I was anything but tired. After an hour of laying there amping myself up I got up, figuring trying to force my brain to shut down was having the opposite affect. Another hour and I wasn't any better off, but at this point it's 4 AM and my visions of a productive Wednesday are rapidly disintegrating before my eyes. So I got back in bed and tried to force myself to sleep. After another hour passes I'm so exhausted-hyper that anxiety is kicking in. Trying to sleep with anxious vibrations coursing through my limbs is a joke, but I didn't really know what to do. I hadn't had insomnia like that in quite some time and was, of course, terrified it was sneaking back into my life. I know full well if I can't sleep I can't have anything resembling a quality existence.
At 5 AM a bright idea popped into that racing brain of mine, and I got up to make sure I had indeed taken my arsenal of sleep aids the night before. Low and behold, I hadn't! While taking enough pills to knock out an elephant at five in the morning isn't my idea of a good time, I was crazy relieved there was an actual explanation for my viscous attack of sleeplessness. I took my meds and within a half hour was out like a toddler after a day at the beach.
While all of this insanity had me jumping in and out of bed I remembered the acute misery sleep disruption brought to my life in the beginning. See back then I had to work the next day, so there was no taking sleep meds at 5 AM and switching off the alarm. There was only me, exhausted, trudging through a day at work and praying for my shift to end. More often than not, one night of insomnia, followed by a hard days work, would kick a cycle into gear that wouldn't end for days. After four or five nights of not sleeping I literally became too exhausted to knock out. My freakin' brain wouldn't shut off, and it was only a matter time before I collapsed from utter debilitation because of course, not sleeping made the pain so much worse. Not sleeping made everything worse! This little reminder on Tuesday night was yet one more experience to show me how far I've come, and how passionately I intend to hang on to my progress.
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