#55 Glow, Glow, Melt and Flow
I haven’t been sleeping well the last few months. Between the pandemic, the sick dog, and the election, I guess I have to make room somewhere for the generalized anxiety that has me reliving the time that one of the nuns hurt my feelings in High School.*
So, between the hours of 3am and 6am, I am frequently awake and ruminating.
I’ve tried a bunch of things to get myself back to sleep: meditation, medication, reading, weighted blankets, breath work, journaling. None of those things consistently work, so I've found myself nurturing the terrible habit of scrolling through my phone. Sometimes I’ll find myself 11 weeks deep into the Instagram feed of a woman who lives with 2 pigs, 4 dogs, 13 bunnies, and a husband. Last week I watched Drew Barrymore pick a zit.
It was a low moment.
Sometimes, I’ll play a game on my phone.
The games have so many ads for other games that I have no interest in playing. A disturbing, but very popular game theme, is “if you make the wrong choice this person/animal or house WILL BE INCINERATED/DROWNED OR MURDERED.” It’s very dark.
I really cannot take on this level of responsibility.
The real problem with the scrolling and the games is that it keeps me alert enough to stay awake, but in such a stupor that I can’t just get fully awake and do something productive. When I finally get out of bed, my whole day is off because I skulk around confused and sleep-deprived.
Yesterday, I took part in an afternoon retreat (virtual, of course) about “creating your future in the face of uncertainty.” It was really helpful to re-ground myself in the vision I have for my life:
I fully embrace my identity as a CREATIVE POWERHOUSE. I feel vulnerable, but alive and supported. I lovingly share my work with the world.
Making the vision a reality is where the work is, and I realized I'll never get there if I'm zombie-ing my way through the day. No one is going to sort out these sleep issues but me.
No help at all.
The phone’s gotta go. I made myself a promise that if I can’t fall back to sleep, I will not turn to my phone. I’ll just stare at the ceiling if I have to. I deleted the game apps. I put the phone across the room before going to sleep.
Miraculously, I got an incredible night’s sleep last night. HALLELUJAH. I’M CURED.
Just kidding. It’s probably a fluke, or that I just collapsed from exhaustion. But, I’m committed to the process.
And, today was pretty great. I sometimes forget how lovely it is to be well-rested. I did my morning practice. I worked out. I took a long walk on the beach. I even went out and got myself a shark bracelet!**
OK, off to bed now. Wish me luck.
*You know what, Sr. Marie Claire? Yes, I DO think highly of myself. Get on board.
**Upon further investigation, I believe someone in my family made up the name “shark bracelet.” It’s another common theme in my life that things I accept as real and true are actually just Hindsley-isms. I have no idea what’s true anymore or how I survived this long.