And for once I was SuperMom

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Letter to an Insomniac

'Oh, well, I just couldn't sleep last night,' I said.
Her eyes grew wide.
I suddenly realized that I was speaking to someone who had never had trouble sleeping for one night in her life, ever.
I guess, I thought that everyone, from time to time, has a hard time falling asleep.
Even my incredibly emotionally stable husband, sometimes, can't his get his body to fall.
Even my lovely sweet friend, sometimes, can't get herself to stop thinking.
Even my strong brother, sometimes, can't relax in a new place.

I remember that first it happened to me, right after I had a child.  Those first few weeks of such extreme sleep deprivation. So tired all the time.  Even the most awake of us can fall asleep at the drop of a head, with newborn cradled in arms.  I remember my eyes, open, surrounded by a fog of dark, and thinking that adulthood just keeps on.  Even when you haven't slept in days, that sometimes your brain just keeps you awake.  Worries don't go away just because you're too tired to deal with them.

I remember those weeks that it happened to me in college.  So tired, that I think I went a little insane.  Nights built on nights, until I wasn't falling asleep until the sun came up.  The cruelty of those first bars of light.  The sandy feeling of tired eyelids.  Feeling crazy.  Feeling like something was wrong with me because I couldn't let go.

As adulthood marched on I came to know that sometimes you just can't let go.

Sometimes it's as simple as not having any time to yourself.  There's a song lyric, 'do you like you.'  When you're alone, do you like you?  Unfortunately I do.  Sometimes in the wake of children and husbands and guests, I don't get to see me.  I can't check in and think my thoughts.  Then when I lie down next to my husband at night, those thoughts come, they seep out from the space between my brain and my skull.  They climb on a carousel, that brings up some emotions I didn't know I had.  Or sometimes they just keep twirling.
Then I'm not tired.  Those thoughts are twirling.  Those emotions are brewing.  Or not.

Tonight, with glass of red wine to my left, feet stretched out before me, surrounded by a calm blanket of dark, I think I just miss me.

I want to go back to that young woman who was just so tired and wrung out and say, 'hey, hang out with yourself.  You're pretty cool.  Nothing is wrong with you.  Sometimes we just didn't take are of ourselves and our body can't let go until our mind does.'
I want to take her hand and say, 'that mind carousel is normal.  So many people have that.  In fact I kind of worry if someone hasn't had it.  Take some time. Get out of bed.  Climb on that ride.  Listen to the music.  Ride it around a few times.  Let it unravel.  You will sleep.'

So tonight I'll let it unravel.
Maybe I'll sleep.
Or maybe I won't.
Maybe I'll just hang out with myself.

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