I can’t sleep, and I can’t even blame my babies, who are no longer babies and are sleeping in their own beds in their own room for a good 11 hours each night.
It’s all me, and I can’t sleep. I do everything one is supposed to in order to facilitate and maintain a good night’s sleep, but come 11, 12, 1 o’clock, I can’t sleep.
My body rebels by midnight, becoming restless and heavy and uncoordinated, but still, I can’t sleep.
I try playing solitaire, in bed, on my Blackberry, the beam of light from the screen just narrow enough that I won’t wake my husband,
I can lie in my bed, wishing to be asleep, and my body literally tingles with anxiety. Anxious because I cannot sleep leads to anxious because we lost our nanny; anxious because I miss my children during the day; anxious because my anxiety leads me to scratch at itchy patches on my hands until they bleed. And as the hours tick past, so does coherent thought, and it’s not unusual for me to wake Chris at 3 am because I am no longer anxious about rational or real, but am now convinced that the crack I saw in the kitchen wall means that the floor under my children is about to give way or that the cat is scratching her hind leg because we have bedbugs and I will fly out of bed and turn on the light in order to catch them, but all I catch is a groggy, panicked husband wondering why I had to fly out of bed and turn on the light in the middle of the night.
And he’s good; he’s so good. He tells me to wake him if I can’t sleep or if my legs feel shaky, and he’ll talk me down or massage out the tension until his touch lightens and falls and I realize that he is asleep again but I am not.'
I have seen my naturopath and my doctor about this. I have tinctures and regiments and mantras and exercises that I see through but don’t sleep through. I have little blue pills that I don’t like to take but sometimes I will, and half the time they don’t work either, but make me groggy enough that when I pad down the hall to the bathroom I ricochet off the walls and doorframes and end up with funny bruises on my hips and shins.
Last weekend, I went away with some friends to a beautiful, peaceful lakeside home. We ate too much, drank too much, smoked too much, and I slept. I slept dreamless, until 9:30 each morning. But life is not lived in limitless repose, and I was unable to transfer the momentum of those nights home.
I’m not particularly stressed out during the day. I don’t fight off catastrophic thoughts at 2pm or cry over the upcoming anniversary of my father’s death at 11am. Those thoughts are the company I keep at 3am, no matter how hard I try to head them off with sleep.
I’m hoping that the cooler weather that surely must, has to be on its way will help. I’m hoping that my return to running, although I hate every single bleedin’ second of it, will help. I’m hoping that sorting out our childcare and some other short and long term decisions will help.
Because sleep deprivation sucks, ask any new mother. But sleep deprivation when you don’t even have a baby to make it all worthwhile? Well that’s just downright cruel. I’m just too tired to be angry about it.