Tag Archives: health

Once Upon A Time

For many years I was in an extremely destructive relationship with someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and during that time I was regularly subjected to a variety of emotional, mental and physical abuse.

Every day I walked on eggshells, living in fear of saying or doing something that might trigger an aggressive response.

Many people might wonder why I, or anyone else, would remain in this kind of environment, but by the time I fully recognized that I was in extreme danger, I was already badly emotionally and mentally weakened and debilitated.

I was living in terror waiting to be attacked at any moment and yet I did not feel as though I had the strength or courage to remove myself from it.

Abuse doesn’t always happen overtly and it isn’t always easy to recognize. Often it is a covert, insidious, invisible drip that slowly poisons the victim’s mind so they don’t trust their own judgment, is unable to make life-changing decisions and feels as though they don’t have the coping skills necessary to get help or leave.

It took me a long time, and everything I had, to pull myself from the bottom of the deep dark hell I existed in and to get myself to a place of safety.

By the time I walked away, I thought that the nightmare was over. But in so many other ways, it had only just began.

The terrors of the taunts, torture and torment that had become my normality didn’t subside. They remained alive and relived themselves in the form of intrusive, regular flashbacks.

Many months after I had left the relationship I discovered that I was suffering from C-PTSD, (Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.) C-PTSD is a result of persistent psychological trauma in an environment where the victim believes they are powerless and that there is no escape.

C-PTSD is slightly different than PTSD, which is brought on from experiencing one solitary, traumatic incident, or it can develop due to an accumulation of incidents. Although both C-PTSD and PTSD both developed from my experiences, I identify more with C-PTSD, as it was the effects of the prolonged exposure to repetitive and chronic trauma that I felt I couldn’t escape from that affected me the most.

For many months after leaving the relationship I struggled to sleep at night, and when I did I often woke trembling after experiencing terrifying reoccurring dreams. On many occasions when I did eventually sleep I would sleep solid for at least 24 hours, in such deep slumber that I would struggle to wake from it and when I did I would feel fatigued, spaced out and as though I was numbly sleep-walking through the day.

I was easily startled and panicked at the slightest sudden movement or loud noise.

I was ultra-sensitive, on edge and highly alert most of the time, which I believe was my mind’s way of forming some sort of self-protection to keep me aware so that I avoided similar potentially dangerous situations.

At the mention of certain words, names or places I felt nauseous and dizzy and would become extremely distressed. A painful tight knot developed in my stomach every time something occurred to remind me of the trauma.

I still have difficulty remembering large phases of my life, and for a long time I struggled to stay focused, and my concentration abilities were very poor.

I would get upset easily, especially if I was in a tense environment. I had constant anxiety and was regularly in fight-or-flight mode.

I didn’t eat properly. I had no motivation and suicidal thoughts regularly flooded my mind.

I had lost my spark.

One aspect of the aftermath of the relationship that affected me most was the daily gaslighting that I endured. This left me finding it difficult to believe anything people would tell me, and I analyzed, questioned and dissected everything.

Forming new relationships, whether friendships, or romantic, was almost impossible as I struggled to trust people’s intentions and felt scared of possible underlying, hidden motives and agendas for their words or actions.

I dissociated from most of what I had been through and pretended, even to myself, that the abuse wasn’t as serious as it was. Partly because I felt ashamed that I had not left sooner and also because I wanted to defend and protect the person I was involved with, as I still cared for him. Therefore, I rarely mentioned the relationship to anyone and froze and shut down through stress (sometimes resulting in a meltdown) if anyone tried to talk to me about it.

It got to the stage where I withdrew completely as leaving the house became overwhelming and a major ordeal because I wouldn’t/couldn’t open up and connect and I felt terrified of everything and everyone.

One thing that became apparent and harrowing was that although I had gained enough strength to walk away and I felt empowered by the decision knowing that it was the right choice for my emotional, mental and physical health, I was suppressing all my emotions and feelings and I was far from okay on the inside.

