The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE FORTY SIX: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
It’s funny I’m just getting around to talking about this. It’s affected my whole life.
Or the lack thereof.
I have been plagued ever since I was a kid. Long stretches of time I have got up early, long before dawn. My mind would just start working on things. I don’t remember much of what I thought about in those predawn times of my younger self. Maybe it was what I wanted to do that day. Maybe I was worrying about school. Maybe it was about some girl I had a crush on. Maybe all of these and more. But I would wake up way too early for an elementary student.
Then middle school and high school it was more of the same. But in high school, I started to understand that those early hours were great for being creative, thinking of stories or how I would change a movie or be inspired to write a letter to a girl I had a crush on. Yes, love will keep you awake. Even puppy love.
And, as some you may know, it still effects me. My brain has the motto ‘early to bed, early to rise’ hung up inside it somewhere.
Insomnia doesn’t affect me every day. When I was a kid, I remember waking up around nine or ten in the morning, but that was only because I stayed up so late reading or playing. During the Summer, my bedtime wasn’t enforced and I made use of it. My favorite was reading comic books under the sheets with a flashlight. Or a Stephen King book after I discovered him.
I’ve never been sure why I’m one of those people. I have asked myself every time I wake up at some godly hour to my brain churning information like an overfilled washing machine. Round and round and round.
Do I think this is related to my depression? Is it a symptom? Is it the source? I don’t know. I lean toward it’s a little bit of all of the above. Waking up to some troubling thought or some mistake I made or some important decision I have to make leads to insomnia. Worry, worry, worry. That can cause it. You know that. I’m sure you’ve dealt with the same thing. I think every human that has suffered some sleepless night or woken up to a problem surging in their brain. It would be foolish not to think so.
Or you wake up to some answer to a problem you’ve been having. Your brain just needed to calm down with sleep and this thing you have thought about extensively…BANG!!! There’s the answer and it was so simple. You’ve done it, fixed.
But the other times. The times I wake up with no answer, no big problem that needs to be worried about. I wake up early for no reason what so ever.
“Maybe you go to bed too early.”
I’ve had people tell me that. Sometimes, it’s true. During the week, I might find myself in bed, reading, about seven. I’m usually asleep before eight. And I’ll find myself wide awake around two. But to shoot holes in that theory, I’ve gone to bed at ten-thirty or eleven and been wide awake at the same early time.
My brain just needs to be awake and wakes my body up.
It can be frustrating. And I know I’m not the only one. I am one of those people that is addicted to Facebook, sad as it is. Some mornings I might get on and I usually see the same people on at the same time, the other insomniacs. We post about being awake so early and complain about it. We should have a club. They have there own reasons for being awake. It might be the same as mine or not. But there we are, typing away, saying we wish we could sleep. And cursing.
I love to sleep. I love the feeling as I start to slip into it. I love waking up on those good nights and see that I still have three hours left and I can go back to sleep. I LOVE naps on the weekends. And I love the dreams I have. Good or bad. Yes, even the bad ones. I can get some great ideas from bad dreams. I use to love falling asleep in the front yard when I was a kid. I’d look up through the limbs of the big tree and daydream and fall fast asleep.
That sounds so nice right now.
I am writing this on a morning where I got up at two-thirty in the morning. I can’t really blame this morning on insomnia, I have to blame it on one of my cats because she felt it was a good time to sing. If you have cats, you’ll understand. But once my eyes opened, that was it. Sleep had left the building. My brain was raring to go, even though you wouldn’t be able to tell it as I mumbled a swear word or two to the feline singer and I stumbled my way down the stairs to make some coffee.
I guess this may never change unless I start taking some prescription medication. There have been times when insomnia came in heavy doses and went on for weeks and I took an over the counter medication. It would help for a while and those early mornings would get pushed back an hour or two. But I’d wake up feeling like I was hit by a dump truck and put me in an ill mood for a while. So I take those sparingly.
But I’m finding myself that most of the time, I like getting up early. I have a little time to myself. And that’s a bit better on the weekends when I know I don’t need to head to work in a few hours. I can sit, drink a cup of coffee and maybe watch the sunrise and think about what to do with my day.
So, here’s to sleep. I hope you get enough. And if you don’t, I hope you have good thoughts and no worries. And I hope you make the most of it.
Now, how about a nap?
Nov. 25th 2016
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.