Saturday, May 7, 2016

No Sleep Wakes the Bear

From Hyperbole and a Half
On high pain days, I am most definitely the Bear. Especially when I haven't gotten enough sleep. Since I am The Princess and the Pea, any number of things can affect my ability to experience a decent night's sleep: pain, anxiety, temperature fluctuations, allergens in the air, or my restless cat...

WIth lack of sleep comes more pain. This experience causes me to alternate between total silence, roaring at everyone and everything, and sobbing uncontrollably.

Friday, after a terrible restless night (temperature fluctuations and cat), I was yelling at the dog, snapping at my son, and later sending angry rage texts to my husband about the hundred different things I managed to find that he didn't do, or did wrong, or just didn't finish. And when I wasn't raging in some form, I was utterly silent - in too much pain to speak or do anything.

Friday night, no sleep again. More temperature fluctuations, and the most restless cat ever. I'd close the door to keep her out of the room, but that 1) causes the room to get way too hot and stuffy and 2) causes her to meow at the top of her lungs outside the door. She has no front claws so cannot be put outside to fend for herself in the night, so it just happens sometimes.

Two days of not sleep in a row leaves me a complete mess. I cannot even think, but the pain also makes it impossible to rest and actually sleep. My son and husband took the dog to her first pug meetup in months on Saturday (she can go again now that she is spayed and healed), and left me "sleeping". Since my husband was supposed to wake me up to go and didn't, I felt a strange combination of relief (going anywhere with people is a minefield of exposures for me) and sadness at having been "abandoned" by a family who I "obviously don't matter to".

I'm not in my right mind when I have these thoughts. I know this. I'm crazy with sleep deprivation. Intellectually I know that my thoughts are a product of said deprivation, including my not mattering to them at all. But my brain tells me it's all true, and produces movies and movies of evidence for me to peruse - all of how I am just a burden to them and that I matter to no one and that this planet would be so much better off without me on it. That the real reason my husband stays with me is not because he loves me, but because he would feel guilty that there is no one to look after me if he doesn't do it.

That the reason I am alone is because I am so desperate for human contact and interaction that no one wants to be around me. Even my therapists have abandoned me in the past, and I haven't been able to find one who can help anything anyway. That my son would always rather be with his Dad because he is able-bodied and does fun stuff. 

It's a horrible feeling, the feeling of uselessness. And every person I've ever interacted with who has chronic pain or illness experiences this at some point. Sometimes regularly. But that's what chronic illness does. It messes with a person's brain. 

I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone. I'm so relieved when it passes (I get a couple of good nights of sleep) and my mind comes back again. 

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