I’ve always loved my sleep.
If it wasn’t frowned upon and if I was seeking a new job I’d probably list sleep under the “Interests” section on my CV.
That would make an interesting conversation mid interview wouldn’t it. Probably wouldn’t get the job. Well, unless the position was for a bed tester. I think that would be my perfect position. Literally.
I can remember when I was 17. That was a bad time in my life.
I lost my dear Grandad just 5 days before my 17th Birthday. It knocked me for six. Although he’d been ill for as long as I’d been alive, I thought he’d live forever.
We were very close. We spent so much time together when I was a kid. I know people say their Grandparents are like their second Mum/Dad but mine really was. In many ways, emotionally, I was closer to him than I was to my Dad.
Anyway, when he passed away it was the catalyst for a period of mental illness.
The Emetophobia and OCD had always been there, sometimes putting its head way above the parapet and other times I had a lid on it, where it was almost contained. But it was there. In the background. Haunting me.
I had a period of instability after my GCSE’s. I started sixth form, only to quit a couple of months in. I decided to become a hairdresser. I have these ideas and I run with them. Certain that I’m doing the right thing, not listening to anyone’s advice like the strong minded, stubborn mule I am and well, it’s rare it ever ends in success.
Around this time I split up with my first proper boyfriend. I was heartbroken. So heartbroken I asked for an “open relationship”. Don’t ever try these. They don’t work. They only add to the heartbreak. If a relationship is heading for the skids, drenched in irreversible damage, just rip that bastard plaster off as quick as you can. It’s better in the long run.
So, with no stability in my professional life, no stability in my personal life and still grieving for my Grandad, you could say I was heading for a downfall.
The days were spent with me in bed. I had no get up and go. My want, my lust for life had all but fucked off. I wasn’t living. I was existing. An existence I know all too well, having found myself there in late 2014/early 2015 when I had a breakdown.
I can see myself there now.
Don’t get me wrong, “this”, “this place”, it ain’t nowhere near what it was nearly 3 years ago. But it’s there. It’s happening. And it’s real.
It’s funny because you’d think 8 hours of sleep would suffice. But it doesn’t. No amount of sleep can break the perpetual exhaustion I have felt over the last few days.
I know why it is, though. It’s because of the racing thoughts. The depression makes you feel low. The anxiety almost takes you high.
They almost leave me breathless those bastard racing thoughts.
I could just be sitting. Sitting in an almost relaxed fashion and they’re there. Depleting my resources.
But, what are you thinking about? You might well be asking.
Anything. Nothing. Everything.
That’s my answer.
It’s like I can’t switch my brain off. I’m so aware of my mind.
I’ll wake up in the morning and it’s there.
Today’s going to be hard.
You’re going to have a lot of shit to deal with.
You’re not strong enough for this.
You’ve made an epic mistake in work.
There are things you’ve forgotten about.
And there begins the vicious cycle.
I know I’m strong. I’ve dealt with so much in my 31 years. Emotional turmoil, difficult decisions, death, illness, relationship breakdowns, post-natal depression. And I’m still here.
But when you’re in the thick of it. When that A-Hole (anxiety hole) has sucked you in. The depths of despair has you in a vice like grip, all that shit you’ve overcome before is as meaningful as the bullshit that falls out of Donald Trump’s gob.
You can’t see past the present. You can’t see past the feelings, the emotion and the pain.
Sleep is when the mind is at rest. But sleep isn’t the solution.