P.s: from a very terrified me last night to a serene me this night. I watch this seemingly natural occurrence, where in the midst of change of routine, grief and some more, sleep is affected and it’s ok to watch the process. Maybe taming it with some hot cocoa and writing can help for real.
I am just back from a trip and I did share some update on Friday and Saturday.
For the main part of the trip and a personal mission, I had prepared myself emotionally and mentally intensely for a week. I knew organizing a medical mission targeting 500 – 1000 beneficiaries was no joke. Yet, all and I mean much did not depend on me. So I was ready to sleep late and deal – heal from overwhelming scenarios as much as I could. Glad to say I lost my cool only once on the DDay.
Today Sunday, was another day however and I had not prepared emotionally and mentally for the day’s events. I wasn’t even aware of the program up to the last hours. You can imagine how that shook my mind already so frail. I couldn’t make it and yet I was stuck there and had to wait. I was so tired and slept a little but my thoughts of getting back home and my disrupted routine kept bugging me.
I finally got home 5 mins ago and it is 10.30 pm here. My normal sleep time is 9 pm. Yesterday I missed that but I was prepared, today I am not. I have to deal with it. I hope writing my worries down like this with help me. Maybe I will also go drink some hot chocolate, I believe it helps soothe me.
I know some will say in life you have to be flexible and adapt and face stuffs like a ‘normal’ person. I am not a ‘normal’ person; diagnosis is not what will make me believe I am/or confirm that I am not … Whatever normal person is. I feel more and more mentally taxed by what will otherwise be ‘normal’ to others. Not being able to be ahead of my program or to even know what is planned and well ahead of time, drives me to an edge. Not sleeping on time, not eating what am used to, too much noise and different reactions from people are taxing now more than ever. Sometimes, even an hour’s preparation can do, but I need to be ready in my mind.
I wasn’t like this before. Maybe youthfulness and the ‘people pleaser’ in me made me very flexible and outgoing etc. I have been through stuffs since then which have plainly caused such trauma; going on nowadays, my mind gets scared of future foreseeable ‘trauma’ which may be caused by I don’t what… Sometimes I am scared I am becoming emotionally and mentally frail to a not so good edge. Maybe that’s why I try so much self care you know… I don’t want to rely on meds. Hence I need to prepare myself emotionally and mentally well in advance for any program which will change my routine. For example I attend the African Epilepsy Congress in Dakar in 2 weeks and I have been preparing emotionally, mentally and of course logistically since January.
Empathy not suspicion and disgust of people going through such challenging times is needed. Sometimes, it seems the ‘normal’ people don’t understand or are quick to say they do while advising you to just pray, get over it etc. Maybe that’s why people going through such challenges like these isolate themselves and will rather smile and say all is fine, rather than begin to explain what may only be rediculed? Others try to cope doing whatever numbs their feelings of makes then ‘feel happy’ and ‘on top of it all’/
I am what may be considered highly functional, but I love being prepared and also following my routine. Now Sleep evades me and yet my internal alarm clock will do it’s 4 am jingle and I wish to do sports and help the guys off to school. I know it may not work out that way because of the disruption so far. I hate to struggle and have to try calming down by writing all this. But I also share so someone be inspired and motivated. We are in this together.
Here is to my trying to sleep and to good logic of taking people as they come… That is equally fighting mental health stigma when we share our struggles and seek for ways to take care of our mental health
Wow, I feel so better today, hmm almost groovy as in getting my groove back. Yesterday I did a post on vric-vrac-groovy, where I sincerely longed for groovy. I think I am headed in that direction. I got up with the title to a post and even the structure in mind. You see that? I also thought of using my computer so I could do link ups and maybe put a photo or two. Remarkable! I am not going to the gym this morning for two reasons; lest I wear my tendons too much, and lest I can’t differentiate if I can sleep without it due to tiring gym workout.
And so we come to my ‘romantic’ affair with Sleep!
In the beginning was a Love Affair
I know some ‘normies’ would find such a post whatever, but I truly write it for ‘shaggy’ ones like us who sometimes struggle to get going, while at other times, struggle to ‘calm the heck down’.
