Over the past week or so I’ve been struggling to sleep again, I don’t think anything in particular has triggered this, I just keep waking in the early hours of the morning, having a little panic, a little reflection of life, I’ll lose the battle of fighting an overwhelming need to take a few minutes to pay attention to everything that I hate about myself and then slowly (somehow), I’ll drift back into a lovely, bad-dream-filled slumber. Then, of course, when morning hits I could quite happily stay in bed forever.
But, to be honest I’ve had a lot worse when it comes to my inability to sleep. 99% of the time I’ll have nightmares or weird dreams, it’s just the whole waking up and not being able to get back to sleep that really really really frustrates me. Actually, quickly drawing upon that whole 99% of the time I’ll have nightmares statement… I genuinely cannot remember a night where I’ve not had weird dreams. Though, that being said I cannot actually remember having weird dreams last night, so there ya go… after about two years of endlessly weird dreams I’ve finally managed to have a night where I didn’t have any dreams… (this must be a lie, and no doubt I’ll remember what I dreamt of in about ten minutes or so…)
For a while I’ve been having dreams that relate to Boscastle flood, though they seem unrelated to my experience, which is a little odd to make sense of. However, I reckon the recent flooding in the UK has probably triggered this, because usually my weird dreams aren’t about places, they’re about people or really weird, situations – situations that would usually be terrifying, but for some reason they don’t seem to phase me in my dreams.
Anxiety seems to be the thing that really disrupts my sleep. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve not been able to sleep (or think straight) thanks to heart palpitations. If I hear rain, or helicopters, or just any kind of noise I freak out, everything comes rushing back to me (aka: trauma etc.) I then go through a routine of being close to sleep and then suddenly remembering everything, and getting incredibly anxious, frustrated and angry at myself, at my past, at everything. Sometimes, and this has been happening a lot lately, I’ll struggle to sleep because I have a horrible uncertainty or genuine fear that someone is looking over me, or that someone is going to come and stop me from sleeping – I’ve never experienced a situation in my life where I’ve had someone disrupt my sleeping, but maybe it’s a personal space thing. When I was younger I used to have a really annoying nightmare that there was a fox in my room; I still have no idea what that nightmare was about!
I’ve been in situations before where I’ve stopped myself from sleeping because I’ve had a horrible feeling that something bad’ll happen, and bad things have happened, from minor car accidents, to one that was pretty intense – but this has been sleeping in cars. Maybe I’ve managed to hard-wire my mind to think that when I feel uncertain or uneasy then something will, most definitely, happen. Of course, it’s a horrid feeling when, actually you’ve thought, or been apprehensive about things before and bad stuff has happened. The thoughts and feelings that other people may brush aside as ‘surreal,’ ‘not possible’ or ‘silly’ are in fact to me, situations that are 100% plausible, terrifying and thoughts and feelings that I so desperately wish others would have taken seriously. Which, is why, when my mind jumps to ‘crazy’ conclusions at night time, or in fact any time of the day, I struggle to ignore them. Which of course doesn’t do me any favours when it’s time to sleep.
And… I’ve just remembered what last night’s ‘weird dream’ was… it was me, living in Cornwall, with nothing going right, and horribly upset at the fact that even though Cornwall is the one place I’ve always wanted to live, my demons, my past etc. haven’t just dissolved. The dream then went on to have me struggling to climb some sort of sand dune/hill, with an inability to remember or find my way around a town (St.Ives) that I am incredibly familiar with. (Oddly typing it out doesn’t make it seem weird at all, but if I could find a way to better articulate the horrible feeling that I have in my stomach right now, and the feeling of dread, despair and all that jazz, then you’d understand why I consider this to be a nightmare/weird dream!)
Ha, the weird conclusion that I’ve just come to (which actually probably isn’t that weird) is that I genuinely cannot remember what normal sleep feels like.