Tag Archives: insomnia

Oh, hello, 2018!

4 Jan

4:26 pm

Does it feel to others like 2018 has come in so quietly it’s almost snuck in?

This year is going to be all about transitions, crossings, and changes–and, of letting go of the reins, or at least, loosening the grip.

Welp, without much fanfare–and with some anxiety–2018 has arrived.  2017 went fast, flew by, sort of took my breath away; and, I had a feeling it would, when by the beginning of February, I had already flown across the country for work, and was embarking on the first of  several (months-long) job interviews (none of which I was offered, but that’s OK).  In fact, last year was all about searching–pushing and planning and striving and trying SO hard to see…the future.  I took a lot of trips, my favorite, of course, being a solo journey to South America (man, I can’t even believe that happened, what with how the hurricanes have changed the course of our lives)…  All this is to say that, last year was so much about trying to move the Earth, and sort of succeeding, but mostly just laying cable and putting up with all the frustrations that come with trying so hard.

Last year, I think my “phrase” of the year was, move the Earth, or something like that.  I guess I moved it a little bit (I started on a big writing project, and that is the one thing, aside from moving, that I want to get done this year).  I moved around it a lot, that’s for sure.

This year?  Shit.  Let the damn Earth move itself.  Let it happen.  Let it go…

Gratefully, I am bouncing back after a few weeks of pretty intense sadness:  our dog WAS diagnosed with canine lymphoma, and…yup, major tears all around.  Wailing tears, to be exact, for a few days in a row, and then…acceptance.  This is happening, and there is no cure.  He’s only 9, and far too young to be looking like an old dog now, but…this is happening.  We aren’t going to treat him in favor of making his last months somewhat bearable with prednisone (though, that stuff is making him really, really groggy).  I have started him on this weird diet thingie I found online, so I’m hopeful (yay, hope!) that this might turn it around and land us a miracle.  There’s always the possibility of a miracle, I have to believe.

So, there’s that that’s been literally keeping me up at night.  Oh, and we’re moving, too!  In a few weeks!  Like, a big move, across the continent!  This, too, is happening.  We’ve sold my car, arranged for our landlady to buy our household full of stuff (so she can rent our place furnished), and are in the process of getting flights, flight letters for our precious babes (dogs), and all the other stuff that comes with moving.  My job is aight (but, another thing!  it’s ending in March!), and the only thing that sucks about it is that we don’t have anything resembling a good cell service connection at home anymore (thanks for nothing, AT&T), so I have to go out looking for Internet in order to work (and write this blog post).

Mostly, I feel excited, sad about the endings that are coming up, and on edge.  Like, I have been waking up almost every night at 4 am–after only about 4 hours sleep, which is exhausting and maddening–and it’s usually accompanied by anxiety.  Like, dark terre thoughts.  And, the next day, I feel anxious and depressed.  And, it’s made me realize that I have NEVER truly experienced this before, but now I can totally see the connection between insomnia and anxiety and depression!  Like, there is something about waking up at 4 am that makes me crazy–angry, panicky, and depressed the next day.  I cannot control my negative thinking the way I can when I am fully rested.

And, this just makes me remember how I used to get wrapped up in drinking thinking–negative thoughts and thinking patterns that are caused by alcohol, and not a part of me.  I used to think that all my complicated depressive thoughts were of me, but really, they were a part of the drinking.  It’s so hard to see that when you’re not sober; it’s very easy to see when you’re separate from alcoholic drinking.  Anyway, I guess it’s a reminder to be cool, and remember that it will get better.

Just a quick update to say, happy new year and that I’m looking very much forward to watching the Earth move itself in 2018.  How about you?

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Healing is boring

21 Jan

2:42 am

Or, maybe I’ve just let it bore me, and therefore, define me as “bored.” Who knows, but I’m ready to rock and roll on out of this “thinkin’ about drinkin'” phase.

I feel a lot like my old self, now that I’m well past 90 days–made it to 100 last night. I’ve been having some GREAT days, with lots of coffee, running, swimming, dog walking, cooking, rastafarian food fair-going… What I mean is, I’m not sure how others feel, but quitting drinking has allowed me to literally go back to who I was. Where I left off, so to speak. Ready work, to play, to run around like a chicken with my head cut off again.

