Posted by: Judy | August 20, 2018

The problem with sleep…

I’ve been working hard to develop healthy sleeping habits. I’m sleeping 7-8 hours a night, 3-4 days a week. Not uninterrupted, but I’m only waking once or twice instead of four or five times. This should be great news. It is, from a certain point of view.

What’s the problem? Choosing to develop healthy sleep habits means I must relinquish my use of extreme sleep deprivation as a tranquilizer. At that level, it was easy to keep the emotions in check. I was too tired to care.

I’m moving up to the cranky level, the one with which most people are familiar. This is the level people generally associate with being overtired.

I’m more aware, more alert, and the emotions are closer to the surface. Exhaustion is no longer an available tool to curb long-buried frustrations. I don’t like fear or frustration so I tend to shift to anger. A change from shifting to depression.

Instead of beating myself up for being angry, frustrated, or afraid, I’m endeavoring to learn to work through. This means being willing to dig into why I’m feeling the way I am. I can’t solve a problem I can’t identify.

An example: A week ago Thursday, I was cleaning up broken branches for two hours. I was angry, livid, wanting to break things  rage. Made braking down branches to fit in the green recycling bin easier. I knew it wasn’t healthy. Anger takes a lot of energy. I was angry because I was out there working by myself. No one came by to help, not my brothers, not members of my church, nobody. It was a safe focus. It was also a lie. Why was I angry? If any male had come to help, brother, nephew, etc, my father would have paid them for their work. I knew I wouldn’t be paid. I wasn’t. I was angry at being treated different, like my work wasn’t worth anything other than a thank you. It’s far more complicated. My father would pay me when he caught my mother verbally abusing me. He tells people he didn’t know it was going on. If he didn’t know, why did he slip me money?

I can’t change the past.

A week ago Sunday night, I watched more branches fall. I laughed. God was giving me a second chance. He gave me the opportunity to change my attitude. Monday morning, I was determined to tackle the clean up with an improved attitude. Anger was released. I worked hard and accomplished all I could do. I mean how cool is it that despite a messed up back, knees, and ankles, I was able to work for two hours. I even sang a bit while I worked. I noticed a few broken branches too high for me to reach. The neighbors, father and son, came over and offered to help. They were able to cut down one of the partially broken branches. They happily used their chainsaws to cut up branches into manageable sizes, tossed it all in the back of their pickup and drove it around to the alley to unload. They did what I couldn’t do. All neat and tidy, so easy, and I was happy.

I’m going to keep working on sleeping better and learning to manage my emotions in a healthy manner. I’m learning.


  1. I love the idea that when your attitude changed–the second time around–the help you desired also appeared, without effort:).

    • I definitely noticed. 🙂

  2. I’m working on the same thing. It is more nightmares for me. Heavy sigh.

    • Never give up. Never give in.

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