Sleep and I have always had a love/hate relationship. Usually it’s the case that I love sleep but often it hates me.
I make no secret of the fact I love my bed. You can keep your nightclubs, your bars and your holidays to Las Vegas, my most favourite place in the world is my bed.
You can tell which side of the bed I sleep on, because despite the fact my mattress is only two years old, there’s a distinct body shaped stain underneath those sheets. The colour of the stain is of course a deep mahogany, although in certain lights it looks orange.
My weekly tanning routine has ruined my bed. But that doesn’t stop me tanning and nor does it stop me using any old excuse to climb into bed. If I have a spare hour between working and parenting then I’ll be found in bed. Likely watching some trashy Reality TV show or Coronation Street.
The last week or so has been a stressful one, I won’t lie. Amidst the Dechox (I’ve given up chocolate for a month; another one of my hair brain ideas) I’ve been battling with a 3 year old whose favourite hobby appears to be ‘how can I wind my Mummy up the most’. Last week began with conjunctivitis and a streaming cold. For the 3 year old I have to add, not for me. It’s been constant sleepless nights, constant eye drop related battles (the art of bribery no longer works) and the noise that every sleep deprived parent wants to hear. Whining. I’d rather he cried. I’d rather he let out the loudest, most ear piercing cry than subject me to the whining I’ve had reverberating around my ears for the last 7 days or so.
Anyway, combine the 3 year old, the dechox and a busy week at work and as you can imagine it has left me knackered. Bone crushingly, what-day-is-it-today, knackered.
I’m no night owl. As soon as darkness descends that signifies bedtime for me. You can imagine what time I retire to bed in the winter, can’t you. Proper hibernation.
Yesterday was a long day of walking, shopping, navigating public transport with a 3 year old and pleading with said 3 year old to comply with my asks. Parenting began at 5:30am on Sunday morning. I hid in the spare room for a good 20 minutes but he soon found me. He always does.
Not only am I an exhausted pigeon at the moment, my son is of similar tiredness quantities too. It’s like he doesn’t need sleep. It’s actually like his mantra is sleep is for the weak.
To my utter surprise, he went to bed at 7pm last night. This is unheard of. It’s usually an 8:30pm-er, maybe 8:15pm if I’m lucky. I put him to bed, gave him a cuddle and before I could say “if you sleep in your own bed all night, you can have the iPad before school” he was gone. I had to remove myself from his bedroom like a much less glamorous Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment. There’s a creaky floorboard and I ALWAYS step on it. And that was it. Easiest bedtime EVER.
I climbed into my own bed, sprawled out like a drunken starfish and took this moment in. By my reckoning if I were to fall asleep now, I could get a good 10 hours in. Factor in the certainty that my son will wake between 12am and 2am and I’ll get at least 8 hours in.
So I led there. Willing myself to fall asleep. Almost counting sheep in the process.
Instead of falling into a deep slumber, I led there thinking the most ridiculous things.
Things I rarely ever think about or let myself think about. Within the space of 20 minutes I’d basically chastised myself for all of my past mistakes and was internally saying sorry to all of the people I’d ever wronged.
WHY THE FUCK AM I DEPRESSING MYSELF ABOUT MY CREDIT CARD RIGHT NOW?
WHY THE FUCK AM I THINKING ABOUT THE BOYFRIEND I LEFT 9 YEARS AGO (today) RIGHT NOW?
WHY AM I IMAGINING CONVERSATIONS I’D HAVE WITH PEOPLE I DISLIKE RIGHT NOW?
And this is how the trend went. It’s like my whole life decides to flash before my very eyes just as I’m drifting off to sleep. As soon as I’d stopped thinking about the boyfriend I’d walked out on 9 years previous, I was thinking about where my life was going. I was mentally reprimanding myself for putting on weight over the last few months. Scolding myself for cheating on my first boyfriend 13 YEARS AGO.
RIDICULOUS. UTTERLY RIDICULOUS.
What’s all that about? Why do I, at the age of (nearly) 31, give a flying fig about my first boyfriend who I haven’t seen since I was 19? He cheated on me repeatedly throughout the 2 and a half year relationship and I doubt he gives that a second thought at 8:30pm on a Sunday night in March.
This is my problem you see. I think too much. I assess situations too much. Second guess people too much. Sometimes I’m brilliant at just doing. I don’t think. I don’t analyse. I just get on with it and to hell with anything or anyone else.
And then there’s other times, the majority of the time, where I’ll find myself in this cyclone of self-loathing and self-surveying and it is so incredibly annoying.
It’s not conducive to good mental health. It doesn’t change anything. Nor does it help me in anyway.
Laying there at 8:30pm and thinking to myself “if only I’d done this back in 2005” or “not done that back in 2008” (there’s a lot of that, especially when it comes to that year) is absurd.
I don’t really know what the crux of this blog post is. I think I wanted to write it all out so I could read it back and realise how ridiculous I’m being with letting things from the past bother me at night. And I can see, quite clearly, I’m being ridic.
Usually, during the day, if I was to find myself on this negative train of thought, I’d tell myself to pull it together. But at night time, when I’m exhausted and desperate for as much sleep as I can possibly get, it’s not that easy.
My regrets, past mistakes, failings and fuck ups weigh heavy on me like a 50kg weight on my chest.
And it’s annoying. Really fucking annoying.