Monday, November 28, 2011

To Sleep or Not to Sleep - It's obnoxioius to worry about Both

I hope everyone had a delightful holiday weekend (for all of you who celebrate some sort of holiday this weekend past). I clearly did not. I’m doubly angry at myself because I left my Schema Therapy book at my parents’ house so I have to wait until they ship it to me in order to continue my blog series. I’m a little pissed because we’re  very close to the end and I wanted to make a clean break before moving on to something new.
::sigh:: I’m trying not to beat myself up about this, but it bothers me that I don’t have what I need at my disposal.
So here’s a story I picked up over Thanksgiving dinner.  We all know I have sleeping problems. It’s why I’ve been prescribed the Trazadone = help me sleep and stay asleep. Since starting the Pristiq though, I have been falling asleep pretty well without the need of my sleep meds. I’ve also mentioned on multiple occasions that I often have anxiety about going to sleep.  This is an entirely different problem from my insomnia. I’m not sure why I’m afraid to go to sleep some nights. The thought of turning off all my lights, pulling myself away from my computer, isolating myself in some small way, it inspires this low level dread and anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I’ll check, double check, and triple check many things just to put off going to bed for a few more minutes.
It’s weird because I actually like sleeping. I absolutely LOVE dreaming. I have such vivid, wild dreams and I find them all fascinating, even if they’re bad or nightmares.
The act of getting into bed, alone, is just awful for me.
And apparently always has been.
I have a darling wacky aunt that loves to tell all the silly and embarrassing stories of our youth after dinner, just before dessert and coffee. They’re usually pretty funny. This past dinner my aunt was recalling the times we would visit and spend the night at her place. My sister would fall asleep anywhere, no problem. My brother was the same. Not me. I would fight and scream and not want to go to sleep.  I would insist I wasn’t tired and want to stay up with her just a little longer. Then my mother chimed in. I would become incredibly upset if I had to go to sleep alone. My mother would lie down with me at bedtime until she had to go to work, hoping that I would be asleep by the time she had to leave. (Remember, she worked evenings so she would wake up in time to put us to bed and then go to work). I would apparently be inconsolable if she wasn’t there to fall asleep with me. I don’t remember any of this. I do remember often sneaking into my parent’s room at night to curl up in bed with them until I was too old (maybe 7 years old) and they forbid it. Now that I’m focusing on it I remember sleeping with my brother and sister whenever we could get away with it as well. My parents would send us to our rooms at night, but by morning, I would wake up next to one of my siblings.
One of my favorite things about being in a relationship is the fact that I don’t have to sleep alone. Sleeping alone is one of my most hated things ever. I also tend to have very affectionate friends that don’t mind falling asleep together. Sleeping together doesn’t have to be sexual, just comforting. Even having my cat to curl up with me is better than being all alone. One of the reasons I like having a roommate is that I’m never alone in the apartment at night. When Roommate is gone for weekends I often forsake my bed and bedroom altogether and sleep in the living room on the couch. The common area has an energy that is less solitary, more open, more comforting, plus I know right away if someone is trying to break in (there’s not going to be any sneaking up on me). It’s safer.
I don’t know why this is such an issue for me, but it’s apparently been an issue my entire life.
Logically I know there’s nothing waiting for me in the dark. All those breathing exercises and visualization techniques do me no good. It does help for me to have some kind of white noise on in the background, like a running fan or air filter, something to fill up the emptiness in the air. Even when I’m falling down exhausted the idea of going to bed alone makes me anxious. I’ll choose to sleep on the couch before going to bed alone (unless Roommate is home, in which case it would just be rude so I always force myself to go to my own room).
I just need someone to snuggle up to and I’m fine. This isn’t exactly a ‘cure’ for my anxiety but it’s definitely an acceptable fix as far as I’m concerned. I’m very curious as to why I have this problem and why I developed it so young.  It definitely makes me think that this is potentially something I’m predisposed to as my siblings have no similar problem at all. Is this a problem for any of my Borderline readers out there?

Curiouser and curiouser. In the meantime I’m accepting Cuddle Buddy applications!

