Sleep, the great emotional equalizer

Since my mental and emotional states are not at their fighting depths, I went to see my former, non-Kaiser primary doc this morning to talk about a very short-term prescription aid to help calm my racing thoughts and allow me to get some sleep. This doc has known and treated me for several years, well enough to know I would not be seeking this type of medication unless feeling truly desperate. According to him I am looking wonderful in spite of the horrid circumstances for my visit. I assured him that if I knew my primary Kaiser doc better I would have gone there for assistance. As it was I also asked him to give me only 10 pills. I have a healthy respect for and fear of addiction based on my own family history and impulses and want temptation firmly out of reach.

He prescribed the lowest dose of valium, something I have taken before and had very good, very short-term results. This afternoon I felt so exhausted and so desperate for relief I took half a pill and laid down for what I hoped would be some respite sleep. I wanted my brain to quiet so I could fall and stay asleep for at least a brief amount of time and minimize my zombie potential for the balance of the weekend. It worked surprisingly well. Next I knew, nearly 6 hours had passed with me completely out cold. M had come home, deactivated the alarm, brought in his gear and taken a shower, all without waking me. It got to the point he was actually getting worried about my sleeping straight through such a racket and made it a point to try and wake me gently and without scaring me to death. On the latter … well, the bright side is that my heart is perfectly functional speeding up with fear twice in 2 days. Once I got over the shock and realized I am at home and safe, I was okay. Groggy for a bit, but feeling better from the rest. More importantly, my mind feels calmer.

The downside to that is it is getting later (I do try to stick to some semblance of a sleep schedule) and I do not feel particularly tired. My mind is not racing as it was, but I do not feel settled and sleepy yet either. For sure it’s nice having M at home again. For sure I am still rattled by what happened. Absolutely I am doing everything possible to put as much mental and emotional space between me and that incident. And for sure I am having very limited success.

It’s been just over 24 hours and I am so tired of feeling like this already. I want my life back, where my biggest concern was meal planning and smoking clients.

There are a lot of terrible things about this experience that may be with me for awhile to come. In the moment or moments it was happening, my life to date did not flash before my eyes as they portray it in the movies. In my terror, imaginings of horrible things that may haunt me and keep me from feeling safe or sleeping soundly into the immediate future. Along with that, though, the more important and more lasting images are all the things I would never get to say to those who are part of my life and so important to me, all the conversations about day-to-day matters we would never have, all the experiences we would never share.

Those thoughts of a future are the sweetest parts of my very rich life and what make it so worth living. It confirmed for me that it’s right to do the work to change my habits, to improve and enhance my overall health. There is so much yet for me to learn and relearn, so many books I want to read now and things yet to be written. There are new calluses on my hands from moving dumbbells to and fro, strange little emerging creases where there were none before. My blood sugar is down and for the first time in years I feel healthy and free. My latest reinvention of my career is just beginning. I have children engaged to be married. There are friends and family to share experiences and swap stories with, now and into the future. I do not want to miss any of that.

Suffice to say, I have a lot, Lot, LOT ahead of me. I cannot and will not let this one incident define how my next chapters are written, and I crave retrieving some semblance of the control so lost that it leaves me scared and trembling.

But right now I just have to live with and through the sorting out and processing all the crap going through my head. While I live in the real world of where pragmatism rules my day-to-day life, I have found myself wishing to turn back the clock and make a different choice about how I would conclude my workday yesterday.

Writing it down helps, especially when I do not know what else to say or how to say anything about it out loud. The details as I speak about them so dispassionately take on life of their own here in black and white. It feels as if I will shatter if I allow the emotion enter into it when giving voice to it here in the world where I live. Telling M about it earlier, talking about my day today … we may as well have been discussing the rain as it falls outside our windows. M gets it; we have been together for a very long time. Others, not always so much and I regret it, regret being incapable of communicating in a way so they will understand.

Part of this habit is my anxiety about others and their expectations, or my own for their reactions and how they perceive me. Here on the blog it matters less; I don’t need to know what you are thinking or feeling (but really, I am so appreciative of the kind, comforting, and supportive comments I have received and cannot thank you enough) and you don’t have to cope with my ugly tears or the terror and the anger and the rage and everything else mixed up in this whole experience. In the way I was raised, in my family of origin, the only emotion expressed was anger, in either the frigid temperature of silence or the heated blaze of raised voices. Sometimes I am amazed to learn that I can express the range of emotions I feel in any particular measure. If I could change anything about my family, it’s not my dad’s alcoholism that is first on my list; it is that we could have be open and honest about how we feel, about everything, but particularly toward each other.

This post has kind of wandered off onto a tangent, and my mind is going blank on anything else I might wish to say tonight. Maybe that’s a good thing, and my brain’s silence will allow me some restful, non-drugged sleep.

One thought on “Sleep, the great emotional equalizer

  1. Everything you are feeling is okay. Do what you have to do to get through it. Every moment that passes means that you are another moment away from it and another moment into your future and that is a good thing. (Hope that makes sense), I am sending prayers up of thankfulness that you are safe and also prayers that you will be able to rest as that will help incredibly.

    For what it is worth, all the clothes from that day would be trashed — I might even have a burning ceremony, and watch the ashes go up and away (just as I hope the experience will).

    {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}

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