There were many rollercoaster emotions trapped inside me and trying to ignore and contain them was doing more harm than good. In many ways the ending of the relationship had signaled closure to one phase of my life and had opened up a new chapter that was going to take a little time to get used to.

It appeared that while I was in the relationship I had become so used to enduring a wide variety of narcissistic behaviors that they had almost become normal and acceptable. Stepping away from all that I had known felt like I had walked from one planet and onto another and I hadn’t got a clue how to navigate it on my own or how to relate to anyone on it.

I soon realized that unless I started to focus on healing myself, I would remain a victim of my previous circumstances as the build up of emotional injuries, wounds and scars needed urgent attention. Otherwise, they would seep out and silently destroy sections of my life without me being aware that the past was still controlling me.

It was up to me to rebuild my strength and confidence, otherwise I would end up alienating myself and causing further damage.

I had a lot of inner healing work and restructuring to do and trying to convince myself that just because I had left the relationship everything would be okay, was not going to be enough.

The first and most significant step I took was admitting and fully accepting that the carnage I had experienced was real and had a huge impact on my emotional and mental wellbeing.

I had been surviving by a fragile thread in a domestic war zone and for far too long I had been intimidated, manipulated, lied to and threatened, amongst many other toxic and dysfunctional behaviors. The whole relationship had been an illusion and resulted in me having serious trust issues as well as losing the will to live. I not only struggled to trust other people, but I also realized I had no faith at all in my own intuition, perception or judgment.

Finally, I gave myself permission to take as long as I needed to heal, even if it meant I would spend the rest of my life slowly putting the pieces of my life back together. I came to terms with the fact that there is no timescale to healing and there was no hurry.

I allowed myself to grieve the relationship and the loss of the person I had separated from. This was extremely difficult to do as I had so many mixed emotions due to the scale of the abuse. For a long time I denied my grief, as it was complex to come to terms with how I could miss someone who had been responsible for vicious behavior towards me.

One of the hardest parts to dealing with this grief was feeling as though I could not talk openly to anyone, as I believed no one would understand how I could remain in such an abusive relationship and still miss many aspects of that person and the life I had with them.

The reason getting over this type of relationship can be so difficult is that many narcissists display both “Jeckyll and Hyde” type characteristics, one minute appearing extremely loving and affectionate and the next crippling, cruel and cunning.

It is not easy to explain that I deeply loved and badly missed one side of the person I was involved with, and disliked, feared and never wanted to hear his name mentioned at the same time. Even thinking about this can make one feel a little crazy as it does not feel natural to love and hate the same person.

One essential step toward healing from narcissistic abuse, I believe, is finding someone to really confide in and who doesn’t judge or question anything that is said. Being free to talk openly and comfortably without having to over explain is vital to start putting the accumulation of experiences into some sort of context. If there isn’t a friend on hand, it is worth taking time to seek out a good counselor with an understanding of C-PTSD deriving from abusive relationships.

The most important thing that helped me to heal was focusing more on healing and rebuilding myself. Although I took time out to research and gain knowledge and understanding of the type of abuse I had been subjected to, I spent far more of my time indulging myself in whatever felt good for my soul.

Slowly and surely I rebuilt myself, formed new friendships, learned to trust people and forgave all of the past. There are still days that it haunts me, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and although it can be difficult to believe that when you start walking through it, as soon as you take the first steps of acceptance the path ahead begins to become clear.

Healing comes by taking one small step at a time, with gentle, loving care and without hurry…

Author: Alex Myles

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Why I Will Always Choose To Be A Little Bit Fat

How we can all feel good about ourselves, whatever our size.

I saw an article a few weeks ago with this incredible before-and-after set of photos of an overweight, post-baby woman who then became totally “bikini-worthy.”

So I had to click the link, of course, to have a look. No question about it—the “after” photo of this woman was a stunning shot. She looked fit, toned, healthy and gorgeous. I read on, eager to discover what her secret was; what profound magical method it was that she had used to shed however-many-number of pounds.