Really?, I secretly dig at myself. Or, is it the opposite? I don’t know, and that’s where I’m going to simply have to say, I don’t know myself right now and I’m going to have to live around that fact. Live anyway, y’know? Work, dream, plan, move forward, minute to minute, day to day.

See, I used to have a lot of well-defined needs, wants, and goals. Now, however, I feel like I’m not sure which, if any, of those needs, wants, and goals are even of any value! I think quitting drinking, actually, is but ONE SYMPTOM of the transition that is staring me in the face, like a disease: the disease of mid-life, of mortality. I could not both survive this disease and its symptoms AND drink, so I had to quit. And, now that I’ve quit, I see this crisis for what it is–a lot of work to do, a lot of information to parse. Sigh. I don’t even know if I’m making any sense, which is why I haven’t written in a few days.

All I know is, I’m feeling my way forward, with blinders on, and it’s NOT because I’m drunk and confused. And, I’m starting to feel like my old self, and it doesn’t mean that I want to down two bottles of wine. I might, if given the chance, though; but that’s MY CHOICE.

(Yes, this is the problem of having to go to bed sober; thoughts are still whirring, a lot of them negative, but only YOU can turn them off because you realize they’re meaningless; you can’t use The Wine, and it never did a good job anyway.)

Want to do something like drink, or something

17 Aug

2:03 am

I woke up not wanting to get out of bed. I’m going to sleep not wanting to get into bed. What’s the point?

I’d drink, but I’m counting days again and really, will it change anything? Nope.

Are these mood swings/existential mini-crises a normal part of both short- and long-term sobriety, or are they the reason why I started drinking in my early 20s in the first place? Which reminds me to blog about panic, anxiety, depression, and booze — tomorrow.

I love me some Intervention!

9 Jul

2:18 am

And, cuz my best friend, insomnia, just showed up, here’s a short and sweet post to lull at least YOU to sleep.

When the chips are down, I like to turn to my go-to shows and web sites that make me feel less like a loser:

A&E’s Intervention — The granddaddy of addiction documentary shows! Granted, it’s pretty old school and the shows have become really formulaic, but I can get sucked in, watching six or seven episodes in a row. (Talk about an addict!) Candy Finnigan ROCKS.

TLC’s My Strange Addiction — Bizarre and quirky addictions that are so…bizarre and quirky that you totally forget to crave what you’re addicted to. At least while the show is on…

The Fix magazine — Wish I had thought of this and had the resources to publish it!  One day… Lots of great articles and first-person accounts of everything addiction-related.

PubMed — Yes, I’m a science geek.  Seriously, I look to PubMed not only for genetics-based research (when I’m actually working, which hasn’t happened for a while), but also when I get a story idea.  Generally speaking, there are so many studies YET TO DO re: addiction research (especially co-morbid addiction, like alcoholism and an eating disorder at the same time), it astounds me!  Time to get that MPH and start cookin’!

Two of my favorite consumer science magazines that highlight addiction are:
Pyschology Today — They have a “Get Help” section, which is how I found my counselor!
Scientific American Mind — Just good stuff, and answers some questions tangential, perhaps, to addiction, but always related. Shit, it’s the brain, it’s the source of our addiction problem!

And here are a few shows that I’m looking forward to checking out:

HBO’s The Addiction Project — Never seen, but looks worth a shot…

A&E’s Hoarders — Not sure I’m into caring about this addiction, but people rave about this show…

It’s not a zero sum game, but still…

6 Jul

2:40 pm

LIFE WAS/IS BETTER WITH WINE, I’ve concluded.

I’m crying, and I guess it’s to be expected.  I was wondering when it was going to hit me, this sobriety thing.  And on top of it all, I feel lonely in this…thing I’m doing.  Quite lonely.  Lonely in the sense that when I come out of it, I’m not going to be able to relate the experience to others, thereby making me feel even more isolated, more at odds with “normal” people.

Sure, I’ve cried before drinking, during, and after; I’ve cried with booze and without it.  BUT, last night, and today, as I sit here and think back to my oldest friend finally getting hitched this weekend after 15 years of dating, my other oldest best friend expecting her second child, as I read on FB about another writer friend who’s just published a book, all I can do is say, Fuck me, what have I done wrong?

