Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal!

5:00 AM: In a cruel twist of irony, I can’t sleep and the very music I listened to yesterday to give myself energy is playing itself on repeat in my head, keeping me awake.

There are other factors, too. I went to bed feeling anxious about the morning, when I’ll have to leave the house earlier than I tend to wake up in order to be on time for my appointment with Wakana. I went to bed before Fox  – who was playing Oblivion – because I was tired and bored and didn’t know what else to do with myself. I felt like somehow being creative, but I couldn’t decide on an outlet so I decided to sleep.

When Fox came to bed he was very nice. I thought he fell asleep, while I had trouble getting comfortable, but he thinks I fell asleep first. I must have fallen asleep for part of the time because I have vague memories of stressful dreams somehow related to the 11th Doctor, Amy, and Rory in a parallel universe or … something. The Doctor is happy to see his friends again, but I think one of them dies and he ends up having to kill the other. Because that’s the kind of thing the Doctor really needs.

On Monday night we listened to relaxing Native American music; that really seemed to help us both fall – and stay – asleep. Last night there was no music and I definitely noticed the difference. Whether we play it while we’re falling asleep or I listen to it right before bed, I need relaxing music to help my head quit spinning. Winding down is at least as important as revving up to ensure I have enough energy.

(Barely) Holding It Together

I never got around to visiting Mom in the hospital. On Wednesday I thought I’d go after taking my rats to the vet (by the time I got up the resolve it was almost time for their appointment) – but when I got home I was too exhausted by the whole process. Someone flipped a switch: while I was at the vet I was quite cheerful, but as soon as I walked out my face fell and I was tired and grumpy again.

Yesterday I seriously had a hangover from playing The Sims 3. My witch turned my inventor into a werewolf (using a potion an elixir); turns out werewolves are much better at finding rare gems than, well, anything else in the game. On her first night as a werewolf, the inventor easily found the gem I’d been searching for in multiple versions of this game – countless hours wasted (noisily) digging holes, exploring underground, and nearly getting eaten by zombie bears in the catacombs. The game said it was “an okay hunt” for my sim; to me it was the best thing that could have possibly happened ever in the whole world!

Yeah, my obsession is that bad.

Anyways, I couldn’t stop there. I got and turned in all the other materials she needed in order to acquire the core to her ultimate invention! And then she made the ultimate invention! Mwahahaha!!! It was the most satisfying The Sims 3 playing experience I’ve had since I started with this whole messy business.

I finally decided to save and give my computer a rest at 3-something in the morning. I dragged myself to bed; Dog woke me at 7am. I fed him and let him out and then went back to sleep until 2pm. Well, crap. There was pretty much just enough time for me to take care of pets, feed myself, prepare for class, and get to class – early! I was early for class! I couldn’t believe it! It was fantastic! And class itself was pretty awesome. The last meeting of that class; next week is the final. I’m going to miss it. 😦

I’d intended to visit Mom after class but once again, I was too exhausted. Completely emotionally drained. I thought eating something would help, but no. I needed to talk to Fox and Banji, to take care of pets, to be amused by pets, to relax. I still haven’t even started on my paper, but I think I know what to write about and the instructor gave me a couple extra days before the penalty for lateness starts kicking in. I fell asleep on the couch, then felt inspired to try writing down a melody that was frolicking around in my head, then couldn’t get back to sleep when I moved to my bed.

Dog woke me up at 8:30 this morning. Enter zombie, stage right.

Mom seems to be taking this whole thing very well. She called me this morning (I didn’t answer because I didn’t realize it was her!) and left a message reminding me that she’s moving to the rehabilitation center this afternoon and asking me to bring her stuff there “whenever is convenient; after dinner is okay.” Great, now I know what time she wants me to visit; I don’t have to angst over whether the time I think is okay will be good for her! She didn’t complain about me never coming to see her in the hospital. Maybe it didn’t really bother her or maybe she didn’t want to stress me out any more or maybe she just didn’t want to bring it up over the phone. Whatever the case may be, I appreciate it. It allows me to be a bit less horrible to myself regarding this whole mess.

My apartment is a mess. Dirty clothes and dishes everywhere; I don’t want to think about how dusty it must be. I was unable to brave the dreaded hospital to bring Mom the stuff she’d requested (and, you know, offer some emotional support during her initial recovery). I’ve been neglecting my schoolwork.

But I’m not starving and neither are my pets. They get some love and attention every day. I even cleaned the rat cage yesterday. The house hasn’t burned down. I’ve been keeping appointments and I went to class last night. When things as basic as going to sleep and waking up again are a serious struggle, I’m willing call the other stuff I’ve been managing to do a success.

Insomnia

So, here I am at the end of a fairly productive day. I completed not one, but TWO assignments for my online class! They were a nice challenge; I definitely learned some things. I’m kinda looking forward to, kinda apprehensive about taking on the next assignment challenge! In my mind, that’s a good place to be.

