I have been dealing with insomnia for—let me do the math here, when was my first son born? Oh yes, NINE YEARS now. My biggest problem is that I have racing thoughts. Ever wonder what that’s like? Here’s a little snippet from Monday night:
It’s raining. OMG, THE BOUNCY HOUSE IS GOING TO GET RUINED! Oh yeah, I brought that in earlier. OH CRAP I HAVE TO MAKE VINCENZO A SECOND BIRTHDAY CAKE ON SUNDAY. That’s only six days away!! I almost forgot!!!!! What if I had forgotten? I wonder if Rocco is constipated. Hm. I wonder if I’m constipated. Gah, we forgot to make a Friday Field Trip list today. Wow, it’s really raining. OMG, THE BOUNCY HOUSE! Oh yeah, it’s put away. Vincenzo wanted a lemon cake with lemon custard filling. I hope I don’t forget to make it. What if I forget to make the field trip list tomorrow, and then I forget to do it the next day, and then I keep forgetting to do it and then we never go on any Friday Field Trips because I forgot to make the list? I’m freaking out! Sh. Go to sleep. Seriously, Rocco is spending a lot of time in the bathroom lately. He probably needs more fiber. Or OMG, what if he is gluten intolerant? What if I have to start cooking gluten free food and we all have to eat rice crackers all the time?! Rain. I’m glad I brought the bouncy house in. OMG, THE HAMMOCKS! THEY’RE STILL OUTSIDE!
That’s about 60 seconds worth of racing thoughts there. Multiply this by 60 to 120 times, repeat two to three times per night, and you’ll know what my nights are like. I wake up in the morning feeling like I have battled demons. Like I had a fever that broke. Like I drank and partied all night. I eat an entire loaf of bread for breakfast (it really does feel like a hangover), then maybe a bowl of ice cream followed by another loaf of bread. It feels like there are toothpicks keeping my eyes open and I really wish they weren’t, but as I am driving the kids to school at that moment, it’s probably a good thing they are.
At some point during my falling-asleep process I usually get up to make a list of all the things I don’t want to forget in the hopes that my thoughts will quiet down. Then I close my eyes to go back to sleep and new list items keep coming, or things that I can’t put on a to-do list because they’re just freaking-out thoughts about global warming or sleeper cells or lemon custard cake recipes that turn out dry.
When Kevin comes home from work I ask him how his day was and he shakes his head and says, “It was rough. We had to fire someone, but at least it wasn’t me…for now. How was your day?” I tell him I couldn’t fall asleep for my morning nap, so it was pretty much as miserable as his day was. He thinks I am joking. I tell him to look at my face.
I went to a sleep clinic this summer and they told me that my problems are not biological, and the doctor kept trying to find a nice way to tell me they’re mental. It’s okay, I told him. I already know that.
Sometimes I take a sleeping pill. Sometimes I listen to hypnotherapy. That kind of works, sometimes.
I’m pretty good at staying asleep once I fall asleep, unless I get an interruption. If I get an interruption I am usually up for about an hour. Interruptions include, but are not limited to: Vincenzo taking a midnight bathroom break, Rocco screaming, “MAM! MAM!” because he had another “nightmeer”; Leo yelling that he went poop, Kevin breathing loudly, and me having a “nightmeer.” I get them almost nightly. Don’t ask what they are about—they are about incredibly stupid things like being late for a play date.
Actually, sometimes they’re better than that, like last week when I found myself covered in bees in the middle of the night, or the one last weekend where I was drowning in a four-foot-deep pool.
Last night it took one bedroom change (technically a bed-to-couch change, since we don’t have an extra bedroom) and three music CDs before I finally, finally started drifting off to sleep an hour and a half later. How do I know it was an hour and a half later? Because at exactly 11:00, when I was almost completely asleep, the house alarm went BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
For absolutely no reason.
Well, for one reason: so I could draw Creeper and Skeleton faces on two dozen plates, since I was already wide awake.
I was finally ready to sleep again at 12:30, so I put on my CD and laid there for an hour and finally, finally, drifted off to sleep. And then…
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
So I made this.
In conclusion, insomnia: not great for moods, marriages, or life spans, but excellent for planning the perfect party.
It comes highly unrecommended.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE*
Roasted fall vegetable and ricotta pizza
Tomato/roasted red pepper soup
*Back by popular demand!**
**(One person asked me if I was going to start posting dinners again.)