9 comments:

  1. fascinating nightmares, yeee, I know what you mean,

    sometimes my nightmares make me feel like a genius producer of a new sub-genre of horror films,

    so as the good dreams, they can be so fascinating, I wish I could capture them and share

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  2. As I said the first time I posted on one of your blog posts, it simply amazes me to read this and think "This had to have come from my mind. There is no other way these similarities are possible". It's like reading letters from an older version of myself. Like you, I've dealt with anxiety about sleeping alone since I was very, very small. Eventually, I bought a bird to keep as a companion in my bedroom. (My siblings and I are not anywhere near close.) I've yet to understand why this happens either... Perhaps it just comes with the territory of being "crazy".

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  3. I would love to be your cuddle buddy. I hate sleeping alone. My girlfriend moved in Wednesday and we already had a fight, so she is sleeping at her friends. That was last night and I don't know when she is coming back. Therapist says I have to set boundaries, and asked me how I was going to cope the next few days. I told her I bought vodka. :)

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  4. Not borderline, but yes definite problem for me. You basically described me exactly except for the needing to sleep with someone. I prefer to sleep alone but when I lived alone I usually slept on the couch for similar reasons to yours. If I slept in the bed, in the dark, with the bedroom door closed, then every little cricket noise would make my eyes pop open and I would repeatedly get up to check if I'd locked, turned off, shut everything in the house. I also require some white noise when I sleep. I use to leave the tv on to a station that had gone off the air. Now I use the fan in summer/heater in winter. I also worry about "going to sleep". I'm usually tired but will sit and repeatedly check my email/work/ etc and wait "just five more minutes" just "in case" some emergency occurs and I wasn't there to reply to someone or even if it's not an emergency but I miss an email/call/text because I'm sleeping. It freaks me out to think someone has to "wait on me". Sorry for making this so long but I totally understand the sleep thing. No idea why it is but totally can relate.

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  5. The bed is symbolic for me. I remember when i broke up with my ex, I couldn't sleep in the bed. I would sleep in the most uncomfortable arm chair, anything but the bed, kind of like a protest. I hated it. Hated sleeping in it alone. I've also spent many nights falling asleep on the sofa in the living room just because... I don't know. The bedroom just seems, too formal, lol. No idea. I also would crawl into bed with my parents as a child, and my dad would carry me back to my room and I hated him for it. Lol.

    But yeh, I know what you mean about being scared. Me too. We like to sleep where we feel most secure. When we find that spot, we don't want to move. :)

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  6. @Expedition… I wish I never forgot my dreams. I would sleep forever if I could move around lucidly all night.

    @Satrina … It’s definitely a part of my crazy haha. I’m so glad to have my snuggly cat though.

    @Elizabeth … Yay cuddle buddy! It’s official now. Vodka! Hah, sounds like how I cope when Roommate isn’t home. Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you get lonely.

    @Maasiyat… Darling you should know by now that you never need to apologize to me. I love hearing everything you have to say. You understand me so well it’s nice to hear it from someone else.

    @notme … Security is a big thing for us for sure. And so rare. Crawling into bed alone reminds me of that, that I’m alone, that I don’t have anyone beside me, I think (this just came to me). Maybe that’s why it makes me so anxious.

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  7. Yes, it is EXACTLY the same for me, only difference is that I like to have someone in the room but not in my bed with me. I like lots of pillows for comfort but human touch freaks me out at night I feel like I'm being engulfed and just need space to toss and turn. The thought of going to bed stresses me out, I'm terrified of the dark. I check locks repeatedly, and yes I do anything to delay going to sleep (smart phones have made this easier for me lol). I remember when I was young I uses to ask my mom for a glass of water everynight just to delay it. I was terrified. I sleep with the covers over my head curled up in a ball to this day that's how bad it is. I hate BPD and I hate that my sleep is so screwed up and I never get enough. Cuz I like you LOVE sleep, I wish I could sleep all day (and night). I find that I sleep best in the mornings because the sun is up and I'm not afraid anymore, but unfortunately I don't have the luxury of sleeping in bcuz of the little ones....

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  8. Bipolar II here not BPD, but this describes me exactly as well (except I hardly ever remember dreams). This has been the hardest part for me of getting divorced. I don't miss *her* at all, but I can't stand being alone, especially at night. ~Flippy

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    Replies
    1. I so hate being alone at night. You're not alone in that sentiment at least =/

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