I grew up sleeping normally like many other kids you know. I actually loved sleeping – at my own direction. Well, for all I remember, siesta wasn’t my portion and my mum soon got fed up trying. Apart from that, I slept like a log! This is how a friend came to describe my sleeping habit of just passing out like a log of wood. If I had the chance of muttering goodnight, then you could throw a party for all you cared, I was already Alice in Wonderland. And just as I logged out, that is how I stormed up like an Alarm clock . My brain clock was first set to 5 am even if I logged off at midnight, then it started cheating on me and fast forwarded to 3 am. At a point in my life, that was ok for me because I loved going out for sports at exactly such ungodly hours. I even came across bandits twice and just told them I was an ‘Area Girl’ (will do a post about this qualification of mine later).
No more Love?
I dare think the relationship got so sour by the time I landed in Europe. Depression was very much flirtingly around every other week. I struggled with ‘settling down’ in this strange land. I still do, but with the exception that I have a road map now for going home by 2016. So, my sleep was DISRUPTED almost completely. Before, I logged off usually at 9/9.30pm, and now, I was lucky to drift off by 10/10.30 pm. The Brainy alarm for its part, kept its rhythm. It even graduated from battery run to electrical. I got up several times before the final 3 am get up, to go to the Loo, wonder about, prepare for the day, do a mug of milk, and whatever. I was concerned. I started to hate sleep. If I sleep, am I even gonna wake up again? If I don’t, am I not just gonna end up in psy ward? My Friend was concerned. When we went on vacation with his family, they got concerned. And then boom, disaster, my darling brother dies. Fuck you sleep which prevented me from hearing the phone ring at midnight as my sister called to tell me. I remember not being able to sleep for even 3 hours for the next three days after that fateful August 2nd. My friend got me a gym subscription, but no matter how tired I got back from there, most of my nights were spent writing his book – I took a month in total to finish it, coupled with all other things I was doing including GRIEVING!!! One thing I didn’t want involved in my affair with sleep, was medication. I refused my shrink’s offer and discussed other options with my life coach, my Mummy dearest and also my Friend.
Back to Promising
This is the third night in a row I am logging a big improvement in that affair of ours. I have gotten up once each of these nights to use the loo, and this very morning I got up finally at 6.45 am!!! Wow, and to think I logged off at 9.30 pm after reading a few pages of Maya Angelou’s “Letter to my Daughter”? Reading is one of the bedtime techniques I use – no doubt bedtime stories do as much to kids 🙂 I think it is on the promising trail. Lots of fluids, fruits, veggies, support especially from my e family and of course my Mummy and co.
It shall come to pass she said
Mum assured me that all those mental and etc challenges of mine shall come to pass. I am so grateful and graceful for her and all the support I have. It’s not easy especially when most people know you for the “Success” you are or represent and all what you do/seem to accomplish and inspire/motivate others. But, I came to realize I couldn’t live parallel lives anymore. I took off my mask, even shaved my hair off. I choose Genuine over Genius – that is, if I can’t have both. I am not even eyeing that rubbish called ‘Genius’.
And so dear gentle readers and followers, I hope sharing this yet another personal story of mine, helps even one other ‘shaggy of us’, to know that whatever we are going through, shall come to pass, albeit even manageable is good right? Have a great Sunday.
Dear all, thanks to the awful internet connection in this part of the world l find myself, l haven’t blogged for maybe two weeks? Woah, somethings we take for granted?
Well, thanks to insomnia, l decided to try blogging from my phone instead of just staring at the ceiling since being finally up at 1am. Sleep has really hardly been a friend. Just when l think l am starting to ‘sleep’, the disorder sets in and the pattern is back to haphazard. Do l take it for granted sometimes?
Before l left for Belgium, l was like maybe several back home, not internet oriented. I didn’t know nor care to learn about twitter, blogging, LinkedIn and you name them. Maybe out of reflex or the several puddles l faced back then?
Now, l came and discovered social media, it also discovered me. We so loved each other and declared our love in a book. Hmm, it was so good to be true. The high speed and wonderful e-family and all? Maybe l started taking all that for granted?
l am afraid to write much more for l may mistakenly touch something and l loose all what l have written.
I just want to thank you all for l truly miss my e-family. Not being able to read your great posts, hurts. Not being able to regularly schedule posts, hurts much more.
I salute all those in this corner of the planet who brave it to feed us with content ever so faithfully. I think of Vincent Egoro and several others l just can’t name all.
Till then, thus goes life. Hmm, say what a post with no images, links and all? Somethings indeed we take for granted?
mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences