When I hit my teens insomnia kicked in big time, accompanied by headaches – oh the headaches. Migraines and pounding temples and banging crown, you name the type of headache and I had it. I went for loads of tests, CAT scans, blood tests, but nothing. They determined that I was suffering from high levels of anxiety and needed to learn how to relax. I’ve been trying very hard with the whole relaxation thing for the last 25 years but I still haven’t got it right yet. Pressure and responsibility just seem to increase with age, damnation. Insomnia is still my constant companion, as is a rather unattractive gum guard mouth brace looking contraption that I have to wear each night as I grind my teeth so much I have split 4 of them down the middle, yuk. I am also terrified of the dentist but go every six months to face my fears, which are usually made manifest – another filling you say? another crown? I hold the dental nurse’s hand and cry all the way through, my poor long suffering dentist of 30 years repeats, ‘stop sliding down in the chair, its not that bad’, but of course it is.
So far for my insomnia I have tried relaxation tapes, meditation, hypnotherapy, over the counter treatments, herbal teas, homeopathy, acupuncture and as a last resort, when I just couldn’t function any more, I got sleeping tablets from the Dr. But I always felt like I had been drugged when I woke up the next morning, because, you know, of course I had been. It took ages to come round and the foggy headedness stayed all morning and left me headachey. Not the best solution but sometimes you just have to shut your body down for its own good.
If I do manage to sleep I can be prone to suffer from nightmares, and when they arrive they stay for a good few weeks. I had been ticking along very nicely without them for a few months, thinking I was doing rather well then one night recently BOOM, and it’s been the same every night since, that’s about two months of being trapped every night in the most frightening scenarios my mind can come up with, but hey, at least I’m asleep! Though, when you have a nightmare you never wake up feeling refreshed you wake up feeling like you have just lived through one of the worst ordeals of your life. The most recent lot arrived the day my solicitor told me that my Consent Order was being considered by the family court as part of my divorce process, I was thrilled, relieved that the whole horrid emotionally trying mess was nearly completed. I dd not expect trouble on the dream front. But the mind is a mystery and I’m just going to have to accept that at the moment my mind has the urge to manifest whatever emotions I am not aware of through my nightmares. I have no idea what the extreme violence in my dreams is about or what the ‘wet your pants’ kind of terror I experience is meant to mean.
That I was a fool to believe that I could control all aspects of my life? An idiot to be unprepared for it being completely turned upside down and inside out by another entity, in this case my soon to be ex and his leaving me and our baby? That I should have been more watchful? That I’m not as indestructible as i want to be? I always try and glean a lesson from the shitty things when they happen but I’m at a loss as to the meanings of the dreams. They make me wake up feeling like a useless and fearful person which is exactly the thing I am most frightened of being. Is that what my dreams are about? My fears. Probably, but for now I shall have to sit with them, be kind to myself and remember ‘I am who I want me to be’, not what my very undermining psyche is trying to make me be. The internal battle continues but I shall listen to my positive affirming voice and not my cruel bullying voice. I am okay, I am enough, I am me.