Pillow Talk

Of late, I’ve been struggling with sleep.

Previously, the issue was too little: my days stretching long into night and enduring into the early hours of the morning (on several occasions, the later hours).

But lately, it’s been the opposite. Lately, it’s been too much sleep. 

And I’m not sure why. 

I can imagine to most, my complaint of having too much sleep seems a bit of an enigma: how could someone possibly get too much sleep? As someone who has worked a job starting at five in the morning for the past four years, I assure you I know the struggle. The work week brings with it stress and, well, work. We brace ourselves for sleep deprivation throughout the work week with the knowledge that the weekend will bring a reprieve, will afford some semblance of compensation in the currency of sleep. I know this struggle all too well. For years my body has been used to running on four to five hours of sleep (take that beauty industry! Eight hours my ass!)

But, as I said, lately the struggle has been too much sleep. I’ve found myself tied to bed (and not in the way some fantasize about it). Hours slip by whilst I dream away the world, and I feel bad. I feel guilty. I feel lazy, and powerless—there’s a word I’ve heard myself saying far too much this month. Powerless. Powerless. I feel powerless to my body and its shifting whims. Each day it seems to crave something different, and each day it seems my only power is to appease it as best I can. And it’s selfish. I know it is.

There’s something about being in bed so much that reminds me of how alone I feel; perhaps being here induces the feeling.

There is nothing like waking up to someone else beside you, someone whom you love and who loves you back. That comfort, that warmth, that assurance. Each time I wake up alone, I am reminded of it, of what once was, and what is no longer. And it sucks. It really, really sucks.

Fortunately, there’s Henry. My poor puppy of eleven months (soon to turn a year come December first) has had to endure lasting embraces and kisses rather than long walks and playtime in the park. He’s been my support blanket, and I’m grateful, though I do worry whether he derives the same pleasure and comfort from me. I try to be there when I can: when nightmares visit him in the night, when he gets scared by things beyond our bedroom window, when he is upset. But it’s hard. It’s hard caring for someone else when you’re already struggling to care for yourself. If you can manage it, it’s a good feeling. But when you fail to, when you can’t provide because you’re spending eighteen hours of the day in bed, it feels negligent. It feels selfish. It feels the worst.

I don’t know why I wanted to title today’s blog Pillow Talk. I suppose it’s because nearly all of this blog has been written in bed, where I feel the most safe. It’s almost like I can pretend to have someone here to talk to, who will listen. It’s as if I can contrive this thing I know I’m missing. I can pretend they are here, lying beside me, holding onto me whilst I talk about these things. Each post gives me some semblance of productivity, even if it’s the only thing I do in a day; but lately this safe place (my bed) has felt the opposite, has become almost suffocating.

I’m sorry if all of this is very self-indulgent (it certainly feels like it). Normally I try to write about things I think other people will relate to, though too often I hear my friends complaining of a lack of sleep. To those people who dream of getting more sleep, who spend their days of the week deprived and weary, maybe take this post as a warning, and the ancient adage as sound advice: be careful what you wish for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s