ntexas99 suggested I sleep and sleep until I don’t want to sleep any more, or something to that effect. I realized I haven’t in the past for several reasons.
Reason #1: When I was sleeping 14-16 hours a day I only dragged myself out of bed to take care of my dog. I was also terrified of sleeping my life away. I stayed awake as long as I could. Eating is one way to help me stay awake. So my weight problem is tied, in part, to not wanting to sleep my life away. I was shocked by the quote “I can sleep when I’m dead.” In many ways, I already felt like I was dead. As often as I’ve wished for death, I feared disappointing God, leaving something unfinished, not doing my best, not leaving it all on the table. To sleep or not to sleep became a daily battle without me even realizing it.
Reason #2 Deep sleep deprivation is an effective tranquilizer. I was too tired to care what anyone did to me. Anger works in a sprint but fails miserably in a marathon. It’s an energy sapper. I’ve used it in the yard work. I tackle a bit of cat claw; letting the internal fire free gives me the boost of power and strength to yank the miserable stuff free of branches. If there’s some other unpleasant job, the anger keeps me focused until it’s done. Strange but true; practice helps. The dog I care for sometimes has an itchy ear. She wants it rubbed and leans into it. She isn’t a small dog. I let the frustration and anger fuel the strength and energy necessary. This took a lot of practice. Bless my dog. I regretted I hurt her a few times at first when I didn’t realize my own strength. It will be ten years, this year, since she went Home. When I adopt another dog it will again be a big dog, so I don’t accidentally hurt her. She did love the hard rubs. I learned to leash the fury. Rage stays muzzled and chained down when you’re too tired to let it loose.
I’ve reached a point where I’m tired of being tired.
I understand dealing with CPTSD, which has never been officially diagnosed because my counselor didn’t want to put a label on me but when you answer in the affirmative to every question it’s sort of a no brainer. Exhaustion is a part of the problem, and it isn’t about a lack of sleep. CPTSD is an energy sapper… it’s like having a second job where you work 24/7 without any vacations, ever.
I’ve used the sleep deprivation to control my anger mostly at NM and EF. I’ve given up the game of having the kitchen to myself and being treated like a person instead of an extension of them. The only way to be my own person is to maintain a safe distance. Not easy in the same house. I make hamburgers while they’re out, even if it’s 9:00 a.m. That’s lunch. Lunchables are a God send. I grab one around 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. for dinner. If I’m still hungry, I have my matzoh and dried fruit and pecans. I keep milk in water bottles, so I only have to grab it out of the fridge. I have whole days when I don’t see NM. It’s astonishing how much stress that eases. She sends emails that I open only long enough to see what it includes. If it’s “harmless” I may or may not read it before I add it to NM’s folder. If it’s emotional blackmail, I stop and put it in the folder without reading. I interact with EF face-to-face more because I choose to than because I have to, which also reduces an amazing amount of stress. Social media has taught me a lot about “Hide” and simply moving on to the next thing.
Last week, ntexas99 suggested I sleep as much as I needed. I made the excuses first. I thought about her advice. I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I slept, a lot. I used my CDs to go to sleep at night. During the day, I’d sleep for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon. I was sleeping my life away again.
Do I want to be well?
Mark Divine of SEALFit was asked in an interview I watched on YouTube what the three main points are to reaching maximum fitness. 1. Sleeping. 2. Eating. 3. Training, and not simply the physical part but the mindset.
My health problem is a mind problem. My weight problem is an eating problem. My eating problem is a sleep problem. My sleep problem is a mind problem.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I let myself sleep when I needed to sleep.
Saturday night, I stayed up and read until 1:00 a.m. I used the Delta Sleep System Disk 1. I expected to sleep for 10-11 hours. I slept 8. I didn’t so much wake feeling rested as I couldn’t sleep anymore. My body felt weighted, like it does whenever I use DSS, but this time it didn’t feel like that was a bad thing. It was less like a logy feeling and more like an awareness of my whole body. Tired but at least I didn’t wake up yawning first thing. It took an hour.
Sunday morning, I had a strange dream. I was with one of my heroes and we were traveling. I don’t know by what mode of transportation. I want to say horseback but that’s wishful thinking on my part. We were going somewhere but I didn’t really know where. We traveled through town after town until we reached one that was quite whimsical. Everything was wonderful, serene, but not quite right. Not in a scary way. We were invited to stay. I wanted to but sensed the decision was wrong. Not evil wrong but simply not what was meant for me. The last house wasn’t finished. The rooms were empty. We walked beyond the house to see what lay ahead, and the trees and mountains I knew were there were completely blurred by mist, so blurred I wondered if trees and mountains were actually what was there. There was no way to see what lay ahead. Moving forward meant heading into the mist. We backtracked, a little, but knew it was in the wrong direction.
I woke up and remembered everything clearly.
What if the mist isn’t a mist but a storm? What if the storm is what I must pass through to reach where I need to go?
If I stop in the inviting village, I will never know what lies beyond the storm. I cannot help the increasing sensation that I am meant to travel through the storm.
If I’m to accomplish this, I need to be healthy, as healthy as I can be. If I am to stand on God’s side in the storm, then I need to be healthy spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ve been working on doing exactly this, but I need to step up my game. God has called me to be a writer. To accomplish what He has asked me to do, I need to be able to devote myself in a healthy way. I lose writing time, sometimes days at a time, when I’m not feeling well. I will be a better writer if I’m not constantly battling the basics of good health.
Interestingly enough, Sunday and Monday night were both restless. Strange dreams. Too warm to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Waking on my back. Tired all day but not able to nap. Last night, I finished this up right before midnight. I was exhausted but dreaded trying to sleep, afraid I’d have another restless night, after only two in a row. The problem is prior knowledge, the memory of night after night after night of no restful sleep.
Two nights in a row of restlessness made for very little writing accomplished. I hate that. I’m not giving up on working around this. I was proud of myself for not buying popcorn or Hostess treats. I thought about endeavoring to have a healthier mindset. More on that tomorrow.