Sleep has become a lost companion that I pine to hold throughout the night. A lifetime has passed since the last time I slept a solid night, as if it were a forgotten memory. Sleep, a natural necessity, needed to help one process, restore, and strengthen the mind, body, and soul can seem quite unattainable. Perhaps it is my own stubbornness that keeps The Sandman from entering. Am I avoiding solidifying and consolidating new and old memories? Am I running from logging and recording facts and experiences both good and bad? Am I refusing aid that will help me keep on top of life’s every day challenges? A large part of me believes that I am. I welcome the plague of ghosts, depression, doubts, nightmares, and the inability to perform, respond, and interpret the day to day activities efficiently. I am escaping the benefits of sleep because I am unable to grapple with my own reality. Although, how am I to stay on top of life’s challenges when my sleep debt keeps adding days, weeks, and months? I can’t. I am overdue. I am late.
I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date! No time to say “Hello, Goodbye”. I’m late, I’m late. – The White Rabbit
When I was younger I found myself with severe sleep debts after going on vacations with friends and family. I ignored all the signs, pushed down the frustration that comes from a lack of shut eye forcing myself to stay awake so I would not miss a single moment of the day. I proved only to myself that I was stronger than the need for sleep. This would cause me to start sleepwalking, talking out loud at night, and waking up with intense, realistic nightmares. Night after night this continued until I finally slept peacefully. I am stuck in that moment now. My current debt is calling, but in fulfilling my outstandings am I forced to venture into a reality I am not ready to manage? Entering my dreams, embracing nocturnal bliss forces me to relive my darkest days, my deepest fears, my greatest loss. Am I ready for that?
A part of me feels as if I am ready, but a stronger enchantment threatens my ability to face the reality of the life that I am currently living. I live a life that lacks true triumph. My day-to-day activities are only done to keep me alive – only guaranteeing a roof over my head and food in my belly. I do not do anything that inspires others, teaches others, or shows the true soul of who I am. I am afraid if I were to fulfill my sleep debt that everything I have gone through, am going through would concrete itself as part of my ‘real’ life. Is this the future I am hiding from? Knowing that there is nothing I can do to live in the child like happiness I once had? Knowing that when I finally wake rested and peaceful that great despair will take over? I know I am not fully ready to begin hunting, battling all of my demons, or come to terms with my life that has diverged onto a new path, but I need to conquer what has been left behind to move forward.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. – Robert Frost
Slowly I am…