It’s Always Worse At 1 AM…

In addition to losing a remarkable amount of weight on my exclusive Excruciating Anxiety Diet, there’s another thing I’ve been introduced to recently:  Insomnia.  I finally came up with a little over-the-counter drug cocktail that usually gets me through the night.  It’s a couple of St. John’s Wort capsules (generally used to fight depression, but, apparently also used for sleep disorders,) a couple of 5 mg melatonin tabs, and a Unisom.  That should be enough to knock out anyone… and usually it does.

An interesting feature of melatonin, at least for me, is that it creates the illusion that you’ve slept for a very long time when you haven’t.   It’s not at all unusual for me to go to bed at, let’s say 7:30 (I have to get up at 3:30 AM), and sleep for what seems like hours and hours and hours.  I’ll wake up thinking it must be time to get up, look at the clock, and it’s 9:45.  I actually like that.  It also tends to provide you with the most amazing dreams.  It’s like I hired a whole new staff of dream writers, directors, and, occasionally, even choreographers.

In any case, once in awhile… like last night for example… the mix of non-narcotic narcotics I take before bed did not work all night.  I awoke at a little after midnight.  Now, if I’m lucky, when that happens, I can get back to sleep before the worrisome thoughts hit.  But not last night.  Suddenly all those nasty thought demons came pounding down from somewhere… and that was the last of sleep that I experienced.  Mix that with the remnants of a few dreams, and it’s a potent mix.  And it guarantees that the whole Shakespearean sleeve of care will come unraveled, and I’ll lie there torturing myself with what-ifs until shortly before the coffee pot starts issuing that day’s elixer of life.  Then, I’ll fall into a deep, sound sleep.  For ten minutes.

When I told my wife about it during our daily morning phone conversation (she’s 650 miles from me, looking for a job in North Carolina) she said she’d heard a suggestion that, when the middle-of-the-night worry demons attack, you should get out of bed and write down everything you’re worried about, and you can then release it, go back to bed and, apparently, drift off into a happy, dreamless slumber.  I guess it’s worth a try.  But I hope it won’t be necessary to read whatever I write about.  My handwriting’s illegible on the best of days.

Of course, at my age, there’s always at least one necessary wake-up-and-leave-the-room episode every night anyway.  I’ve found that if I can get up, accomplish what needs to be accomplished in a half-twilight state, and get back to bed before I start thinking about things, I can get back to sleep.  But, of course, that doesn’t always work.

Today’s Friday.  I have to work most Saturday mornings at the usual time, so that means a 3:30 get up time again.  Now, it’s mid-afternoon, and I’m trying mightily to stay awake all day so I can be really and truly exhausted by tonight.  Shouldn’t be a problem.  Oh, of course, I also have to work on Monday, Memorial Day.  But that’s okay, really.  It’s not like it’ll interfere with my busy busy busy social life.  I have no social life.  I go to work, I come home, I turn on the TV, and I throw stuff away, try to figure out what and how to pack for the move to North Carolina, get frustrated, and put most of it off til the next day.   And so go the days of our lives.  My life anyway.

But even if I wind up there in three weeks unemployed, at least I’ll be reunited with my wise, beautiful, wonderful wife.   And at that point, although the things I’ve been worrying about may or may not have come to fruition,  just being together again will allow a sense of peace and tranquility.  And sleep.  Fabulous, glorious sleep.

I’d wish you a Happy Memorial Day, but somehow that has always struck me as wrong somehow.  It’s the day we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  So “Happy Memorial Day!” just seems out of place.  How about this:  I hope you have an enjoyable, safe Memorial Day weekend.  Does that work for you?

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