Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Adventures of a part time insomniac

Midnight, the sleepy starts to settle in and the words on the page of my book are beginning to bleed into one another, signalling that it's time to call it a night. I'm glad for this because the night before was a bit restless and my addled brain needs some healing. "This is gonna be good" I tell myself as i pull the plug on the string of lights that surround the room of my lovers apartment. "Tomorrow I'm going to be wide awake, alert, and excited about getting some good work done."
I love sleep. I love the mystery of dreaming and telling my lady about the weird places I went to during that 6-8 hours of alpha-state. I love waking next to her and falling in love all over again, feeling happy that my body and mind are refreshed and all is right with the world. 
"This is gonna be good" I tell myself as i lay next to my love, placing one hand over my heart and one on my belly, beginning the process of slowing my breathing, giving thanks, and cycling through my day before submitting to rest.

1AM: Something isn't quite right. I'm relaxed and should easily be drifting but the second I make the conscious decision to give myself up to sleep I am suddenly wide awake, feeling as though I'd recently popped an E-pill, but minus the touchy feeling love and need to dance. Well, that's odd, however I can be a bit of a night owl at times so maybe I just need to keep breathing and think of rolling hills and naked maidens splashing around in waterfalls.

2:15AM: Well, here I am still awake. Starting to over-think and toss away hope that tomorrow will be awesome. Although I have dealt with 5 hours of sleep before and I've done alright on even less, so it's not a huge deal. But I'd really enjoy passing out. 
The waves of exhaustion tell me that it could be close, but the fireworks going off behind my eyes tell me differently. I'm a fan of light shows but this Pink Floyd laser show crap can take a hike.

3:00AM: Hi, I'm wide awake and starting to get pissed. I get up and have a wander around the small apartment, taking myself through a few rounds of Surya Namaskar in the kitchen because I know that to be calming to the mind and it's proven helpful at times like this. After a short meditation and a piss I crawl back into bed and hope for the best.

4:30AM: Eyes burning, mind racing, delirium beginning to pry rational thought and frustration apart. I'm thinking strange thoughts such as what it would be like if man survived on dirt alone and if the dirt was enriched with nutrients, could man maintain some semblance of health. I shake my thoughts clear and listen to the sounds of my lover sleeping beside me. It is oddly soothing and i prop myself up to have a look at her. In the shadowed wilderness of bed covers and pillows I can see her clearly and she is beautiful. Always. My love for her is vast and even though I am frustrated at this lack of sleeping situation, I take heart that she is here, safe, and riding on some dreamy cloud. 
Also, I have noticed that the constant din of traffic on 12th avenue does in fact let up for very brief periods of time, but only for about half an hour and then it's constant again.
I drift off for the briefest moment until my body decides it's time to have an allergic reaction to something. This continues for a while.

5:30AM: Oh, thank Christ I have the chorus to "Enid" by Barenaked Ladies running through my head over and over again. I fuckin' hate that song even more now and I wonder if it's possible to sue Steven Page for inadvertent cruel and unusual punishment. Probably not. Maybe in America? Hmmm. I wonder what Honey BooBoo is doing right now?! Did Jesus get mad when he couldn't sleep? I bet my third grade teacher Ms. Halfknights still looks pretty good for an old gal. I miss my first puppy, Bandit. I'd probably be a sexy broad. I shouldn't have eaten those nachos at 10:30. What if i realized that I'm gay, who would i come out to first? "Enid we never really knew each other anyway" 
OH GOD!!!!! WHY??

6:30-8:00AM: Somewhere in between these hours my crazed brain finally releases and I pass out for a sweat drenched fitful sleep. More of a nap at this point. In this period of time I dream of wandering through various rooms of a house in the middle of the night, unable to sleep. Great. Thanks mind. That's rich.

The alarm cuts through my long awaited and short lived nap. My eyeballs feel like hot coals in snow and my emotional state is fragile. I want to cry and if I could remove my brain and thrash it until it's a bloody mess, i would with glee. My lady turns over and our eyes meet. She's still there and she loves me so. I feel like raw tuna but my heart grows three sizes and I muster the strength to shower her with kisses. 
It's really not so bad. I've been here before and truth be told I've gone through much much worse. It sucks but life goes on. Exhaustion can just mean that your day is slightly altered and you have an excuse to take it easy. You can't change what already is and so you can only make the best of it. 
When you're in the throes of insomnia it can feel like the loneliest place in the world and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I've had periods where I've slept maybe eight hours in a seven day stretch. You learn a lot about the frailty of the mind when you haven't been able to refresh it for days. I am thankful those days are behind me and I am thankful that on the now rare occasion when this happens that I am able to handle it with at least a little bit of grace instead of losing my shit completely.

It is six in the evening and I am tired as hell, but I have my health, happiness, love, and the ability to laugh at it all. "Enid" is but a humorous afterthought and in a few hours I will most definitely pass out. Tomorrow is a new day.
One night of no sleep ain't worth tossing out the good stuff.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Great Slumber

 My God! Stepping into these corridors again is like revisiting an old dusty book found in the attic of my parents townhouse crawlspace. The pages are browned with age and smell slightly of mildew, the spine is ready to crumble and i was nearly ready to give it up to the landfill, or at least place it back up in that crawlspace where time would continue to have its way. "Maybe it's best to just burn the whole damned house down," I said to myself, "Maybe I'll just secretly throw away the baby and nobody will notice the missing stale bathwater." I reasoned. 
 However, much like that scab you can't stop picking, or much like the accident you can't turn away from, or much like the drug you can't fully turn your back on.....i kept looking. Guilt and shame would cloud me and i would put it away with the faint promise that "one day" I'll get down to the act of mending, never fully committing, never really meaning it, always forgetting. Conveniently.

Conveniently I always found other things to occupy my time, making excuses for my lack of attention, finding reasons not to try. Or simply clouding myself over past the point. 
Because who wants to try when they're stoned or hung over or rushing out the door or working on a host of other projects? Who can try when love simply isn't present? Who can offer anything worthy when self worth isn't being offered to oneself?
I know I can't. And so i didn't.

But I am done with that stinky thinking. I am done with the guilt and shame spiral. I am done with clouds of doubt and the negative influences that create them in the first place.
I am through. Emerging. Coming out the other side, born anew.

I come to you today with a song on my lips and peace on my tongue. These are not the words of self actualized hippy all-goodness, in fact i have actualized nothing. I have simply emerged, casting off my self-tempered chains. Running instead of crawling, climbing with strength instead of clawing in fear. Smiling when i wobble, laughing when i fall.

This path, this life has shown me everything. Along the way i have learned many a thing. In the end I know nothing.
This path, this life is full of surprise beginnings, middles and all things in between. While we think our vessel is filling, we are actually being tossed against the floor of threshing, separating and preparing us for our surprise empty handed ending.
And empty handed we go. Arms outstretched, mind released, chains free. Holding onto nothing.

I come to you today having crawled over coals and through fire, having died a thousand tiny deaths and about to die a thousand more. Though I have not lived the life of a rich man or a particularly holy one, I can safely say that I have tried to live well, and I will continue to live well for as long as my ticket is valid. I will shed every bit of chaff and I will bear every ounce of my being.....for there is no time left for excuses. There is no time left for clouds of doubt. There is no time left for stories tumbling from a fumbling parched tongue.

I am here. I am free. And I am empty.
In this place I have everything to give.
This i promise, today and always. In All Ways.

Thank you, I love you!