As one of my writer friends here tells me, It’s not a zero sum game.  And I know that.  But, I can’t deny that some days I feel the heat…  Maybe I’m just not good enough?  Maybe I suck at this journalism thing, this writing thing?  When it’s what I’ve built my life on, succeeded in up until now, I have a hard time accepting that, let alone embracing it.  What writer wouldn’t?

If I’m honest, I would sit down and make a list of everything I’ve accomplished in my life, everything I have to be grateful for, and just shut the fuck up about it.  BUT…I can’t help but throw up my hands and scream, I could have written that book!  I could have pitched that story!  But, I’m not doing any of that at the moment.  And I continue to waste what little time I have left (last night was hard; all I could think about was that I’m on the downswing of life, that I’m exiting this game…)…

I used to have wine to calm me down, to help take the sadness away, the edge of insanity off these consuming thoughts.  WHICH ARE TRUTH, and which I CANNOT IGNORE OR PRETEND DON’T EXIST.  Yet, I acknowledge them, don’t I?  They are what make me feel sad and depressed as well as what allow me to justify drinking.  And so, why not?  Why, if I acknowledge them, if I go through the work — a sleepless night, a lonely, weepy afternoon — can’t I drink afterward?

I really want to drink.  Am I simply being too harsh, too black-and-white, too “AA” about it?  Putting myself through this sobriety bullshit when what I really need is to chill the fuck out, have a glass of wine, and be a “normal” 38-year-old?  Normal in that, well, it’s NORMAL to feel like you’re a failure when all your friends are writing books, traveling the globe as intrepid reporters, starting magazines and families and lives; and you’re doing what you perceive to be as nothing.  Right?  I don’t know.

Fuck being sober.  It’s WORSE than being a wino.  …I guess.

Mornings aren’t easy, grumbles Drunky drunk girl

24 Jun

10:37 am

I can’t wake up in the mornings.  Why?  Because I have MAJOR INSOMNIA.  Probably not unusual, or interesting, but true.  I can’t believe how cliche my detox is!

I am so tired of not being able to sleep, though.  It’s exhausting, not being able to sleep!  I’m actually coming to dread the hours I have to lie in bed, feeling manic and wanting to get up, wondering how the FUCK long I have to lie there, waiting.  And, of course, all the while I’m thinking.  Last night it was about the cosmos, the planets and solar system and galaxy and galaxies beyond ours; then it was about human evolution.  (Luckily, I had a friend keep me company on the phone, discussing the minute details until he hung up and I remained there, on my back, for at least another few hours, bright-eyed and definitely NOT bushy-tailed.)  In fact, I’m starting to develop a dread, a phobia, almost, of going to bed.  And, of waking up, since I can’t remember the last time I slept for longer than 2-4 hours in total.

I also wake up every morning feeling hung over.  Sick to my stomach.  Flu-ish.  And tired, so tired.  Like, can’t peel my eyes open and can’t manage to hurl my body up and out of the bed without some superhuman force of will.  Like, still in detox!  Worse, actually, since there’s no accountable reason for feeling as shitty as I do except detox, which I should be WELL out of, going on day 12, right?

But it’s summer, I’m in [cold east coast city], I’ve got limited time in [cold east coast city], I want to start working like I used to work, I really do want to try running or doing yoga in the early mornings (so far that would be me – 0, insomnia/detox – 12); so, I ignore it and move on.  (Maybe I’m just tired for other reasons, like, it’s hot, I’m working out a lot more, I’ve got some major decisions on my plate and have been mentally exhausting myself trying to make them.  Hmm.  Maybe getting sober is simply tiring?)

WHEN DOES IT START TO FEEL GOOD AGAIN, DAMN IT?

Oh, well.  At least the nights are getting easier, resisting the cravings, that is.  Last night’s (Or was it the night before?  The good thing about feeling too tired at night the past few nights is that I have also been too tired to drink!) big revelation was, I have a choice.  Yes, I have the CHOICE to drink or to not drink.  I don’t HAVE to drink.  More on that in a different post.

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