Sleep is the ultimate tool of the chronic procrastinator.
I am a sleeper… I can waste whole days lolling in bed. A recent, horrible spate of anxiety attacks, spending every night struggling just to breathe normally, the world stretching out in front of me as dismal and lonely… they culminate in me falling asleep on Bunny’s lounge and staying there for the next fifteen hours.
I wake, occasionally, and think of emails and blog posts and organization and school lunches and bills to pay… and I fall asleep again, easily. On the odd occasion I suffer insomnia, driven by a different type of anxiety- a restless mania that makes me eager to do all the things that must be done, to strike tasks off my eternal inbox list of ‘things to do’… and I stay up all night, burn my candle at both ends until the wax drips on my fingers.
More often, though, sleep is a calling, warm darkness where I can forget… and it’s easier to be in that darkness than out of it. There is no fight against in me against it.
So when I can, I loll in sleep, in blackness, in the half life of slumber. I wake, sometimes, during the day I sleep on Bunny’s lounge, and guilt tempers at me to get up, to do the things I need to do today.
The dark, black warmth wins, every time.
The bonus is, when I wake… I feel better than I have in days.. rested, my muscles not so taught. Obviously I needed it… but it still feels like overindulgence, and I have to be gentle with myself- the harshest part of my mind will tell me that sleeping this late is a terrible sin, if I let it, and punish me for the rest of the day accordingly.
But all bets are off here. If sleeping all day is what it takes… well. If I think about it too much, stop to look back where I’ve been… I’m surprised I make it out of bed at all, on the days when there isn’t enough oxygen to allay the anxiety that builds in my lungs.
I don’t sleep well, I’ve been told.
In truth, I knew that already. I wake some mornings (mourning) feeling as if I have fought a battle in my sleep the night before, and only just won it… some nights I’m sure I lose, over and over again.
I sweat profusely, grind my teeth, call out names in dreams I don’t remember. I’ve been told I thread my fingers through my hair and pull at it, the same way I did that afternoon in the Quiet Room…
The demons are still there, even in that warm blackness. I guess the only difference is that I don’t remember them.
Maybe that counts as some kind of exorcism.
On a same-same but totally different note- I was, in the Before, passionate about breast feeding; and now, in the After, having had contact with so many mums grieving tiny babies, I pay attention to the SIDS and Kids guidelines with a fervor I never have before, despite the chances of having another baby being slim to none…
Anyway. I’m a dedicated co-sleeper, and firmly I believe a combination of successful breastfeeding and sleeping your baby safely in your bed can reduce the chances of post natal depression- simply because you get more sleep. I know that’s not exactly cool with SIDS and Kids, who state “Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place“… but that’s how we roll. Check out the downlow here on how to sleep your baby safely in your bed here, by the way.
One thing that is very cool is that the SIDS and Kids guidelines now include “Breastfeed baby if you can.” The language is damn impressive- there is no element of “Breastfeed or your baby will die!” which always ticks me off. And I always wondered why smokers were vilified in the SIDS literature but there was no mention of the
massive increased risk of formula feeding in regards to cot death. (Before anyone starts jumping up and down and sending me hate mail, please read every post I’ve written on breastfeeding and the necessity of formula feeding so you know where I stand on the topic… go on. I’ll wait. Cuppa?)
Edited to clarify and amend…
My apologies- that was extremely badly worded, and, no excuse, but I wrote it at midnight last night. Formula feeding has been inconclusively linked with SIDS deaths, and breastfeeding is recommended. SIDS has this to say…
That’s probably a topic for another day. The point here is- huzzah for boobies. And sleep.