Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Alone in the dark

Another night when I can't fall asleep. I've been up since 6:30. I overslept my alarm by an hour this morning, and my appearance paid for it all day. I can feel the fatigue in my body now, the achy heaviness in my arms, the restlessness of legs that just can't seem to stretch to the point of ease, the slump in my shoulders, the grittiness and lack of focus in my eyes.

The reasons for my insomnia are difficult for me to pin down. I know my stressors, separation, the womanchild's body image issues flaring up, challenging work situation. It's logical that I should be worried, but I don't feel worried. In fact, I've been stunned at how peaceful I've felt lately. The blood pressure meds are working, and those ugly little numbers are down to borderline high from get your ass to bed after you take these tranquilizers. Changing the anti-depressants from Celexa to Prozac is working very well. I feel balanced and realistic about both what I'm facing and my reactions to everything. I've wrapped up a lot of necessary busy work lately and can feel good about that. As a friend reminded me though, stress is stress, and it will show up somewhere. I guess sleeplessness is the latest form.

So much for logic. I've had enough of that for the day. My body is a natural early riser, but I've always loved the night with its shadows , mysteries and how fear always lurks around the edges. I don't think I've ever really outgrown that childhood fear of the dark. I've just learned to manage it, to rationalize why it's there. I know that nothing is in the dark that isn't there during the light. I know that the unknown is the underlying fear. I simply don't care. The night is beautiful, in shades of black and gray and silver and blue, and I see things differently at night. My poor vision isn't important at night, and sometimes I think I see things more clearly when I hold up only one small light against all the lurking monsters.

Those nighttime monsters seem so silly during the day, but at night they're important and significant. Their fangs drip gross slime, and their claws seem just right for tearing the very life from our bodies. The truth is that they can do that. This is a dangerous world, and we can't spend too much time thinking about that. No one can be brave all the time, and true courage can't exist with true fear by its side. So during the day, we laugh at the monsters and how we quake before them. At night, alone in the dark, when no one will come to us, is when we face them. We're at our most vulnerable then, and we're also at our bravest. That's something I don't know in the bright of day.


Blogger Shelina said...

It is hard to get used to sleeping alone when you are used to sleeping with someone who was "protecting" you.
I think the Katrina and 9/11 anniversaries has everybody dealing with things like insomnia.

September 12, 2006 7:10 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I'm not afraid of the dark. There are times I find it quite warm and welcoming. There are times when my demons pick night as the best opportunity to attack...but fear of night and fear of the dark are two different things...

September 12, 2006 10:15 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Yep, I know those nights.

Peace, Virginia

September 13, 2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

I remember having bouts of insomnia that began in my forties. A female gynecologist explained that often it's a result of perimenopause which begins ten years earlier than the full blown menopause. That symptom is of course made worse by stressors. I found that drinking herbal teas, avoiding caffeine and trying to listen to peaceful music or reading peaceful materials helped me.

September 14, 2006 8:05 PM  

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