I am not a good sleeper.
I have never been a good sleeper.
I remember being in bunk beds, on the lower bunk, sobbing before bed.
Seeing things standing in my doorway, knowing things were under the bed,
(I still see and know these things are there, how do you explain that to your children),
my Dad rubbing my back, for hours, just saying my name over and over and over again
until I would cry myself to sleep. I can still feel his hand on my back.
Then they would let me fall asleep in a sleeping bag on their bed,
and carry me back in my bed after I'd fallen asleep.
I'd wake up, grab my sleeping bag and head to the floor in my parent's room
I wonder how many nights I've slept on the floor in my life?
As I got bigger, I would sleep in their closet. This was probably middle school.
When my Grandma and Grandpa would visit, I loved it, because it meant
I would get to sleep in my parents closet for 2 WHOLE WEEKS.
I have journals from high school, 16 years old, writing about how
I couldn't find sleep. I couldn't stay asleep. Where was the sleep.
Meeting with therapists to talk about my sleep problems,
which were exacerbated after my Dad died, when I just wanted to die.
They asked me what I would think about before falling asleep at night.
"I think about all of the people I love dying", I answered.
"That is not normal." They responded.
I thought it was? Doesn't everyone lay down and then have the rush
of all of the things they fear the most come at them like a train with no conductor?
Or is it just me?
With COVID, it has gotten much worse. I have to take a lot of drugs to sleep...
Mike jokes that I'm like a 300lb man when it comes to what I need to take
in order to do a hard shut down on my body, so that I can rest, so I can heal.
It's an embarrassing cocktail, a little of this, a little of that,
some nights it works, others it doesn't. I remember having to call in sick
at least once a month, so little sleep I couldn't drive myself to work.
So, I'm very familiar with the "witching hour".
"In folklore, the witching hour or devil's hour is a time of night that is associated with supernatural events, whereby witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear and be at their most powerful."
Who knows why this is the time of night when I'm up and around?
It feels natural and normal for me now, finally, to be awake while the diurnal slumber.
I know I am awake with the owls, the beavers, the bats. And those in between worlds.
Sometimes I even enjoy the time when everything is at it's most quiet.
I will sometimes stand outside for a few minutes and listen to the nothing.
I like hearing the nothing.
Other times I feel complete and utter frustration,
knowing that I have things to do the next day, and my anger and anxiety
just climbs, climbs, climbs. And then I am just up, starting my day at 2:30am.
Knowing that the rest of the day will be a struggle, tears, maybe a nap,
(naps are as hard as getting to sleep at night, equally frustrating when the
naps don't come),
and I hate this insomnia I have been saddled with in those moments.
I don't hate many things about myself, but this is one thing I would
love to let go.
It's becoming something I have just accepted, which is interesting,
there are so many other things I fight to accept, refuse to concede.
Always fighting the surrender.
Maybe I am meant to be one of the crepuscular animals of the world,
most active during the dusk and dawn, the twilight hours.
I long to wake and sleep with the natural rhythm of the world.
But maybe I am not part of the natural rhythm of the world.