I'm still here. For a while there, I thought I was going to fade away into a grayish blob sitting in front of the computer, and that eventually Mr. SOC would have to move me into a corner and start using me as an end table or something. But somehow, I keep getting up every day and my arms and legs still work and I have the chance to try again. And every once in a while, I even remember that my tiny little drama is not all that serious—and that maybe I don't have to make such a big fucking deal about it.
I was going to write a post here about the tragedy of all the time I've wasted procrastinating and hating myself for it. How, if I had put all that time to good use, I could have earned an advanced degree or written a series of novels or built a wind-powered turbine or something. But what good does it do to think about that? None of us are machines. And all those wretched hours have taught me something about compassion, for myself and others, and reminded me that I'm not really in control of anything. Would I rather have spent that time learning some other kind of lesson? Hell, yes. But, as much as I'd like to think otherwise, that's not really my choice.
While my waking hours have been a bit of a struggle these past couple months, one part of my life is going fairly smoothly. Sleeping. (I know, I just jinxed it.) But I've been thinking about why I've been able to sleep lately, and I think it's a lesson that could apply to all parts of my life. I remember all the months and years that I felt like everything on earth hinged on whether I could fall asleep at night. If I didn't sleep, it was evidence that I was mentally ill, that my whole life was in a downward spiral, that I had a permanent unsolvable problem, that my marriage was on the skids, that I had no control over my own life. Now, I just take it one night at a time. If I have trouble sleeping tonight, all it means is that I don't sleep tonight. It doesn't mean that I won't sleep tomorrow night, or next week, or five years from now. It doesn't mean that I might as well just end it now because the rest of my life is going to be nothing but one long sleepless hell. I'm able to take the whole thing a little more lightly. It's just one night where I lie in my safe, comfortable guest room and read for a couple extra hours, nothing more. I'm also able to maintain a bit more perspective now. Even if I can't sleep, I still have things that millions of people around the globe would kill for: a safe, quiet place to lie down at night, a comfortable bed with warm blankets, a healthy child asleep in the next room, to name just a few. Now, I can remember to be grateful for those things, whether I fall asleep easily or not.
So while sometimes it feels like I can't stop slipping into the same unproductive patterns over and over, I really am learning something on this frustrating journey.