In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”
Reading all the benefits of sleep sounds great in a conventional sense but then again….there is a group of us everyday people not depicted. How about those of us that cannot stay awake, yes its possible to sleep too much or at the most inconvenient times. Like in the middle of a meeting or maybe while driving 40 mph down the road. I would love to lose a little sleep. Or better yet to feel awake in the daytime instead of at 2:00am. This is my life and I have narcolepsy. What exactly is it, its not the funny portrayal that occasionally has been depicted on television. Often upon telling someone I have narcolepsy their first reaction is to laugh and say so you just fall asleep whenever. To be honest the only person allowed to laugh is the person who has it. I have in retrospect been able to laugh at some of my sleep episodes, and I have cried. I have felt deep embarrassment and despair. I had it most my life but the symptoms showed themselves in subtle ways. They also evolved and changed over time and its a sneaky disorder. When mine really started to show up it was also at a time of great stress and crisis in my life. At that time my oldest daughter was eighteen and was in a very serious car accident. She had to be cut out of her car and her heart stopped 2x. She had been hit head on by a Salvation Army truck. She was in surgery 9 hours while they put everything back together the best they could. She suffered a frontal brain lobe injury that improved but will never be gone. She has approx. 38-42 titanium screws in her face. The term they used for her facial injury was degloved. You could literally put your hand thru her face. she has wires and a titanium mesh eye socket also. Her sinus cavity was nonexistent and her jaw shattered. I worked fulltime and would end up taking 4 months off from work to care for her and to get her to months of massive amounts of Doctor visits. I was burning the candle at both ends. She was living with her boyfriend when this happened and they had a toddler and a infant. Because he worked swing shift he watched their daughters while I took her to what at times were 3 appt. a day. Some weeks she had 10 appts. She had lots of different types of Doctor visits in addition from physical therapy, cognitive therapy and personal counseling. She could not be left alone or care for her daughters for months. She had absolutely no attention span and emotional outburst from her brain injury. So while the boyfriend worked I was there still. Often heading home at midnight after I had left my home at 9:00am. I started falling asleep anywhere I was. As I waited often 3+ hours a day while she attended her different therapies I would sleep almost instantly upon settling down on a chair. It was constant and I chalked it all up to exhaustion, stress etc. But….it didn’t get better. After going back to work and a resemblance of normalcy returned I still fell asleep anytime I was waiting anywhere. I got to where I couldn’t watch a movie on the TV because I couldn’t stay awake. It was a big joke to everyone every time I rented a movie because everyone knew I would be sleeping as soon as it started. I thought something was wrong with my eyes because I thought I kept going cross eyed whenever I tried to read a book. ( I was a avid reader) I was actually falling asleep and unconsciously I was trying to stay awake. All this went on for years. There is so much more but ultimately I was diagnosed, and prescribed medication. I alternated between meds and though nothing can eliminate all symptoms It was under control for about 8 years. I struggled after that to wake up and to stay awake. I confess and I feel great guilt over the fact that I drove many times when I should not have. Struggling to stay awake and get home from work. I fell asleep at work constantly. (my employer and several co-workers knew of my condition) I would get up in the morning and begin getting my makeup on for work ( I sit when doing this) only to fall asleep and wake up 20 minutes later with my mascara wand in my hand. My world exploded when one morning while driving to work (I live outside of town ) I woke up going about 70mph in a field beside the road I had been driving on. No injuries no accident I honestly believe God saved my life that day. I quit driving that day. I also abide my doctor to never drive again unless he releases me to do it. That was over two years ago. It does not look as if I will ever drive again. I also live approx. 8 miles from the nearest bus route . It is stretching it to say everything has worked out. I have lost my independence, my freedom, what on some days feels like everything. My life changed forever. So….maybe now you can understand a little better why for me….sleep has become my enemy. It is what I rage at and hurl screams of unfairness, anger and frustration. While most people long to fall asleep, to get more sleep or just a better quality of sleep. I long simply to just stay awake.
It was not into my ear that you whispered, but into my heart;
It was not my lips that you kissed, it was my soul;
This is something I have had several years. I did not write it….I do not know who did.
But…..I love it! ( a gift from me to my husband) It hangs on my wall.