There it was, a long and detailed tract of the super lean, restrictive diet she had put herself on for a year. No carbs, no dairy, no fruit, no nothing. The sample diet she had shared in the article seemed to consist of little more than hummus, celery and endless amounts of steamed fish. Healthy—yes. Exciting, delicious, fun lifestyle—no.

I decided in that moment that I would choose to continue being a little bit fat.

Yes, I could do with losing at least about 10 pounds so that the Bébé dress I bought earlier this year would fit that much more snugly. But if it’s at the expense of not eating fruit, freshly baked breads, Greek yogurt and honey for a year, well then, I choose emphatically to continue being 10 pounds more than I should be.

Science is a wonderful thing. It’s revealed so many revolutionary ways of understanding the way our bodies work and the effects of new foods, super foods, bad foods and good foods on our health. It’s sad though that “health” has so often come to be equated only and necessarily with thinness.

The glut of diet programs, weight-loss fads, fat-burning supplements and specialized bikini-body workouts are now as much a part of our daily consumer choices as the aisles of (“forbidden”) food in supermarkets. There seems to be no excuse not to be “healthy” (read: thin) given the huge number of aids, YouTube videos and literature on the subject.

Articles like the one I read aren’t necessarily always an encouraging, inspiring thing. They don’t just tell the story of an overweight person who chose discipline and a healthier lifestyle. There is often also a more sinister sub-narrative that raises its eyebrows at the reader and challenges her—“If this person can lose xx pounds, why can’t you?”—even if the reader may not actually be unhealthy or overweight.

The titles of these articles alone are almost always weight-centered, like “I lost 120 pounds, ask me how!” or “How one man lost 200 pounds in a year.” Rarely are these articles presented through the perspective of someone choosing a healthier lifestyle, discarding bad nutritional habits or incorporating fitness into their daily routine.

There it is: the continuous, unceasing reminder that we should all be striving toward thinness. From cabbage soup fasts, to low-everything diets, to 20-minute fat-blasting workouts, the desirable end result is usually almost and entirely about becoming become a thinner version of ourselves.

I am not ignoring the fact that for a percentage of people who are facing the health risks of being dangerously overweight, losing weight is a part of becoming healthier. I don’t discount that and understand how important it is in these cases to count calories and lost inches.

Problems arise when that very same method is being adopted by people who aren’t facing any health risks—who may, in fact, be completely healthy, fit people—but who still feel that they would be healthier if only they were five, 10 or 20 pounds lighter.

So I’d like to suggest flipping things around a bit; looking at things through another lens.

Let’s focus on being healthy—and just that.

Logically and biologically, it would follow that by following a healthy way of living, eating and exercising, everything else will find its proper balance. We would lose weight if we needed to lose weight, we’d gain muscle if we needed to gain muscle, we’d balance out all the other things that come from not being healthy—stress, cholesterol, diabetes, poor complexion, hair loss etc.

And what does it mean to live healthily? In the face of all the new diet and exercise schemes, I think that actually, we all already know what it means to live a healthy, balanced, feel-totally-awesome lifestyle, without having to follow any fad or buy any specialized products.

Intuitively, deep down inside, we do know the basics of living well. We know when we’ve had enough to eat, what kinds of foods are good for us, what makes us feel good and what makes us go into a slump, how much exercise we need to do, when to stop when we’re exhausted and when to rest.

We know this not just intellectually, but physically—our bodies are always telling us what we need to do; we just need to listen.

One’s body will tell us when it feels like a massive binge on Chinese take-out. It will also tell us when it’s had enough so we don’t insist on finishing every last fortune cookie. Our bodies will take us dancing, running, swimming, trampolining and playing; but they will also make us rest and sleep.

I read something beautiful a while ago, about how we shouldn’t change our bodies so we can love them.

Instead, we should create change in the way we treat ourselves because we love our bodies.

