Yes, you read that correctly. I am grateful for my insomnia. I never thought I would actually feel this way, but I do. Growing up I had trouble falling asleep. My mind would never stop and it still doesn’t. I call it the squirrel. I have written about this in my other post https://mandysmemoir.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/someone-shoot-the-fing-squirrel/ and you know what? Apparently a lot of alcoholics feel the same way! At least that’s what I hear at meetings. Every few weeks I will have a couple of nights where I just cannot sleep. My mind just races all the fucking time. It goes and goes and goes. That’s why i drank! I had to shut myself up!
Around 3am is when I usually give up trying, I make some tea and turn on the laptop. Maybe this is the best time for me to write. The world is quiet. The house is quiet. All i hear is my fan and the tips of my fingers on the keyboard.
I hated insomnia so much. But when I was active in my alcoholism, I definitely did not have a problem sleeping. I missed out on so much life! Near the end of my drinking career I was drinking around the clock so there were many days when I would “fall” asleep on the couch, hunched over with my neck cranked. I would drag myself to my bed where I would finish off the rest of my “beauty” sleep.
As I remember those days I am literally shaking my head. I am baffled at how sick I was. This went on for 4 straight years. Every single night I was passing out. I am now 14 months sober, and I love my sleep! Real sleep! Sleep is one of the best feelings in the world to me! I feel like I am still making up for all those drunken passed out nights. I sleep extremely well. However like I said, I have one or two nights where I just cant sleep and that damn squirrel is going in circles. I use this time to gather my thoughts. I use this time to write my feelings and dreams. You see, as an alcoholic, I spent years trying to cloud my thoughts. Any types of feelings were triggers for me and I wanted to drink those feelings away! But now I embrace the feelings. Instead of getting frustrated, I get out of bed and I look out my window into the night. The streets are clear except for a bus passing by and the rain is starting to ease. I check on my sons sleeping. Brendan is sleeping on his side with the blankets still nicely covering him. He is obviously having a restful sleep. Kaleb is sleeping on his back with his head tilted and mouth wide open. I kiss them both even though they will never know that I sneak in there still. Its a mom thing!
These are things I missed for years. All I wanted was the next drink. I was thinking about my next drink before I had finished the drink I was having. An alcoholic does not stop to smell the roses. An alcoholic wants you to hurry the fuck up, smell the damn rose so we can make it to the liquor store before closing time. I wasted so much time, energy and moments because of this disease. For the rest of my life I will make it up. A living amends. So, if I have to have a night of no sleep, a day of constant yawns and a lot of coffee, then so be it. I will not fight it. I accept it. I accept it just like I accept who I am today. Sleeping soundly would be preferred right now, but tonight its not going to happen. So instead of allowing my old tenancies to creep in my mind, I choose to think about the positives that come from this sleepless night. I would rather be awake all night and tired all day, then having been passed out drunk, and hung over the next day.
I choose insomnia over another night of alcohol.