Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Late Night

I thought I was done blogging yesterday for the weekend but, alas, insomnia hit me again.  So, I got up last night and wrote another ode to insomnia.  It has been proofread for content, since I wrote it long after taking sleep medication that should have knocked me out.  I was awake by 9:15 this morning, but I'm not in a rested stated, for sure!

It’s 1:05 a.m. and once again I am awake.  I feel like a total failure at sleep.  Why can’t I sleep?

I laid down at 11:00 with Justin and he went right to sleep.  I read from my Kindle for a half hour, feeling sleepy and hopeful.  I’m reading “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham.  It’s a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about Virginia Woolf’s book, “Mrs. Dalloway.”  It’s a good book – a very good book – but it’s not exciting and so I thought I would find myself able to go easily to sleep if I laid down.  I felt tired.

At 11:30, I was promisingly sleepy and I swallowed my double dose of ambien and turned out my light.  An hour later, at 12:30, I got up to go to the bathroom and tried turning over.  I can go an entire hour awake without moving once and be surprised when I look at the clock to see that an hour has passed.  Am I asleep without realizing it?

I turned onto my other side when I got back into bed after my bathroom run and thought the new position would help.  After all, I still felt sleepy.  I am tired with every fiber of my being.  There is nothing in particular going through my usually racing mind tonight and I felt sleepy.

The other side was a failure, as it has been since my first pregnancy.  Lying on my left side simply puts too much pressure on my stomach and causes reflux.  It’s apparent that I am an almost 47 year old woman in the little things like the heartburn that comes simply from lying on my left side.  It’s more comfortable physically, fibromyalgia-wise, but I am soon feeling the pressure of my stomach pushing up my esophagus.  Why do they always make pregnant women in labor lie on their left side?  I could never do it because I thought my stomach was going to make an entrance through my mouth instead of a baby through…well, you know.

I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom again.  (47 year old bladder with issues.)  I looked at the clock and it was 1:00 a.m.  I finally sighed and got up, grabbed my glasses and my Kindle and came back downstairs.  Everyone else is asleep.  Justin was out the minute he hit the bed, the stress of the week and the emotional roller coaster forcing him into much needed rest.  The soothing hum of the fan we began running at night years ago to cover up outside noise should be making me sleepy.  I am sleepy.  And yet, I’m awake.

Even the dog is unconscious, lying on the floor by the wall.  He never moved when I came downstairs and turned on the computer and the familiar chimes of the computer booting up came on.  (Why does it do that?  I hit “mute.”)  I can hear him sigh every once in awhile.  Why can the dog sleep, but I can’t?  His body clock is fixed to be asleep by 9:00 or 10:00 at the latest and to be up whenever Justin gets up.  How do dogs do that?

Tomorrow, I will leave for two nights at my parents’ home with the younger children.  Is the coming trip causing anxiety?  I am anxious to see my parents after this week trapped in my house, taking care of the dog and the younger children, but I don’t feel upset about it.  It has been too much summer this week and, although I love the kids with all my heart, I miss them being in school.  I think they must believe I am lonely.  Or maybe they are lonely and bored.  Or maybe they are worried about Justin and their Granddaddy.  They come downstairs much more often when Justin doesn’t have to have quiet and isn’t working in the office and they spend time with me.  I’m used to spending my days in my bedroom office, trying to write something that someone might want to read – my blog, maybe the book I have outlined, maybe another children’s book.  This week, I have been downstairs with the computer to keep track of whether the dog needs to be walked or is lonely and the kids think they are being nice to me by sitting with me in the family room.  I have gotten nothing done, writing wise.

Traveling always makes me anxious, even to a familiar place that isn’t far away.  But this trip is not making me anxious that I can tell.  Maybe I can’t go to sleep because I just want tomorrow to get here so I can go out and see my parents.  I won’t get too many chances to visit with them before they move several states away in August.  I am not processing that bit of information yet, but I know that I need to enjoy the time I can spend with them while I still have it.  The house they own now is a beautiful, large, comfortable home on quite a bit of land in the mountains.  The deer come through the back yard at dusk – mamas and babies and large bucks with antlers – to feed on the vegetation.  Sitting in the hot tub on the deck after dark, you can see countless stars, even more so than in the valley where we live.  It’s even darker there because there is even less population to drown out the starlight at night.

Whatever the reason, I cannot “Go the FUCK to SLEEP!” as I keep hearing over and over in my head in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice.  It’s not annoying me that I hear these words – it’s almost becoming a mantra to try to help myself along.  It’s actually said in an almost loving way, a tender way, go the fuck to sleep, Chelle, so that you can get up and go help your mother clean out her closets and get the beautiful Ansel Adams prints she doesn’t want for Justin’s office and help her get all the other things out of her house in preparation for the move.  And don’t bring home a lot of stuff to replace the stuff you’ve gotten rid of.

She didn’t ask me exactly what time we would be there tomorrow and I told her in my last email that all depends on how well I am doing in the morning.  A big part of that wellness plan is whether I have logged eight or nine hours of sleep before trying the trip.  A cranky, sleep deprived, bipolar woman with fibromyalgia is no fun for anyone and so I would not try to rush my departure.  But I know that Joey, with his nagging, will have me so annoyed by lunchtime that I will be throwing items into bags and yelling, “Fine!  Get your butt in the car and don’t blame me if you’ve forgotten something when we get there!”  And then I’ll apologize and ask him if he’s got everything before I back out of the driveway.  It’s no good trying to drive while aggravated.  In fact, that’s probably worse than driving while talking on my cell phone.

But for now, I sit here at 1:24 in the morning, the only light coming from my computer screen, wondering how long it will take before the ambien finally kicks in and allows my mind to shut down.  It’s supposed to work within ten minutes and I try not to take it until I can feel my body and mind winding down for the night.  That’s usually around 12:00.  I probably took it too soon  And so now, it is 1:32 in the morning and I will turn on the television and pray for the sandman to put in an appearance soon.  Please.  I need my rest.




  1. Thank you. I continue to struggle with insomnia. I think it was the first symptom of both my fibro and my bipolar, dating back to at least when I was 7 or 8 years old. It's been a source of frustration all my life.



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