Friday, September 09, 2011

Insomnia Journal

Insomnia Journal, 9/8/11, 11:32 PM

            I spent the evening working on a portrait of Mack and Carol for Mack's 70th birthday.  I worked on it earlier in the day and was tweaking it after dinner.  For dinner, we had hamburgers, and a vegetable stir-fry with garden zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, carrots, bok choy, broccoli and a little white wine. I had blood sausage in mine.  After dinner, Keith got potato chips and sat on the couch.  I came over and joined him.  I ate more potato chips than he did.  L I am trying to break the habit, but not hard enough!  (I never liked potato chips for many years--Keith taught me to like them, and it may kill me!)
            Earlier, I had walked over to Rolandale.  Keith drove over to check the phone connections, because I had ordered the Internet for Rolandale through ATT (DSL).  It was for my birthday and finally ordered it TODAY!
            I walked faster than usual, because I didn't want to keep Keith waiting, and I was feeling better than normal, but when I got there, he had opened a beer, so I walked 15 more minutes.
            I was very angry and frustrated when I left home because nothing was working right on Tabitha.  Tabitha kept trying to restart herself in order to update some program, and was threatening to restart while I was trying to work--I kept X-ing out the restart messages and they just kept popping up.  Meanwhile, the picture of Mack and Carol I was trying to print did not come out well because it was too small and I couldn't get the email to work.  I wanted to email the Psion journal from yesterday which was a story for the word Disposition, which I wanted to post for the WeekWord which is due Friday which is tomorrow.  I wanted to get it done because I have other things I need to work on like E's book, Frog Haven, Story 16 etc. I was also upset about Graham wanting to use one of the tents and about the possibility of his overhearing my objections to that.
            I was feeling somewhat better after walking 45 minutes at a good clip and did NOT have any fibromyalgia pain (which is very unusual!)
            I am writing these details down because I am up with insomnia and looking for a cause of it.
            At dinner, we put on a new CD I had ordered, Carol King and James Taylor Live at the Troubadour. It was a little overly loud, considering we’d never heard it before and didn’t know if we’d like it.  After some potato chips, Keith fell asleep on the couch.  It was upsetting me the way his head kept bobbing around.
            Then he got up, washed the dishes (thank you Keith!), and went to bed--it was about 9:00 and I went up, not knowing he'd gone to bed, expecting a story, but he was already in bed.  I am always disappointed when I don’t get a story, but considering how early he gets up and how hard he works, I try not to be too upset about it.  I got my nightgown on and sprayed my teeth with the water pik and brushed them, turned off the computer and read MYSELF a bedtime story.  I finished The Cay, by Theodore Taylor.  I liked it--I think it was a good book, but something very sad happened right near the end and I cried.
            I sat on the couch a while to calm down and then went to bed.
            As soon as I lay down, I almost immediately started having weird "semi-hallucinations."  I'm putting it in quotes, because they were not really hallucinations, but dream-like images and sequences and talking in my head.  It was like I was dreaming or having hypnogogic images, but I was not asleep.  This happens to me fairly regularly and is almost 100% associated with insomnia and seems to be an indicator or predictor--as soon as it starts, I can guess I probably will not be able to sleep, and, in fact, I lay awake for an hour in bed and got progressively LESS SLEEPY and MORE WIDE AWAKE as I lay there, and also started getting "restless."  I become agitated, and this agitation that "forces" me to get up.  I feel as if I just cannot endure lying there another second. I feel as if I will "explode" if I am required to lie in bed even another nth of a second.  I also often feel "hungry."
            When I have the "Semi-Hallucinatory[1] hypnogogic dreams" while still awake, I am fully conscious of myself, the room, etc.  The voices are not talking to me, it's more like a TV show is running somewhere nearby (but inside my head, not in Graham’s room, for example).  At first, it is as if there are veils of darkness between the “hallucination” and me.  Sometimes, I hear only voices, sometimes babbling in foreign languages.  Last night, there were the voices, but, although I could understand the words, they didn’t always make sense to me.  First the voices, then the images, dark at first, then brighter and brighter, like a TV warming up (back in the old days, when TVs had to warm up.)
            I was trying to remember two of the little “visions” I had, but I can, at the moment, only remember one.  A man was passed out unconscious on the beach or ground and a large bird ate his eyes out while he was still alive.  This vision horrified me and “woke me up.”  Hard to do when I am already awake, but I had been starting to drift and I startled into hyper-wakefulness considering the horror of the “vision.”[2]
            Tonight, I got up and took 5 mg of melatonin and two valerians and then came down and at a half-bowl of raw biscuit dough (with whole wheat flour and bran mix and rice milk.)  It's now been half an hour since I took the pills, but I feel no sleepier than I did before.  It's about par for the course, when I feel this way; the pills rarely help much.  Sleeping pills just make it worse.
            What I would have liked to do is two things on Tabitha:  get the file I want and print the picture I wanted to print.  But since Keith is in there sleeping, it doesn't seem fair to disturb him.  If I had felt ok to do that, I would have skipped eating.  I would not have come downstairs at all, probably.

            So, what's different about tonight than last night?

            *I did not get a story read to me (though I did read to myself.)
            *several things upset me, somewhat more than usual
            *blood sausage?  Garlic?
            *I walked faster than usual
            *Potato chips? Wine?  (A tablespoon or two in vegetables.)
*I accidentally had an extra high potency vitamin D and THAT could be the cause!  (But if so—it in NOT the cause other nights, since, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never done that before. (The pills stuck together.)

The problem is, I have no idea.  I can't see a pattern.  Keith thinks something is wrong with me, with my metabolism or something, and that it is not something I am "doing wrong."  (I worry I am causing the problem by some wrong choice.)
            I am concerned because lack of sleep causes many health issues, not the least of which is fatigue:

            *brain fog, forgetfulness, stupidity, short term memory loss
            *permanent brain damage
            *heart damage
            *it's associate with Alzheimer's and dementia!  :-(

            *it makes me logy and lazy, low energy, unable to function well, or work
            *it makes me cranky and grouchy and reactive in a bad way!

I am probably going to go upstairs and lie down and try again to sleep.  But I don't feel very hopeful.  :-(

[1] I am calling these semi-hallucinatory because they are not brightly colored and realistic AND I am awake or at least partly awake—conscious,
[2] 9/9/11, This morning when I woke up, I would have liked to have gone back to sleep, considering how little sleep I got, BUT I thought about that “vision” from last night, only this time, I saw it in another light.  I realize it may only have been “wishful thinking,” at a subconscious level, but it may also have been shamanic.  I saw the bird as a totem animal (like a raven, perhaps, although in the original visions, the bird looked more like a large gull, but I don’t know any gulls the size of a raven and it was larger than the average gull) who was investing the sleeping MAN (not woman) with deeper sight, such as spiritual sight, access to the unconscious and to the collective unconscious, perhaps.  I saw an image of the man sprawled unconscious on the beach with the bird standing on one foot on his shoulder, with one eyeball in his beak and one clutched in his talons and a ray of light illuminating the man’s third eye.  There was a symbol moving through the picture, circle-triangle-eye, which located itself in the eyeballs, over the man, in the sky, at the third eye of the bird, which glowed.  I lay there wanting to paint the picture.  I wish I were a better artist.  I can picture exactly how the man was lying, the composition of the painting, etc.  The little mini-vision (it lasted a very short time) relates specifically to the book I was reading last night about a boy struck blind in a torpedo attack on his ship and stranded on a tiny island where he learns from his companion how to “see.”  However, the person in the vision was a man, not the boy in the book and not “me,” unless it is the male part of my being.

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