Ultimately this is about focusing on health: the physical health of our bodies and the emotional health of how we see and relate to our bodies. We love our bodies—this temporary shell on loan to us for this lifetime—so we treat them well, nourish them, feed them, move them, hug them, stretch then, let them dance, discipline them, give them a treat sometimes and most of all enjoy them.

Enjoying our bodies is to indulge in the beautiful, sensual things like good food, good sex and the rush of an energetic run in the mornings. But also, I think enjoyment is about ensuring our bodies are at their prime health so that they truly get the most out of these things and appreciate, at our body’s fullest capacity, the good food, good sex and energetic run.

This is true whatever size we’re at, whether we’re trying to lose weight or gain weight, whether we’re severely overweight or dangerously underweight.

This is true because it’s a matter of health and of helping our bodies be at their optimum functioning levels, not merely a matter of what we look like.

Yes, ideally, I would still like the scales to tell me that I am 10 pounds lighter and to see my dress size drop to a single digit. But then, I have to ask myself what it really is that I’d like to get out of being that much thinner. I don’t have any illnesses, I live a happy, active life, and I’ve been medically cleared for good, prime health.

So what is it? To be more attractive? To feel more energetic? To turn more heads? To tighten that gap between me and the Victoria’s Secret models?

I realize now that if I only just went back to focusing on being healthy, everything else would find its rightful place. When I’m feeling healthy, my skin glows, my hair is shiny and I’m a face full of radiance. When I’m feeling fit after a big run and deep session of yoga, I’m also confident, joyful and there’s an extra bounce in my step.

Automatically, without being a single ounce lighter, I realize now that being healthy alone is enough to be more attractive, feel more energetic, turn more heads and gain almost as many admirers as the Victoria’s Secret angels.

With a focus on health, instead of weight, I find too that I enjoy life a whole lot more. I eat without guilt and play with abandon. I move and shift and indulge the very real needs of my body instead of spending good hours of my day fussing over diet plans, exercise schedules and meal replacement shakes.

It isn’t only when I achieve a vision of thinness that I am deemed healthy and attractive.

I am attractive because I am living healthily.

And if that means I shall always be a little bit fat, with a few extra pounds to shed, then that’s exactly what I shall be.

-via Jamie Khoo Conscious ReThink Elephant Journal

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Transformation

Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair. 

I am going through a process of life-changing transformation since I’ve been diagnosed with auto-immune disease few years ago. You can read the details here.  I rarely talk about it. Not even to my nearest and dearest. I don’t want to talk about it. Not even when the reality is staring me right in the face. No, I am not in denial. I long past that stage. I just don’t want to concentrate on it. I rather focus on the positive side of things. Make the most of what I still have and can do instead of what I cannot do. My options are limited and keep getting narrower by the day but I still refuse to give up.

Okay, I can’t hike 25 km anymore, but a four km evening walk will also do. The pain keeps me from sleeping so, I write instead. Good exercise for my slowly rotting brain. I still garden but not intensive. Only when I feel I’m up to it. I can’t work for a company anymore. My condition is so volatile to adapt to a normal working schedule so, we set up our own small design and technology company and try our best to get if off the ground. Life is not easy. Never been. I’m used to that. But I am far from resigning. I recently published my first E-book  And there are five more in queue. 

Maybe nobody would buy them. But what counts for me is the fact that I did it and it’s out there. In between, I’m busy writing my memoirs and another novel I am planning to finish before my brain will fully deteriorate. I can still enjoy loads of things, like golden hour, reflections of something on the water, the colors of flowers, droplets of rain on their petals; rainbow, birds in my backyard, architecture, smiles of strangers and random kindness.

I will continue pushing my boundaries despite of obstacles. It is better to be out there fighting than sit and wait for the inevitable to happen. Not every day is roses and moonshines. In fact, seldom. But those little wonderful moments when I can think clearly and feel passionately I’m holding on and use as my anchor to keep me grounded and strong when the tide is fierce and there is storm looming in the horizon. Not so many people would understand. Especially when I show no weakness. Playing a victim will never be my forte. I don’t want understanding or compassion. Those are tricky to get anyway. Genuine ones I mean. I just want to continue minding my life the way I see fit. Without prejudices, without judgment from others.

