Monday, July 13, 2009

The dreamless sleep of the medicated.

I haven’t been sleeping well recently. For the last week, at least. To be fair, though, I rarely sleep well. I have a hard time falling asleep and sometimes staying asleep. Most times, I’m tired, but almost never sleepy and that sucks. But this last week has been especially tough.

Last night I finally gave in and took two Unisom to try to put myself out. This, after a weekend of near nervous breakdown. I don’t know why it happens, but when I reach the point of utter exhaustion - still without sleep coming - I just get overly emotional. And by overly emotional? I mean out of control emotional. Like crying - all. day. long. Lashing out at every little thing. It sucks. It’s like there’s this little part of my mind that is still aware that my behavior is irrational and wants to stop - but that part is unable to reason with the rest of me.

So I took the meds.

I hate sleep medication.

Normal sleep for me - or, what passes for “normal” these days - is usually filled with dreams. And I enjoy that. I don’t know how it is for everyone else, but for me, my dreams are vivid. Sometimes bizarre. Sometimes profound. But always interesting. And I’ve come to enjoy that. There are even “places” I frequent in my dreams that I’ve visited numerous times, though they’re not places I’ve been in real life. I have no reason to believe they actually exist, clearly, but I’ve been there many times over the years. I like that. I like that my subconscious mind has created a whole landscape within which my dreams play out. There‘s something comforting and familiar about that.

But when I have to give in and take medication to help me sleep, I don’t dream at all. Or, if I do, I don’t remember them. It’s like one minute I’m awake - the next minute it’s morning. And I can’t say I feel overly rested. At least with my dreams, I’m aware of the passage of time - even if it’s not “real” time. And often times, the dreams help me work through issues or feelings that I may be dealing with in real life. Which, surprisingly, is a real benefit to remembering your dreams.

(and clearly I have a lot of things to be working through right now… I need all the help I can get.)

However, I can’t go on not sleeping. So I will likely take the Unisom again tonight and hope to collapse into bed a little earlier than last night. It did help and I felt somewhat better today.

In other words, I didn’t sit here all day crying.

That’s progress I guess.

For now.

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