I also acquired groceries, spent time with my rats (one of whom was surprisingly cuddly – at least for a short while), and played The Sims 3 responsibly. By which I mean I played for a handful of hours, then decided I’d reached a good stopping point and went off to do something else. I’m looking forward to picking up where I left off, but I don’t feel any particular urgency.

I was even able to take a bath without my mind wandering off into horrible, dangerous thoughts.

Fast forward to the present; I’m sitting here thinking, now what? The clock is telling me it’s time to sleep but I don’t really feel like it. In a way I feel like I haven’t really started my day – I haven’t exactly done any physical activity. Maybe that’s my problem, I need to exercise. Then my body will feel like I’ve done something today and decide it’s ready to sleep. Maybe my mind will follow suit.

Of course, right now exercising is the last thing I want to do. That tends to be how I feel most of the time – otherwise, I’d actually do it! In fact, given the choice between exercise and sleep, my body and mind seem ready to choose sleep. Well, if that’s what it takes to overcome my insomnia …

I think what it comes down to is that I’m afraid. If I stay awake, I can be pretty sure I can predict what will happen. I’ll do … whatever I want. I might be tired, maybe anxious, maybe sad. Okay, I’m used to those emotions, I can deal with them. Who knows? I might be happy! It’s nice and quiet. Maybe I can even be creative. It’s been a while since I’ve drawn or colored or improvised.

If I go to sleep … when I let my guard down the darkness starts to creep in. I feel anxious and it takes a while for my body to relax. I have bad dreams.

Dreams where the rules that govern reality don’t apply. In reality if I have an irrational fear I can use my understanding of logic and science to talk myself out of it. The empirical evidence usually supports this calming self-talk. Usually.

In dreams the fear manifests as something that my dream-self thinks is real; in that moment, it poses a real threat to me. For example, the “badly drawn babies with sharp teeth” in my previous post really had the potential to devour me if I did not get away! Even when I think I’ve woken up, often it’s just a dream-within-a-dream. Maybe the new reality is better, maybe it’s worse. It’s probably just as dangerous.

And when I finally do wake up, I feel groggy and drowsy. I don’t want to face reality. My dreams often haunt me, weighing on my mind. Sometimes I feel like I left something unfinished. The worst is when my dream-self was interacting with a loved one who really died, but in my dream they’ve just been gone for a while. When my waking-self remembers that said loved one is dead, it’s like a stab in the heart. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again, and I probably won’t have any control over what I do or say next time we meet.

To say I’m going back and forth between dreams and reality is a bit misleading. It feels more like I’m moving between or among realities. Who’s to say that this one is any more real than the dream worlds? Sometimes the dreams feel more real.

To make matters worse, if I go to sleep, inevitably I’ll have to wake up again in this reality. Then, some unknown amount of time will have passed – time that I could have spent doing, I don’t know, something.

I’ll probably wake up less able to deal with reality than I am now. I’ll probably be haunted by bad dreams. Who knows what will be happening? It could be anything! My mother might want to impose on me before I’ve had a chance to put my guard up or, you know, eat something. I’ll have to face the uncertainty of feeling like I should do something useful with my time, but lack the motivation or energy or organization. There could be some disaster happening …

I think I’ve made my point. Going to sleep is scary because I don’t know what I’ll have to face in my dreams. Waking up is scary because then I have to deal with reality when I’ve just woken up and who knows what I’ll wake up into. I’d rather just deal with one reality full time instead of switching back and forth and having to adjust after each transition.

So I keep trying to think of things to do, anything but sleep. Lately it’s been The Sims 3. It just dawned on me that going through stuff and cleaning might actually be useful. I’ve probably made this blog post longer than it needs to be because writing is a viable alternative to sleep. Maybe I should try writing fiction. Or another poem? Or maybe one of the other posts that’s been sitting on the back burner …

Groundhog Day

You fool!
What is with you and that game?!
You play and play for hours on end
And every day is
Identical.

You think I am old and blind,
But I know:
You watch an image of a human
Play with her image of a pet
Images are all you see!

What about ME!?
I’m here!
Flesh and blood and FUR
And so much more
I need your love!

You’ve talked about walking
Walk with me!
I love to get out
Smell the world
And know you are right beside me.

But you sit and you stare and complain.
I know that you’re hurting
Your arm, every day
With that mouse.
Get out of the house!

They do the same thing every day,
And we repeat the same harmony.
I bark. You groan
And thrash like the dead
And shamble around reluctantly.

Blind
To the warmth of the sun on your face
A cool breeze to play
All these wonderful smells –
I could wallow in them all day.

I just need you.

You know how it feels
To be abandoned.

Don’t feed that fear!

Walk with me.