One of the side effects of a racing mind is lack of sleep. It’s not that I don’t try. I just very often fail. Weirdly, I went to sleep at 9:00pm on Friday and Saturday. Tonight, I’m awake and it’s midnight. I know the reasons and they aren’t necessarily negative, but they’re keeping me awake. Excitement about the future. It’s too late to take my sleeping pill. It also isn’t helping that for some reason, my neighbors, who walk loudly, are also struggling to sleep. I’m yawning like I’m tired, but sleep alludes me. I haven’t quite figured this part out. There was a time I never slept. It’s been several moments in time during life changes.
High School. I didn’t sleep sophomore through Senior Year. It was a very stressful time. I often fell asleep in class and some of my teachers let me sleep through. I worked and tried keeping up with school. I had tumultuous relationships with boyfriends. I also was pretty heavy into my eating disorder. When I left for college, I was 97 pounds. I didn’t sleep at college. I didn’t eat and took laxatives and exercised all night. I had lost control. Although when you’re in the addiction, you think you’re in control. I ended up in the hospital. My Mom pulled me out of school and brought me home. I got better. Learned how to eat but never got over my negative body image. I still struggle today. Spent years in therapy. Got better.
The next time of sleepless nights started in 2006 and lasted until around 2012. Bad relationship. Abusive and stressful. I was always wondering when I could escape but that I loved him. It was all my fault and if I just acted right, he wouldn’t yell in my face or call me names or sometimes get physical with me. I still didn’t sleep well when I got away from him. Always looking over my shoulder. But I finally slept. I finally was able to truly rest.
When I moved in with my ex, I had trouble sleeping because of the recurring nightmares which have always been part of my life. I also never felt safe there. He also snored something fierce. I finally called my doctor and she put me on a mild sleeping pill. I took them when I was so tired, I passed out. Now that I’m alone, I’m restless. The first night alone, I had a dream that my abuser knew I was alone and he put his hand on my arm and nodded at me. It wasn’t scary at the time. When I woke up, I was petrified. I thought… what the hell? I’ve had more dreams about him since and they’ve been the normal nightmares that have haunted me for many years. I know they’re dreams and I’m able to wake up. I’ve also been having vivid dreams that could be real. I’ve gotten my facts mixed up on several occasions between dreams and reality. I need that to stop happening. It’s very disruptive. How do I explain to my boss and coworkers that I’m struggling without looking crazy?
I’ll get through it, but I’m freakin’ exhausted. That’s my truth tonight. I know you’re out there staring at the ceiling hoping for sleep’s gentle touch. May it find you and embrace you with peace and serenity. Hang in there. We can hope together that it gets better. Sweet dreams, my sleepless friends.