Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dark of Night, Short of Sleep

So, it's late. Yeah, really late. I haven't gone to bed yet. I'm not sleepy. In fact, I haven't been able to sleep since Sarah left. I don't know why since I usually fell into bed after I got her down. I've been sleeping late to compensate for the late hours I'm keeping. Oddly enough, I have less pain after 3 in the afternoon than I do at any other time and sleeping seems to make it worse. 

I have no idea.

Anyway, it's late and I was washing my face and staring into the mirror a moment ago and I had this revelation. I always said I would not be one of those lonely women who talk to themselves and who can't live without the television on when they're in the house. I'm not making fun of them. Really. There is something inherently sad about that kind of life. It is as if when they lost their spouse, they were unable to survive the silence. 

The really odd thing is that after Jerry died I spent six months in my house with no lights on and no sound. Seriously, I did. I came in from work at just after 5 and as it was the dead of winter it was far gone into the dark. I turned on a light only as necessary. I undressed in the dark. I showered in the dark. I dressed in the dark. If I got on the computer, and I lived on the computer for over a year playing Farm Town with people who kept me sane, the only light in the house was the computer screen until bedtime. 

So, back to my revelation. I was talking to the face in the mirror. I had just turned off the television. I realized that suddenly I've become "that" person. Maybe have been all along because I talk a lot to myself. Sometimes I'm talking to God but sometimes it's me. Maybe it's the human need to hear the sound of another voice. I spent 35 years listening to Jerry. But I've got to tell you, I'd rather hear his voice than my own. 

And on the heels of that, I had a second revelation. 

What difference does it make what time I go to bed? Who cares? Why do I feel like I must sleep? I don't feel better after I sleep. I feel worse. They tout sleep as the very thing patients with autoimmune diseases need. Poor sleep is supposed to be the culprit that worsens those diseases. Sleep only causes me intense pain and I'm never refreshed by it. So why should I go to bed early? Why not stay up as long as I want and sleep when I must. I was always a night owl anyway but had to conform to a husband and children and a world that operated on a different schedule. Now, I have none of those restrictions. I'm that woman. The one who talks to herself, who wants sound in the house, and who can't sleep.

These days the sound is a cd of ocean sounds. I sleep with it on because of the ringing in my ears caused by anti-inflammatory meds but it stays on all day. Sometimes I turn it off but most of the time I don't. I hear it softly on the opposite end of the house. I like the sound because I am reminded of home. Sometimes I turn on a YouTube video of nature sounds. My favorite ones have water sounds but there is one that is night sounds exactly like what I used to hear as a child in the summer sleeping with windows opened. There are crickets and cicadas, and other chirping things and it's just this distinctive sound of a warm, southern, summer night. I think I'm going to get it on a cd so I can listen to it at night. 

I'm going to go to bed now. Writing the post seems to have triggered something. I'm suddenly very tired and I think I'll sleep. I'll probably feel like hell in the morning. The devil will wake me with his flaming poker and pour hot liquid acid in my veins. I'll wake up on fire, swollen, and in my own personal agony. I'll roll out bed praying and hoping I can walk.  It is getting harder.


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