I am hoping I can sleep tonight; I've not had a good track record this week.

Tuesday night I was up all night. We have some major impending changes and Tuesday night was the night everything was solidified. I was at the point of drifting off to sleep many times, but was quickly jolted awake by my psychotic thoughts each time. I never did look at the clock, because I've learned not to torture myself with the "Omigosh, it's 4:48 and I'm should be sleeping!"

I didn't have insomnia until about five years ago. I think that's when my life as a lonely, isolated stay-at-home-mom began to change and I started to venture out into the world of people again. I began collecting friends and issues (and friends with issues) and other mental and emotional items like bits of yarn, and then I tried weaving them all together into a mismatched, wacky, frenetic quilt. I can make a pretty decent quilt, and match all the edges for the most part, but sometimes when I'm trying to sleep, I lay awake thinking about what a tangled mess I've actually made, and how I'll never be able to unravel the darn thing enough to actually make sense of it, and how everyone will laugh and laugh at my ugly, messy quilt. It tortures me -- not the whole thing, mind you, but the little, ugly, wiry ends that stick out and don't quite have a place to fit. When I'm least expecting it, I'll be jolted awake by a random, "What the heck was I thinking," or a, "I STINK at this," or, better (in my mom's voice), "Sarah, that's just stupid. You can't do anything right."

And once the self-flagellation starts, I am guaranteed to be up all night with variations on the theme. My quilt comes to life when I'm drowsing and devours me with its yarn-y teeth for six hours, and I get up at daylight bleary-eyed, headachey, and hungover.

I've tried everything the experts say to do: relaxation exercises, Valerian root, reading a book, watching TV, getting a drink, praying, journaling. None of them work. Actually, Tuesday night I took three Valerian roots, read, drank water, and watched TV all at the same time. I figured I'd condense four trips out of bed into one. It didn't work. I got up at 7:30 after finally falling asleep at 6:00, and my first word was, "Dangit."

So that was my Tuesday night.

Last night was better. I slept for most of the night, but David was "quilting" in his sleep last night, and he actually talks out loud to his quilt, so I was awakened several times to random speech and much thrashing around. I've learned to tuck earplugs under my pillow for such an occasion. I just wish they worked well enough to block out my thoughts when I need it. Or that we could coordinate our insomnia to fall on the same nights. Then we could have a virtual quilting bee.

Tonight will be better. I hope. With this looming threat of insomnia striking on any given night, I tend to approach bedtime with dread. I'll let you know how it works out.


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