Ever since my little crazy episode, I have been feeling more alive and awake, in a zen sense, than I have in a long time. I feel like I am seeing clearly, feeling the joy and love that is always all around me, but that I often don't notice or appreciate. I finally made myself a little meditation spot (I used to just sit on the couch), and I am motivated to meditate every day. Most of the time, I even enjoy it and feel myself calming down as I sit. The chest pressure has subsided. I am far more productive and inspired than I have been in a long time, approaching my to-do's with enthusiasm (some might say manic energy). I end most days tired in a good way, satisfied, excited about what's to come. And yet, I still can't sleep well.
The Ativan has worked, mostly, except when I try to sleep in my own bed next to my husband. Once again, I am unable to fall asleep there — despite the fact that he is not doing a single thing to disturb me. And the past couple nights, even with the Ativan and the separate room, I have still had trouble getting to sleep, still done battle with the racing heart in the wee hours of the morning. Last night, as I sat on my meditation cushion, I decided it's time to quit fighting this. To give in to insomnia. To let it be.
So I can't sleep? Who cares? More time to meditate and read. More peaceful alone time in my safe, quiet house.
So my heart is racing again, and this means I am an anxious/abnormal person? So what? Let it race. As long as it keeps beating, what damned difference does it make?
So I'll be tired tomorrow? Who gives a shit? I've been tired before. It won't kill me. I can just experience it for what it is, like everything else.
So it might go on for days, while I get progressively more tired and miserable? Fuck it. I'll function, make it through, and get another chance the next day. And if I'm too tired to function, an extreme rarity, I'll take a sick day--just like someone who has the flu. Shit happens.
So I can't sleep with my husband? Marriage ain't perfect, baby. This too shall pass, and if our marriage can't withstand this transitory problem, well then, we've got a lot more problems than this one.
So I won't be able to enjoy my life? Lies! Just because I'm tired, doesn't mean I can't experience enjoyment. Yes, it feels better to be well-rested at all times, but I would also prefer to have millions in the bank, to be in marathon-running shape, to have longer legs, to not have chronic back pain, to have a screened-in back porch, to take more vacations and to eat at more gourmet restaurants. I live with these other imperfections in my life, and still manage to make the best of things, why not this one?
I realized last night on the cushion that—despite all my reading and believing and preaching that the hard parts of life are as worthwhile, as necessary and as rich as the pleasant ones—I am still relating to insomnia in my same old dysfunctional way. I am still hating it, struggling against it, wishing it away, feeling that I can only figure things out after I've gotten some sleep. I'm still popping sleeping pills with the idea that after I've gotten some rest, I can meditate, get back on track, live the life I aspire to. Yes, sometimes I need to put aside unnecessary tasks and ambitions when I am exhausted. But the idea that I can only deal with my life when certain conditions are right? That is classic dysfunctional thinking: If I could just have this one thing, then I could [insert just about anything here, right on up to save the world/find eternal joy].
There is only right here, right now — and we choose to work with it or we don't. We choose to say yes to it, or we choose to whine and cry like children that things aren't the way we want them to be. I did everything possible to avoid coming to this realization about insomnia, because being bone tired really is no fun. But now I have no choice. If my trusty sleeping pills and private room don't work, then my only option is to just say fuck it, I give in. Come on in, my old friend Insomnia and my pal Exhaustion, let's have a cup of tea together.