Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Sleep and I don't get along. Never have. As far back as I can remember - even at four and five years old - I would lie awake for what seemed like ages waiting to fall asleep, and once asleep I would wake up half-a-dozen times a night.

When I was on Paroxetine the first time, I actually began to sleep reliably at night. Unfortunately the longer I was on it, the less dramatic the effect seemed to be. However, some of the differences in my mental habits at bedtime made me start thinking about how I go about falling asleep.

I'm beginning to wonder if I have such trouble with sleep because I don't think I deserve it. My habit, since I was pretty little - maybe seven or eight years old - has been to imagine stories as I'm falling asleep. Generally those stories involved me being asleep, and the circumstances that led to it. What I'm beginning to notice is that the themes of those stories, even from the very beginning, seem to revolve around sleeping because I've worked so hard, been so injured, or exhausted myself so much, that I literally have no choice but to fall asleep. Like I don't have the right to a good night's sleep unless I've saved the world single-handedly that day. Certainly not when there's a sinkload of dishes waiting for me. Of course to the younger me, the idea that without a decent night's sleep, I wouldn't be likely to feel like catching up the dishes in the morning, didn't really occur to me. It's occuring to me now, though, and I'm wondering just how much effort it will take to change my mental narrative. Can I find a way of getting to sleep at night that doesn't involve beating myself up for not being superhuman every day? That doesn't feed the next night's insomnia even more?

I don't know if it will "fix" my insomnia. After all I didn't start with the story-telling until after insomnia was well established. But it might be worth doing in it's own right - after all, who needs to be beating themselves up every night?

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