I can’t sleep, and I can’t write.

My functional routine is shot to pieces, and this new, dysfunctional routine that has taken its place is pissing me off. I haven’t slept well for weeks, not since my baby started sleeping through the night.

At first, I didn’t sleep at night, at all. I would fall asleep around the time my family was getting up, and sleep through the afternoon. Now, I’m waking up a little earlier and falling asleep at reasonable hours, but waking up around 11:00 pm, falling asleep again at 6:00-ish. And waking up a little earlier in the afternoon. I can’t get anything done.

I don’t know what is happening with me, and that might be what feels most uncomfortable. I usually pinpoint the sources of my anxieties and ruthlessly cut through them, or at least make enough progress to stop the anxiety from interfering with my daily life. There was conflict with two different people who are close to me, and I had the difficult conversations. I opened my mind, and my heart, and it felt great. I was surprised, relieved.

I talked to my therapist.

I cut out any caffeine after 2pm.

I tried to have more of a bedtime routine.

I tried falling asleep with the baby.

I tried doing nothing, while laying there, awake. I tried reading. Then I tried reading. I tried reading less exciting books. I tried watching TV. Less exciting TV. Playing games on my phone or kindle. Boring games. I sometimes think it’s working, but then it turns out that it’s just 5:30 or 6:00 am, as usual.

I woke up around midnight. Tonight, again.

I should take Benadryl or something to help me sleep, but I am so tired, that I haven’t remembered to find some until it’s too late.

I am going to New York tomorrow, to read from my essay in The Good Mother Myth. I want so desperately to be well-rested. Maybe I’m anxious about that, tonight. I’m hoping that with the celebration and the excitement, I’ll finally sleep, in the bed that Nathan’s mother so sweetly keeps for us, in New York. Maybe the insomnia will shift away, and disappear, the way it arrived.

The glow from the TV. PBS, because the silence is creepy and I don't want anything too exciting.
The glow from the TV. PBS, because the silence is creepy and I don’t want anything too exciting.

6 Comments

  1. Denise Lyons said:

    Wow. This made me stop and have to write. I know exactly how you feel. I do not have a child yet, but have faced some similar situations.

    The fact that you are addressing the intermitent sessions of your sleep, that’s huge! Please give credit to yourself for that.

    I hope that all turns out well and you get some rest.

    My only advice is to hold close those that matter most, and from reading your blog I know that those are there. :)

    January 25, 2014
    Reply
    • Anne-Marie said:

      Wow, thanks for such a thoughtful response! A combination of my always-in-motion mind and the fact that knowledge can relieve my anxiety drives me to record all this stuff and mark any shifts and changes. It has been huge progress to learn to focus on recording the things that are outside my understanding, rather than guess at causes or make creative lists of ways to blame myself.

      January 26, 2014
      Reply
  2. dellaquella said:

    Dear Anne,

    I read this the other day but didn’t have time to comment. I’ve still been thinking about what you wrote and wanted to check in and see if things are better. I remember we talked quite awhile back about breastfeeding and weaning and the effects on the mama. I’m wondering if with Walt sleeping longer, your breastfeeding relationship has changed enough to have an effect? (If this even applies at this point! I’m so far behind in my reading, I don’t know!) If so, it is likely temporary as your body adjusts to your new normal. Sending love and hopes for good sleep. XO

    February 2, 2014
    Reply
  3. dellaquella said:

    Whoops, I meant Dear Anne-Marie! I still have short sweet names on the brain. Sorry hon, awake myself at 4am! XO

    February 2, 2014
    Reply
    • Anne-Marie said:

      My family calls me Anne, sometimes :)
      As you can see, I’ve overcome my writers block. I am still having some trouble with sleep, which will be evident if this has any sort of time stamp… progress has been made and will continue, however!

      February 6, 2014
      Reply

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