Mental Health

Self-Care Sunday: Rest

I honestly don’t know what to say about this one. We all know it’s important. We know all the “rules”:

  • Set a bedtime and stick to it.
  • Set a wake up time and stick to it (no hitting snooze one time, much less five!).
  • Only use the bed for sleeping – no working, no watching tv, etc.
  • Turn off and put away all electronics & devices.
  • No napping during the day.
  • Cut out or reduce daily caffeine intake.
  • Have a bedtime routine that includes debriefing your mind of the days events.

I have yet to really figure out how to apply most, if not all, of these. Except for only using the bed for sleeping – mostly.

True confession. I’m a smoker. I don’t mean a toker or a vaper. I mean I smoke actual cigarettes. I know, they’re bad for me. One might argue that life is bad for me. I’ve discussed it with my therapist. Quitting is not a lifestyle change for me to take on in this phase of my life as I’m still working through and processing all the trauma. So, I smoke.

When I have access to them, that is. Up until recently, my ex had been the source of my supply. The problem is that he seems to always want to have a cigarette when he’s around me and knows I have some. He doesn’t like this about himself. Instead of working on his own will/won’t-power, it’s easier to cut my supply. Meaning, I went several days without a cigarette and experienced the consequences.

Instead, I made myself some coffee for two of those days.

I went from being a smoker to a non-smoker (3.5 days) and a non-coffee drinker to two cups a day, two days running.

I’ve been a chronic insomniac my entire adult life. Last Wednesday night, when these things happened, it was a convergence of everything anti-rest and the perfect storm of sleeplessness took over my night.

My phone is my alarm. It’s also the thing that I do the repetitive things on to get my brain to shut down enough to catch up to my body’s exhaustion. My charging cord is shorting out, so the charging/not charging vibration/chime was constantly going off. 

You know that annoying as all hell chirping the smoke detector makes when it wants a new battery? Yeah. That.

Then, there’s the fact that due to a variety of factors, including her autism, my nearly 70#, 4’ish, 8 yr old daughter co-sleeps with me. At night, especially that night, she suddenly turns into a creature made entirely of protruding hard & sharp bits: toes, knees, shoulders, and elbows. Plus, her arms turn into these heat seeking tentacles. 

I can’t even tell you how many times I removed her arm from my face.

To make things even more festive, medication side effects kicked in and I felt nauseated most of the night.

Suddenly, it was time to wake up and get her ready for school. No, thank you…but, I must.

Involuntary nap time happens, usually after she’s been home from school for an hour or so…three hours before it’s bedtime again. And so the cycle begins again…

May you rest well.


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