Sometimes I don’t sleep. Actually, who am I kidding? Most of the time, I don’t sleep. I go to bed. It is dark. I read. I extend my resting time before bed, to organize my thoughts and slowly relax.
That is the best of it usually. I may close my eyes for a bit of time. On a fantastically lucky night I may sleep for a few hours. If you add up the little bits and pieces, the broken little nuggets of rest that make up the time from lights off through the long, never-ending marathon to morning, I might get five hours total. If I get six hours I am doing happy backflips in my brain. Four hours consecutively and I am off and running to get a lotto ticket.
It has become so much part of my normal that most people have no idea that I am completely sleep deprived. I have had a sleep disorder for more than half my lifetime. Over 20 years of lying awake at night. I smile when people tell me that they are tired. It is a complaint I hear by many.
“How are you?” ~ me.
“Good” Pause. “Tired” ~ them.
Hmmm…Yes. I know tired. And I am pretty sure I know tired on a level that few other people do. I totally understand though. I am a bit of an expert on tired. I know how tired changes you. I know how tired makes you forget simple things. It oozes into your patience and chips away at your sense of calm. It pulls down on your shoulders and puts rocks and knots into your muscles. It screams when you want to work out. Stop! You are TIRED! It suggests that you stay in on nights when you really should escape out with friends. And what is worse is that tired is nearly invisible. You can sometimes see it in the wrinkles in the corner of your eyes, or in the lengths of your blinks, or in the number of your sighs. Or in the tension in your voice. But as I sit here in a coffee shop writing, I can guarantee that not one of the 20 people in here can guess that I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. And the night before.
What I try to focus on, is that tired is my normal. Some people have asthma. Some may have arthritis. Everyone has something whether it be stress at a job, conflict in their family, money issues, health problems, depression, whatever it may be. Everyone has something. I have insomnia.
So instead of wallowing in the claws of what 4 hours of sleep can do to me, I focus on all the things I can do and that I do have. Too many times people focus on the list of things they want and do not celebrate everything they have worked so hard to acquire. I have plenty of time to acknowledge all of those things. My children. My home. Food. Friends. Peace. A country without war.
My list of good things is pretty long. I work on it from 10pm until 6am. Every. Single. Day.
~ nina :)
© Nina Waddington 2016