stay-cation day #4. slept 10 hrs. woke at 6:30 am, saw that i hadn’t slept long enough to guarantee a good day, so i rolled over, and slept till 9:15. that’s better.
What follows here isn’t terribly interesting, unless you’re me.
But after nearly 8 years of marriage, my husband and i are now (finally) sleeping in separate beds.
I’m an unusually light sleeper, have been since childhood. My mother says i’d wake if an ant farted a block away. As a tiny baby, my parents had to give up “checking in on me” before they went to bed, because to touch the door handle was to wake me… If you combine this genetic predisposition (because my entire extended family (paternal) is unfortunately like this, super sensitive to sound, crappy sleepers, my parents don’t sleep in the same bed) — if you combine ME with a really tall man, who just happens to snore and thrash (like the members of his maternal side of the family, they’re all shakers-and-bakers when they sleep, and Mr. Belle’s parents don’t sleep in the same bed either) — well if you put ME and HIM together in a bed, no matter how large, one of us is going to be awakened 4-6 times per night. That person would be me.
now that i’m sober, and most days are good days, i’ve really been finding the tired days harder to tolerate. when i was drinking, I guess i was used to being tired all the time, was used to feeling 50% shitty most days. At nearly 11 months sober, I quite like feeling good. and i HATE it when i feel sooo tired from Mr. Belle’s thrashing. he wakes in the morning, takes one look at my face, and he knows that he has tortured me all night.
And part of the reason i’ve been doing the 24-hr mini-vacations alone in a hotel has been simply to get one solidly good night’s sleep per month.
So about two weeks ago i asked if we could try an experiment. i had been tired for a month it seemed. I asked if i could sleep alone for awhile, just to see … and after two nights i felt remarkably better. dramatically different. Since then we’ve been playing it a bit by ear each night. We go to bed together, read, talk, plan the next day. and then he goes to the other room or stays, depending on general levels of tiredness, and what I have going on the next day.
Yes, I am able to get work done when i haven’t slept well. Yes, I’m able to set my alarm and get up for catering after 5 hrs sleep. But i hate my life when that happens. It feels like pushing a truck uphill. It makes everything feel ten times harder than it really is. If i have a Booze Wolfie that talks shit about booze, then I also have an Exhaustion Wolf that comes out when i’m tired, and he says “you’re behind, you’re never going to catch up, your stuff isn’t good enough, why bother trying. This is all too hard, this is supposed to be your passion job. you should quit this, you should stop doing this. This is too hard.”
on the other hand, when i have had enough sleep, I can get up early, do the catering, and have NONE of that noise in my head. Nothing. Some mornings i even forget to turn on the radio, and i work for hours in silence without even noticing. I just do my thing. I work without STRUGGLE.
so me? i pick sleep. I’m going into this next phase of sober life with enough sleep. I’m giving up the idealized version of a married couple sleeping in the same bed, because it just doesn’t work for us. It didn’t for my parents or his parents either. I am no longer holding myself to ridiculous ideas of what is ‘good’ when it doesn’t work. (i used to think that if we didn’t in the same bed, that it was a slippery slope to divorce. just cuz.) Now I pick sleep, and i am packing up this idea of struggle and i’m putting it out with the recycling. i’m just not interested in struggle any more. (there was a certain level of chaos and dysfunction i could tolerate when drinking that I just can’t do any more.) and yes I CAN make myself work when i’m tired … but why do it that way? Why not, instead, give myself the very lovely gift of a good night’s sleep. and I thankfully have a husband who’s more interested in a happy wife than which bed he sleeps in. And, to quote him, he says “it doesn’t matter which bed i’m in. i’m asleep.”
sleep. makes my life possible without struggle. makes me feel even. it can be raining but if i’ve had enough sleep i don’t seem to care. When i’m tired, everything seems hard. very very hard. and not worth it. When i’m tired, i surf the web and find all the information and possibilities overwhelming. I see people blogging recipes daily and i think “i can’t do that, i could never do that, it’s all too much, i should give up.” on the other hand, when i’ve had enough sleep, I see someone blogging their recipes daily and i think — well, she does her thing, and I do my thing. (And frankly, my thing earns money and hers is sort of like mental masturbation).
I’m done with struggle. I’m cutting open the box of struggle, i’m squishing sides flat, and i’m putting it out for recycling. someone else can take home my struggle if they want it. I’ve been carrying it for a long time. 37 years probably. i seem to want to cry as i write that. since i’ve been 9 years old, my life has been too hard for me. in my new, happier life, i am sober, happily married, earning money, and i’m finally finally getting enough sleep. i never would have done this if i was still drinking.
i’m done with struggle. you?
Team 100 update: KC (30), Malia (30), Kriss (30), Rachel (10), Debbie (7), Tammy (50), JMM (20).