For the past fifteen months it has been a part of my nightly regmine to take a high dosage of doctor prescribed sedatives to help me sleep at night. When I first started taking them, they worked miracles. Prior to the pills, I spent eight years sleeping for fourteen hours a day and feeling exhausted all the time. No sleep seemed to be the right amount of sleep. Within a week of taking the pills I was sleeping from eleven at night to six in the morning, waking refreshed and energized. I was amazed that one little blue pill could help so much. A few months into it, and I became even more amazed when the one pill stopped working and had to be upped to three or four, and then other pills added to it.
Within six months I was back to sleeping as poorly as the precursing years. Sonata, Ambien, Remeron, Valium, Klonopin, and even Trazodone, which is supposed to be able to knock out a horse, are all completely ineffective on me now. Last week, in order to catch just three hours of somewhat restful sleep, I had to take two antihistamines, two 150mg Trazodones, 20mg of Ambien, sedative nasal decongestants, Valerian root, and an hour of meditation. I was lucky when the combination gave me a few hours respite, only to wake up and stare at the bright blue digital clock reading \”2:33,\” then \”3:04,\” \”4:09,\” 5:30,\” and so on.
Last night was the end of the line for sleep supplements, only because I have taken everything that was left. After laying miserably awake for three hours, counting my ones and twos and attempting to black over my mind, I finally gave up, woke up my boyfriend, and begged for the last two 5mg Ambiens. Granted them, I curled back up and within a few minutes, managed to doze off. Less than twenty minutes later, at 3:40am, I was awake, and hallucinating more than I have in six months. The colors and shapes were flying and morphing all throughout the room, and the two cages full of rats scratching in their nocturnal prowls only added to the eerieness.
I watched the hours pass in my misery, one after the other, after the other. Just as the Ambien was losing it\’s effect on my visual acquity, the phone rang — 7:30 — with a message from my boyfriend\’s 80-plus year old father. Sighing, I rolled over and finally dozed off again, only to dream about being brutally raped by the hillbillies Will and I had encountered the night before. Once again awake, sweating, and terrified, I curled up in my tiny corner of the bed, pushed hard against the cold wall, and watched the light fill the room from outside. Watched my boyfriend sleep the semi-restful sleep that he has been able to muster in the last few months. Felt guilty about the fight we had the night before. Hours before I wanted to pound him, leave him, rile him into utter fury. By eight, I was peaceful and basking in the affection I still felt for him as he wrapped me under the crook of his arm.
Today I head off to yet another physical therapy appointment. This is my third go-round in a year. I would like to say it is helping, but it is not. All the physical progress that I had gained last fall seems to be lost again to me. Will is frustrated, I am frustrated, and neither of us are able to understand. I am ready to get \”No Talent No Skills No Future\” tattooed on my ass, delete any evidence of my existence, throw out my ID, and hit the road until the road kills me. I cannot get it together and have nothing to get together; no real dreams or hopes or desires for the future. When my doctor asks me that awful question, \”Where do you see yourself in ten years,\” I reply the same way I have for the past ten years — who the fuck knows? Maybe dead. It seems weird to me that the happier I get (which is more and more these past few months) the more I give up any hope for any sort of future. I have no plans, no hopes, no goals, nothing. And the only one who doesn\’t care about that is me. But when I look at all these people who do care, and look at how they view their lives, and none of them are happy, anyway, then it all seems ridiculous to me. I am not willing to take some job I hate that is going to make me feel too physically ill to do anything but work and sleep, and I absolutely positively do not want to be in school and deal with the panic attacks, crying, and stress that goes with my attempts at education. I have tried to stop fooling myself and have stopped making music, which angers Will to no end, but I don\’t see the point in noodling for noodling\’s sake when it only makes my back hurt and leaves me pissed off that it doesn\’t sound at all good or how I want it to sound. So I guess I am just fed up with all the physical entrapments of everything. I want to sell my car, which I feel I am more of a slave to than anything else, and sell the rest of my meager belongings, and just go forth and see what I haven\’t seen (Asia, for a start, and Alaska, and Antarctica, and Albania, and then maybe some Bs), and then be through with it. I have no words of wisdom, nothing to offer, no skills, and I am too pissy to rely on, and for god\’s sake, I just want to be able to sleep again.
A few weeks ago, the night before I started physical therapy again, I had a dream that I had been going to a medical trial, and in the course of the trial they discovered a cure for fms. I woke up so jubilant and exhilerated; the dream had been so vivid, that for hours afterward, I thought it was real, and a recent memory. I sat still in bed, crying my eyes out in joy, trying to fathom what it meant. Then Will woke up, and I realized there were no needle marks in my veins… impossible for there have been a study on me recently. It was a dream. Shocked, I got up, dressed, went to physical therapy where my already torn body was further contorted and strained, came home, struggled with parking, got into bed and cried for the rest of the day, robbed of my dream. Will and I fought a few days later about my lack of productivity and striving for a future. I think it was shortly thereafter that I just gave up again.
But you know, it is autumn, and with it, SAD. Come spring I may be feeling differently.