Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Overnight Special
Nights, these days, are long and sleepless. I've had insomnia since I was a child and have lived with it, at times with more grace than others, all my life. Thanks to my wonderful doctor and the gods and goddesses who invented Ambien, I can count on getting some sleep two or three nights a week. But I didn't time my refill correctly and I'm down to one pill and at least another 10 days before the refill arrives. Which means whole bunches of not sleeping.

Last night I was awake until Husband got out of bed at 6. I fell asleep at about 7, got up at 10 and zombied around all morning. I've had a few nights like this. I took the penultimate pill too soon in this whole "waiting for the refill" cycle and so I have to suffer through at least another 3 or 4 nights before I can catch up on sleep in the middle with that last, gorgeous pill.

Now don't worry, I'm not addicted. I just can't sleep without them. That doesn't mean I take them every night. I accept sleeplessness as part of my life and deal with the same way I deal with being 3 inches shorter than I'd like to be and not having the nose of my dreams. The pill just means I don't get into the same sleep-deprived weird state that comes with averaging 2 hours sleep a night for weeks on end. It allows me to have a break in the cycle and prevent that walking dead feeling that I'm feeling right now.

So here it is 11:15. Husband is curled up peacefully in our cozy bed, sleeping the sleep of the just. (And the damned cute.) Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) is likewise sleeping and cute on her favorite chair, taunting me with her enviable unconsciousness. And here I am, prepared for a sleepless night. I've spread cushions and blankets out on the floor into a comfy nest. I have a stack of British mysteries on DVD, a good book at my side, and a cup of hot cocoa to look forward to. I will watch movies. I will read. I may even go back to making hideously shaped crocheted cat mats for the kitties at the shelter. I will take random photographs of random things in my house. I will eat toast. But I will not sleep.

This is not a mind over matter thing. Please don't get all preachy and say "well of course you won't sleep. If you tell yourself that you won't fall asleep then you make it happen." To which I say "oh shut up." I've been like this forever. I know myself. I know when I'm capable of falling asleep and when I'm not. I will try. I will lie in the darkness and try to shut off my brain, then give up after 2 hours and go back to the movie. But trust me, I'm going to have another sleepless night.

But sometimes I don't mind. I like the calm passing of the hours as the world slumbers by. I like watching the moon shift positions in our window and the cat shift from her right side to her left on the chair. I like the TiVo gods who make it possible for me to always have something to watch so I'm not forced to look at the freaky ShamWow guy while in a weakened state (I swear that guy is Satan). Of course come 6 am I'm exhausted, silly and terrified of my own reflection in the bathroom mirror. But this, too, shall pass. And when my refill comes I shall celebrate by taking a pill on two consecutive days and getting two good nights worth of sleep. In the meantime, I hear Sherlock Holmes calling my name. Or am I starting to hallucinate?

1 comment:

FinnyKnits said...

You're a champ, and way more upbeat than I would be if I weren't able to string together two sleepy nights. As it is, my average 8 nights/year are bad enough.

So, you must have some good book reccos, right? You did suggest my most recent favorite after all. :)