When I look at younger women or teenage girls so often I just want to tell them “Be happy, love yourself a little more” I say young girls but many times this also includes women too. Why are we so hard on ourselves. Why does our happiness so often tie into how we look or better yet how we don`t look. No one is more critical than we are of ourselves. I think back to when I was young and I wish I could have been kinder to me. I wish I would have loved myself because of who I was not what I looked like, or whether I was popular. I was so critical and I hated so much about the outward me. I wasn`t ugly but I was not that girl everyone thought was beautiful……definitely not with my eyes. I mean my nose had a weird little bump on it and my chin was far too pointy. My hair was just a blah brown and fine at that. Every hairstyle I wanted required my hair to be what naturally it was not. I either spent what felt like forever curling or straightening it. ( I have slightly wavy hair) My boobs were not big enough and to top it off, I was short. Reaching the maximum height of 5`2. (I have since shrunk to 5`1) ha! I was a tiny girl too. Naturally slim. Although back then I didn`t appreciate it. I weighed all of 104 lbs when I got married, and I attained it after the birth of both my children. I never dieted ….not back then. Now at almost 54 years I have become much rounder …..weighing in at 150 lbs . I look back and I wonder why I didn’t enjoy and appreciate my naturally slim self then. Nowadays what I wouldn’t give to weigh even a smidgen less. But now that I do need to watch my weight (How I hate that aspect of menopause) I am still not very good at dieting. All I wanted was to be anything but who I was. The funny part…..Whether thin or chubby, inside we still feel the same. Our weight, our hairstyle, the whiteness of our teeth cannot make us happy. Happiness comes from inside. It comes from self acceptance and self love. We are truly happy when we understand and believe we deserve to be happy. How we look cannot make us happy, what size we wear will not do it. No material object makes a soul happy. No person can make us happy…..if we are not first happy with ourselves. Today I am happy, I can honestly say that. I`m older and fatter and I have a lot of health conditions that will never go away. There are days I cant do what I would like because its not a good day for me…….I have too much pain. But I am happy. I have had to give up much but life really is what you make it. I know no matter how I feel there is always someone suffering far more. Everyone can say this no matter their situation because…..it will always be true. I figured it out and I am so glad that I did. I hope every person does, I hope younger women will figure this out faster than I did. Life is for living, don’t let all these outward projections determine your worth. We are all deserving of happiness. If you are chubby or fat or too skinny put on a swimsuit and go swimming if it makes you feel good. If your not the prettiest so what ……wear what makes you smile and love every minute of it. Live…live. One day we all get older, our hair turns grey, we get wrinkles and rounder or in some cases thinner. Physical beauty is fleeting. But a beautiful soul is the gift you get to share always. A heart full of compassion , kindness and love is the treasure. Be kind to yourself, know your worth , laugh , smile. Live in the moment. That is the key to a life really lived. Caring about others, loving them; loving yourself. Now that is happiness.
- This tiny baby girl, I didn`t have a clue; This small little baby, she just changed my world. My heart just danced and jumped over the moon. I smile , I feel joy, utter contentment. I am elated at what our love created. Nothing I know…..could have prepared me for this. Pinch me if I am dreaming, I don’t want this feeling to ever end.
