We need rest. Our bodies must lie dormant, without interruption, in order to function at our full capacity the next morning. There are many nerdy medical facts I can share with you but this is more of an… artistic point of view, so I will spare you the lecture (this time).
It doesn’t happen all the time for me, so I am blessed, but when it does happen… I feel like I am actually losing my mind. At first, silence of the night can be soothing… but quickly becomes deafening as the hours slowly tick by.
I toss and turn, struggling to turn my brain off. The ideas, the worries,the memories, and vivid images I’d much rather prefer appear in a deep slumbered dream… instead of during my winces at the sound of passing cars, jolting my brain up a little more each time.
Each night I stick to the same routine that has, in the past, brought me sleep. I take my vitamins, use oils, lotions, and a good book in an attempt to trigger a sleepy relaxed feeling. It does work most of the time but when it doesn’t I’m staring at the ceiling smelling lovely at the very least.
I usually can fall asleep just fine but wake up around 2 am with a brain full of plot ideas, anxieties about things beyond my control, and any of my irrational fears. SO fun.
So the question is… do I get up and write my thoughts down? or do I lie there hoping I’ll pass out from the sheer mental exhaustion? Meh… it depends.
It’s no accident that, at times, we are awakened during the quietest hours of the night. For some, it means pure privacy, a chance to create without distraction, or perhaps an opportunity to clutch that painful ache we hold for someone that once was and is no more, that we’ve been ignoring.
For others it means peace and quiet. Think about it, no one needs you or is expecting you to talk to them or meet any expectations, you’re kinda… free.
There’s no deadlines (for some) at 3:00 a.m., no philosophical questions from your five year old, no knocks at the door. Perhaps it can be a blessing, a break from the daytime tasks? Hmmm, maybe.
There is so much expected of humans these days, no wonder we can’t sleep!
Not only are you expected to provide for yourself and others full time, you must also pay for outrageous things, follow your dreams, practice self care, eat right, pay bills, exercise, mow your lawn, change your oil, raise a family (pets included) and maintain relationships. How in the world can we do it? Sometimes, some of us manage to magically make it work and other times something must fall through the cracks. Sleep and self care are usually the two that we sacrifice, right?
I know some parents out there that are pulled by every limb all day long. At work. At daycare. At school. At home. Their workday begins the moment their loved ones eyes open, not when their own eyes want to…
They have to schedule dates and times to “relax” with a bottle of wine and their friends. They have to book a barbecue hangout a month in advance and sometimes, everyone is so exhausted they cancel to catch up on rest, yet aren’t even really resting.
There are the sleepless people out there that have been dealt a crappy hand in this lifetime. They’re weary from uninvited drama, spent from eighty hour work weeks, weakened by estranged loved ones, and even scarred from redundant legal battles. These things sure can keep someone up at night. I feel like we lose control when we can’t even convince our bodies to rest and THEN tire our souls out just enough to worry ourselves… but not enough to worry ourselves to sleep.
There have been times where I really felt like I was losing it. I’ve cried, bargained, and pleaded with my racing brain to just let go, wondering if I could embrace that unwanted energy that was keeping me awake, that maybe, just maybe, I could turn into something productive at 3:19 am?
I’ve done quite the opposite too and thought I could “will” myself into a relaxed state and trick my brain into falling asleep… uhm, that didn’t work by the way.
The next morning arrives and I turn on the autopilot switch. I’m there, but I’m not really there. I’m driving safely but not dancing to the radio, I’m hearing but I’m not listening.
I’m trying to push through with some caffeine and upbeat music but the truth is I’m coasting on fumes here.
Admittedly, some of my greatest creations and healing (self) conversations have been born during a sleepless night. Some ugly issues I didn’t want to recognize were discovered and dealt with as well.
Repetitive nightmares showed up and then some previously unawakened dreams rescued me from them.
It’s a love/hate relationship that I cannot escape, but I suppose I can learn to appreciate the maddening but private solace (sometimes).
The worst thing about the aftermath of a sleepless night is not knowing when that time bomb inside me will burst, throwing me into a deep nap out of nowhere.
Short and sweet post today, I’d write more but my autopilot mode doesn’t come with a highly creative boost button to press… so I’ll return another day.
Well, no matter what kind of night I’ve had, my heart melting pup seems to think I’m just as lovely as I was the night before.
I always look forward to that.
Thanks for reading, my friends,
None of these beautiful images belong to me*