It is all too easy to stay lost in the immediate past or grab onto the immediate future and loose tract of the moment! Just ask me. I absolutely know.
My nights are filled with jumpy painful legs, long hours of tossing and turning, mind numbing anxiety about when sleep will hold me in her loving comforting arms, taking Aimee for 3 am walks, wondering if I ought to take yet another LTriptophan…….MISERY to say the least.
Fifteen years ago I was facing my father’s death, a much dreaded plane trip to California and no ability whatsoever to let go of my angst and get some much-needed sleep. I stayed with that little blue pill until a couple of months ago.Letting go of what I thought was my friend and have found out recently was not one bit good for me, has been a challenge like non other I have faced in 8 decades. Three hours light sleep a night is NOT enough. At least, it certainly isn’t enough for me.
I start each day overwhelmed with facing yet another day feeling vulnerable with sleep deprivation and end each day dreading going to bed only to have yet another night of no restorative sleep; instead, I have a big challenge to let go, relax, rest, and refresh. As long as I stay lost in the night before, or worry myself about the night to come, I miss today and that only means I miss accomplishing tasks, meeting with friends and family, feeling satisfied with who I am and what I have done during the day that was worth while; but I also miss the three graceful, peaceful, brave, curious doe that walked in front of my sun room/office window, the young peacocks with their turquoise necks and heads, the wood peckers of various sizes and colours, and other lovely gifts the day has on offer
I am learning to pull my attention and focus into the NOW. To do that gives me relief. I can at least wait until it is closer to 9 pm before I start fretting about what this night might bring to me. I’m a work in progress, but at least I am trying.
What I have to offer at this moment is the faith that this too shall pass. It isn’t always easy to trust that when feeling vulnerable, incapable, shabby, dull and a possibly danger to self and others. But if the sun is shinning, that is a good start. Aimee is a problem when she requires 3 am walks. But she is a god send when it is good for me to get out at 10 am. I’ve set my daily expectation low: car washed, made soup, 2 walks, leg stretches…..fair enough for now. When my mind drifts back to the the miserable night I’ve just had or soars forward in fear of the night to come, I reign myself in, chant softly breath in, breath out, and distract myself with texting, writing, taking a car ride with Aimee, going for a walk, singing a song to myself…..
NOW is all we have. Yesterday is gone, tonight is not here. Now has surprises to offer, mysteries to solve, magic to search for. Be intentional about taking the best care of yourself possible right this minute, forgive yourself for lapses, trust yourself that you are capable of seeing this painful moment into one that is less difficult. Joy is waiting for us all. Unfortunately she sometimes takes longer than we would appreciate to show us her lovely smiling face.
Always remember gratitudes. Even in the midst of travail, there is something to be noticed that gives hope and relief.
- I am very grateful for a clear head, no fog, hope that change, albeit slow, is happening
- I am grateful for the tasty nurturing soup I just made.
- I am pleased I have a groomer and a vet for Aimee to help me make decisions for her care.
- I am grateful for my grandson Chris’s care, love, support and help
- I am grateful for all the help and support as I continue my sleep challenges.
Hugs, and love always, Nancy