- This beautiful woman, smiling at me….every nuance of her face so familiar . Her laughter lingers and bounces thru the room. Those lips, that nose, The way her eyes crinkle. This beautiful woman……She`s my baby girl:
I had a little inspiration while reading other peoples blogs. Some days I think I hate getting older…..and then there are other days I realize I really don’t mind. There are a lot of really good and freeing aspects to it. You just have to come to grips with some of the negative ones and those are the things I really hate to have to accept. I will no longer be a sexy woman…. not that I want to be objectified but, most women I know including myself like to know someone is lusting after them. Of course my husband will always think I`m still hot….he loves me. But there is something to feeling a mans eyes on you, watching you as you walk past and feeling those eyes following your back as you are walking away. No matter how good you might look at 50 years, You will always be that older woman. No matter how fit you are, at 50 my body will never stand up to one half my age. I always knew I was somewhat attractive, people have told me I look younger than I am but…..it is my vanity and I have had to relinquish my head turning days. I`m really happy I didn’t rely on my looks or make them more important than they should be. I think I was content just knowing that I was ok. And now its as if a insecurity I am not accustomed to has edged into my life. instead of just pulling on my clothes without a second thought I check the views from different angles. Does my stomach look fatter in this or are my jeans too tight or too baggy. Is it ok to wear a backless shirt or should I not anymore. My husband will tell me “just go without a bra today” (I told you he loves me) I tell him only at home, I wont go anywhere without my bra on ( even though I`m not too bad up there). I tell him no one wants to see a 54 year old woman without a bra…..he tells me he does. I always smile because he is the one man still hot for me, and I love him. I realize that is all that really matters. I no longer need to feel attractive to other men`s eyes, only his. He has loved me for what feels forever. He was 19 years old and I was 16. Now almost 38 years later he still loves only me and I love him even more. He has known this woman really young and all the years between. We raised two beautiful daughters and now at long last we have come full circle. Now it is just him and me. We get to spend all our time together and play. We get to embark on adventures we had only dreamed of doing. My husband retired early partly because of my becoming disabled, and then also he detested his job and he was eligible. Now I think wow how lucky are we. It is when I contemplate the big picture I realize how very happy I am. I might be fatter or a little flabby, I now have wrinkles no face cream can hide. But I am happy, I might feel rotten with my health going south. But I am happy. I plan on having a lot of years ahead and doing all the things I never had time for before, going places we always have wanted to go. So I put on my favorite jeans and pull on my shirt (minus the bra) I put my feet up and close my eyes and smile…….I am happy, I`m content. What more could I want.
So what makes him the one….Is it any one significant thing? Does he possess a special attraction? Should one settle for good, or comfortable? Man I hope not. To not wait any longer, to lay with likeable, acceptable or better than nothing is to watch your soul scream and scatter into a million different directions. Doesn’t matter if it takes 60 years to find him…..A small piece of bliss is better than a life of always wondering. How will you know…..Trust that your soul will always know its soul mate. Its the wonderful feeling of utter contentment. Of coming home after a very long trip, laying your head on your very own pillow, and closing your eyes. Its a stirring that starts in your toes and warms you up hot as it travels up. A fire that you are strangely fearful of, but the excitement is stronger than fearing the unknown so you throw abandon to the wind. Its finding someone who already knows what written in your heart. Someone who knows all your secrets without a word spoken. Who loves your brokenness and doesn’t try to fix. Who loves the imperfections in you and believes that each crack only makes you more beautiful. He will be the man that can sing to your soul without any words.
Why did I start this blog…..To be honest I don`t truly know. I never had a itching to do a blog, I don`t exactly know how your suppose to do one. Maybe because I have always loved to write, or because my life is somewhat isolating now, I miss being social and just talking to people. No I`m not strange or anything, I have a lot going on in my life. I have a lot of health conditions that in a sense have permanently interrupted the life I was living. I joined the ranks of “Disability” just about a year ago. I have a long list of “stuff wrong” that I wont bore you with as I don’t want sympathy. I am sure they will all come out as I add to this blog. I mean it has to as it is my reality now. I will share that I have Narcolepsy and though I managed it pretty well for a lot of years . It manages me now and I can no longer drive. With that said some may think ” just ride the bus ” because if it was you , obviously you would. Well I would too but….I live outside of town. I live in the country side so to say. Not far from town, about 14 miles. There is no public transportation here. I applied for the STA handicap transportation van and I was approved…..If I could get within one mile of the highway. Well I am about 8 miles from the highway so that does me no good. I`m not alone I live here with my husband. He is wonderful and does get me every where I need to go, but I was just really wanting my own independence , my freedom to be sporadic on a whim. It I have others who help me out too….my mom, my daughters etc…. but everyone has jobs and a life, its not always easy for others to drive out here. So that brings me here. My sanity, my release valve, somewhere I can just let my fingers fly. I don`t know if anyone will even read my blog but….I`m doing it for me so it won`t really matter. Though don`t get me wrong I hope people do and comment etc… So here I am standing at the brink of I don’t know. My very first post on my blog. Trust me there will be many more to come.