Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Is this a dream? Am I here? Where are you?

Had yet another terrible night. Actually, it wasn’t too distressing once I finally gave up and lay listening to eleven out of fifteen episodes of Jaqueline Susann’s Valley of The Dolls which is the Woman’s Hour Drama just now on Radio 4. It is not great, but it’s good to familiarise oneself with the gist of such an iconic text. However rather like Wuthering Heights, the song is better than the book. I mean the Dionne Warwick’s Theme from The Valley of The Dolls as opposed to the Billy Idol/ Generation X song which is um, perhaps only as good as the book.

I realise I have just committed cultural heresy by suggesting that Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights is superior to the Emily Brontë novel, but frankly, it is. The book is beautifully written, but it is an ordeal. There’s darkness in novels, but then there’s such unrelenting darkness than your eyes ache with the strain. Whereas the song is fantastic and only takes four minutes and twenty-nine seconds to get through.

Since I only had about three hours of proper sleep (out of about six of lying in the dark with my eyes closed), I can’t imagine I’ll be doing much today. I think it is more my dysfunctioning brain than my pain, as I keep getting stuck in that space between dreams and being awake. Not like a hallucination, but like a profound confusion. I get quite scared and make a scramble for consciousness, and then once awake I am well and truly awake. I’m exhausted so I try to get back to sleep, but I’m on edge and it is at this point that I notice how much pain I’m in, which without visual or aural stimulation is pretty all-consuming. It would be if it was a bad itch in those circumstances.

The only thing I'm really bothered about is that I had my physiotherapy/ acupuncture appointment today which I had apprehensions about and would rather have got over and done with. As it is, I've had to cancel and rebook for next week.


imfunnytoo said...

I hate that. When one wakes up literally too exhausted to go to the doc...and then they get annoyed because you have to reschedule...Yuck

marmiteboy said...

I've lived with insomnia for years, generally because my mind's so full of crap.

One technique I have tried and had some success with is to get up (I know this doesn't sound like a thrilling prospect at 3 o'clock in the morning) and do something. Even if it is only to make a hot drink, instead of lying there fretting about not being able to sleep, which is a natural reaction. If you're up your mind is concentrating on something else and hopefully you'll feel sleepy enough and relaxed enough (which is more important) to go back to or go off to sleep. Hot baths, massage etc are also supposed to be of help. The baths I can vouch for, the massage I cannot.

A counsellor I once went to advised I do my ironing!! Apparently if you do something you don't like doing, your mind will want to stop doing it and you'll start to feel tired again and be able to drop off. I admit I haven't ever tried the ironing thing, but it does sound feasible.

I do empathise with you Goldfish and I know how crap that feeling of being so exhausted and not being able to sleep is. I once had know more than 3 hours a night for nearly six months. I'm not too bad now I get about 5½ -6 hours on average.

Sorry to hear about the cancellation of your acupuncture. Try not to fret about it too much cos I hear it's not painful at all.

Take care


Anonymous said...

Hi Goldfish,

I am so sorry that I owe you email! I will get to it..I have been a bit off colour as they say ..having a bad time of it even my blog is suffering and normally I still whitter on in there lol....


I am so sorry that you are suffering in the wee hours. I think you do the right thing to stop laying there trying to sleep and actually doing something else whilst resting the body..I have to try and support my joints under masses of pillows and yet someone not let my mind get into the frustrated 'can't sleep as too pained/frustrated/can't catch it/to hot...etc..

anyway, I WILL email soon and feel free to mail me..Hugs to you love ya



The Goldfish said...

Thanks guys. I am very fortunate in that sleep disturbance is fairly unusual for me. I often wake up with a spasm or whatever, but I usually go straight back to sleep. I need lots of sleep - usually 10 or 11 hours a night.

However, I do have phases like this that really screw things up.

Marmite, you are very right. I do get up, if I can motivate myself to do so. Also I appreciate that even if sleep is nowhere to be found, lying down and relaxing properly is a valuable second.

Kerry - don't worry about e-mail. I know you're having a hard time of it and shall endeavour to keep in touch even if I don't hear from you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Goldfish, we have met, on a Certain Board, we had a long argument about mercy killing and Nazism and all sorts of things, conducted with great dignity on both sides!

I empathize totally with the insomnia, may I suggest that praps Valley of the Dolls is not the most soporific of reading matter? Try Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, or better still, that Report you were supposed to have commented on at work two days ago. I find it never fails.

Best wishes

The Goldfish said...

Thanks Charles or Tam or whoever you are! Actually, I was given a copy of a Lord of the Rings for a birthday almost three years ago. I am on page 634. I have been on page 634 for the last two years and I find returning to that particular scene on page 634 (so I remember they were having yet another odd meal on the eve of yet another silly battle and singing yet another daft song to rouse their spirits) quite helpful in these circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I did the same with War & Peace. I kept falling asleep at the same page, I still don't know whether Napoleon ever got to Moscow.

The Goldfish said...

In truth I have a very similar relationship with War & Peace only I feel ashamed to admit it because up until that point, I had enjoyed a lot of it. I too am stuck somewhere in 1912, on the way to Moscow. The first few chapters were hard work, when you're presented with all these Russian names (and their diminutives), but after that I was quite into it.

War & Peace is also a source of greater frustration because being a shorter book than LOTR, I could probably finish it off in an afternoon if I could just overcome this little obstacle. I tried skipping ahead but I couldn't really follow what had happened.

Anonymous said...

Knowing Tolstoy, they all got married & lived unhappily ever after.

I much prefer Anna Karenina.

Yes, and why do Russians have to have so many damn names? Dr Zhivago completely defeated me on this very issue.