I got home yesterday and, feeling bad about my lack of contribution here over the previous 24 hours, sat down to write some sparkling prose. And boy, did I ever. But you won’t ever see it, because I managed to crank out some of the loveliest, most depressing load of crap I’ve ever produced.
I, dear reader, am in a funk.
Change of seasons, stress at work, long to-do list at home, lack of exercise, dearth of social life, furnace on the fritz, major expenses looming – I could seriously use an extra-large dose of Michele’s attitude of gratitude. But that wouldn’t solve the real problem: a chronic lack of sleep.
Sleep is the pivot around which my life revolves – or devolves. I have had insomnia for 20 years, but until almost four years ago it was an occasional, if growing, problem – usually stress-related, or at least limited to work days. And then some switch got flipped, and insomnia became my near-constant companion. My age, I’m sure, doesn’t help. I get an occasional solid night – usually with a sleeping pill – which feels like a gift from the gods.
When I don’t sleep, and the alarm goes off at 5, I don’t get up and work out – I reset the alarm and toss and turn futilely for another 30 minutes. When I don’t work out, my mood drops, my self esteem droops along with my belly fat, every little thing stresses me out, I don’t have the energy to tackle the tasks at hand, and I just want to curl up and stay inside, and then I’m worried and depressed and can’t sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.
My problem is not falling asleep – that’s a snap – it’s waking up in the middle of the night and falling back to sleep. You name it, I’ve tried it: herbs, sleeping pills, estrogen, meditation, hypnotherapy, behavioral therapy, aromatherapy, regular therapy, acupuncture, a.m. exercise, p.m. exercise, no alcohol, more alcohol, diet, hot baths, massage, classical music, hypnosis CDs, nature sound CDs. When I do manage some good shut-eye, I have no clue why.
I know I’m not alone, but it’s cold comfort. Are you out there, fellow sufferers? Step up, be counted! What’s your story?