This week, I’ve got a piece from the archives. Here’s a piece that I wrote almost a year ago when my blog was on hiatus and I never published. It details the spiralling thoughts that used to be absolutely constant for me.
It’s 5:50 am. I haven’t slept yet. Granted, I woke up Friday at around 11:30 after falling asleep only six hours earlier. My sleep has been weird.
Sleep has never been ‘easy’ for me, at least as long as I can remember. I’ve always tossed and turned, took too long to fall asleep, woke up often, and alternated between too much and too little sleep. With my mental illnesses, it’s only gotten worse. Between incessant fatigue and the intrusive, repetitive thoughts at bedtime, I just can’t win.
I’ve never enjoyed sleep. I’ve very rarely found it to be this beautiful, magical, restorative break that everyone else seems to have. Sleep has mostly irritated me — especially recently. It just seems like such a waste of tiiiime; I’m exhausted all time no matter what, I always wake up sore and achy, and I usually get stuck in my bed for far too long. Often I’ll be in bed for two or three hours, sleep for six to eight, and then spend anywhere from an hour to four moping in the morning; it’s a full nine to fifteen hour affair.
I’ve now turned to mostly avoiding sleep for as long as possible until I am literally so tired that I can do nothing else but sleep.
When bedtime comes around, I’m never satisfied with the day I’ve had, so I push myself to do more. Or, sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed with random thoughts that my brain just won’t power down, so I try to keep moving and drown it out. (Netflix, puzzle games, and Twitter are my friends.)
Even worse, sometimes my bedtime thoughts aren’t really random anymore. They turn into obsessive, repetitive thoughts with vivid images of scary things. What would happen if my dad died? (Terrifying.) What if my cats got out and never came back? (Unimaginable.) The last few nights, it’s been spiders and bugs. (Did you cringe at that too?)
You see, three days ago, I woke up and saw a teeny, tiny spider on the pillow in my arms; it was probably the smallest spider I’ve ever seen, so I wasn’t too, too worried. I slowly moved the pillow so I could reach for a tissue, and it fell (or jumped) off and disappeared. (I suspect into my very fluffy cat’s fur.)
It did not take me long to get out of bed that day — it’s disappearance made it all the more frightening.
Bugs always get under my skin, as soon as I see them, I can feel them crawling all over me. I’m suddenly itchy and can’t sit still; I imagine them crawling all over me, biting me, climbing into my clothing, ears, nose, or mouth. Even now, just writing about them, I’ve had to bring my feet off the floor and curl them into me to calm me down a bit. I may have to take a break from writing this horror story.
So, needless to say, seeing the spider in my bed is not something I’ll get over quickly, and the implications have been running through my head, clear as day. This (“obviously”) means that there are bigger, more sinister spiders hiding in my bed waiting for me. It means that spiders have access to my bed (something I had been able to ignore until now). I’m honestly not sure how I’ll be able to sleep in that bed again. I’m petrified.
During a quick ride on a very weird train of thought, I considered wrapping my bed in plastic wrap to keep it ‘sterilized.’ Then, I realized that I would have to unwrap it at night, which would leave it vulnerable again. So, obviously, I should keep the bed in plastic wrap all the time, but add another layer of plastic wrap on me at bedtime (after checking the bed thoroughly, of course). I could even get a face mask or something that could protect my face while I slept. (OH MY GOD. I just thought of a hazmat suit and it’s genuinely tempting.)
Does that sound extreme? To me, it absolutely doesn’t.
I am absolutely frightened of bugs — any kind of bug will occupy my mind completely until I can’t focus on anything else. My obsessive-compulsive brain throws vividly terrifying images and scenarios at me until I am researching hazmat suits that I could comfortably wear to bed in order to protect myself.
So, of course, I’m not sleeping well. With a brain like this, who could?