Sunday, September 26, 2010

Solitude and Wakefulness

The past four weeks I have been challenged with Solitude and Wakefulness, which is a lovely reframe from my original title : Loneliness and Insomina.

Insomnia has been plaguing me 5-6 nights a week now for about a month...for reasons I both can and cannot fully explain.  Sometimes it is CB's nocturnal seizures, on a fierce rise since June. If it is not the nocturnal seizure itself causing my poor sleep it is the worrying about the nocturnal seizures. Wondering if you will find your child breathing each morning is good for a few sleepless nights.  Other times CB suffers her own noisy insomnia, the kind that can wake an entire household at an unforgivable hour and drag on until daylight.  Sometimes another one of my children spikes a fever along the midpoint of night, or has a sick tummy, suffers a nightmare or wets the bed.  Sandwiched in between the normal "child-induced sleep deprivation"  is another type of insomnia taking on a life of its own. It is rooted in something  physiological, psychological and/or pure unconscious masochism.   Insomnia without known cause feels like self-inflicted torture as you watch the glowing red numerals on your clock, like digital matchsticks, arrange themselves into the hours that pass without rest. Taunting you. 

Yet I will say I am wakeful as opposed to sleep deprived because it sounds much more Zen.

Loneliness has also been shadowing me and it feels as if it exists with the insominia in some type of symbiotic relationship.  As a highly social being who needs the fuel of meaningful companionship like oxygen, it is difficult for me to spend stretches of time in the company of myself.   About two years ago I felt like a real "A-lister" and I thrived in this full, rich and meaningful social life. Slowly at first, and then as if overnight, weeks that were once packed with friends, activities and frenzy now showcase about one social activity a week, shining like a beacon between the blank squares on the calendar.

Since I have been blessed with the unfortunate disposition of being a pensive, self-reflective and sensitive person, I've been inclined to examine the holes in the earth where things that once seemed permanent were heaved up, roots and all.  But examining holes gets sad, causing you to look for more holes until that is all you see.

And I'm tired of looking at empty holes.

So it's time to plant and tend to other parts of the garden instead of watering the barren places with salty tears. 

Loneliness is neither productive nor healing and insomnia just sucks and breeds a whole host of other issues.  Solitude and Wakefulness however, create opportunity for reflection, encourage one to take new risks and allow both psychic time and earthly time to open up and allow new things to grow. 

After spending weeks mummifying myself in insecurities, I decided a change of heart was past due.  So in my new found solitude I have cleaned and organized my home, made progress toward my personal goals, and made an effort to forge new social networks in my community instead of hanging on to everything and everyone from my past.

To reach the top of a mountain at some point you have to sit in its valley.  All things will rise and fall;  pulse and rest; soar and crash.  A magnet both pulls and pushes.  In loneliness and insomnia there is only sadness, anxiety and tears. In solitude and wakefulness there can be purpose and understanding, new beginnings and tough but important transitions.   In solitude and wakefulness there is an opportunity for enlightenment and peace. So in that space I will try to find comfort and rest.


Autism Mom Rising said...

I love the way you re-framed that. You and I seem on a similar wave length lately, as I just wrote about similar this week, about what falls away and what emerges afterward.

Elizabeth said...

We are many out here --

Beautiful post.

kario said...

Those nights spent worrying about kids are torture. I often find myself thankful when one of them actually needs me in the middle of the night because I feel useful and purposeful. Ugh!

I hope that filling those holes will result in some lovely new growth in your garden and the work will result in blessed rest for you.

Carrie Link said...

I LOVE this post! You sound ready for anything!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I love your positive reframing, as well as how you write about what you are experiencing. Your words are so evocative, and I so enjoy reading them. I just hope you're able to get some better sleep soon!

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