It’s an awful thing to just have your own thoughts with which to contend.
It’s been 95 days since D-day. Some days it feels like forever, some days it feels as real as yesterday. Nights are still the hardest. I have one job to do at night, sleep, and I can’t even accomplish that successfully. Since this happened, my sleep has consisted of maybe 4 hours of rest each night. During all of this, I have been amazed at how my body will still function, but I’m thankful every day that it does. My trainer would tell me that she wanted me to consistently eat at least eat more than 600 calories a day. My “yoga teacher” would tell me that she wanted me to sleep more than just four “broken” hours each night. And with each comment they would make, I would simply reply, “I hear ya. I don’t disagree with what you are saying. I want that too.”
Last Thursday, I started taking a new prescription allergy pill. And the sleep has come — quite unexpectedly. But it is a bittersweet slumber- I had embraced my new routine and grown to accept it. I would roll from one cool side of the bed to the other. I would re-awaken my computer and hear whatever I had set on Pandora for the night. I would check in on Facebook, and sometimes, I would write a blog post. But mostly, mostly I would I would find my friend that works overnights.
When you work overnights, life can be lonely. Similarly, when you can’t sleep, life can be lonely. This was the best of both worlds for both of us and I am forever grateful for my friend on the other end of the phone. However, this weekend, I awoke to a string of texts asking how I was, and then wondering where I was. The texts came not only from the friend I mention above, but from other friends with whom I chatted with regularly. Many of them in Arizona or California, so my midnight and 2 am wake-ups weren’t such a crazy time on the West Coast.
But with the stillness during the heart of the night I never had to feel alone. No matter when I sent out the “You there?” text, it was always received with “Yes!” and we would chat until my eyelids got heavy and I could fall asleep again, typically, only to awaken about an hour or so later to send out the next “Are you there” message.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve noticed that I only wake up once or twice now during the night. I’m dreaming, but they aren’t like before — I don’t wake up gasping for air, trying to catch my breath, and as an added side, my appetite has returned.
Had it not been for my overnight friends, I don’t know that I would have been able to have worked out and cried out and laughed out so many of my questions and anxieties of the past months. Each of them has contributed so much into me and each has helped me keep my sanity whilst the rest of the world peacefully slept. The world was blissfully unaware that the tiny ray of light streaming from my bedroom window was illuminating a mind so manically awake that I thought I would go crazy.
Tonight, I see my yoga teacher. She will be thrilled to hear that I’ve been sleeping more these past few nights. But neither my yoga teacher or my trainer will know how bittersweet their happiness for me actually is.