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One Down, How Many More To Go?

I vowed in my previous post that I will honor my previous cancelled appointments with various medical specialists. So, today at ten past 10:00 a.m I went to the hospital and had a brief hostile talk with a neurosurgeon. Hostile because he was very curt with me. Maybe it was my fault. I can imagine myself emanating distrust towards these people and somehow they can read it. Of course they can. They are trained to spot these sort of attitudes. But who can blame me?

We started off on the wrong foot. He greeted me at the door with an almost friendly “How are you?” It took me a couple of minutes to get around the question and give some answer, by that time he already irritated by my silence and decided to be brief with me. But I find that what he said was out of place. I was there with him so, obviously I am not fine. Anyway he was borderline rude.

After he checked the images of my head, shoulder and neck on his screen he told me that my cervical vertebra is leaning backwards instead of normally curving towards the front. When I asked him for a reason why, he told me he doesn’t know yet since we just met five minutes ago and if there is someone who knows why it would be no other than myself since I am the one feeling the discomfort. What a charming guy he is.

He handed me a paper to give to the medical secretary for another appointment next week Oct. 14 to the nuclear medicine department to have some scan I’ve never heard of before. Whole body this time. The woman at the desk told me I have to be injected with something, wait for three hours before they can go on with the procedure and come back the week after, Monday Oct. 19 to talk about the result with that  brusque neurosurgeon again who by the way sent me to the other side of the hospital to get my blood taken. He handed me a form with a list of things that have to be checked. Most of the terms are foreign to me but what else I can do but obey? As long as he is not suggesting to tinker with my essentials and vitals via some form of operation, I’m okay with it.

I’m home now writing this. Then I’m off to bed to have some sleep. I’ve been awake again for two days straight and have to gather my wits to write poetry later for Writing 201 assignments. Lord, I’m in pain! But I need to train my brain to keep sane that’s why I keep writing despite of everything.

Till later… 

 

Tunnel Vision

I went to the hospital for MRI scan the other day. I arrived there around 6:30 in the morning. My appointment was at 7:00 o’clock. My GP said I had to be there 30 minutes before. That means I didn’t sleep that night, no breakfast either. Appointments terrify me. Especially medical appointments. I hate hospitals (fancy that considering my work background) and anything that includes spending time in a waiting room. Patience is not one of my virtues. That’s why I rarely take a bath. Waiting for the tub to be filled bore me to death.

The lobby was practically deserted when I arrived, except for the cleaning lady who told me I had to wait for someone to sign me up before I can proceed and no, I really cannot go straight to the radiology department even though I had an appointment so, I contented myself watching her driving this noisy machine over the floor. I noticed that she missed several spots. To think that these people often earn more than caregivers and they don’t have to work in ungodly shifts and not liable for anything. Unfair. I quickly shifted my forced interest to a cake cabinet standing haphazardly in one corner next to the entrance to the cafeteria close to the window of the gift shop next door. It housed some unappetizing bunch that looked like some forgotten morsels from a distant  birthday party that have gone wrong. I shuddered with the thought. yuck!

More people arrived. I tried to distinguish patients from hospitals workers. Not easy when everyone wear casuals. Anyone could be anybody. I gave up. When my numbered flashed on the monitor overhead I went to the window and was shocked to find a girl behind the computer screen. How old was she? fourteen? fifteen? She was wearing some gothic fashion rings which in any other circumstances I will find beautiful and probably wear myself, but in that setting… I half-expecting her to open a bottle of neon colored nail polish and start painting her nails. No, I am not being judgmental. Just saying how I felt at that moment.

I made it to the waiting room without any accident. They gave me some form to sign. Pretty basic information like pacemaker, pregnancy, operation, claustrophobia, that sort of things. I was glad I was the first to arrive. It means I can get out of there soon and go to work as if nothing happened. When they called the first patient, it wasn’t my name; I was puzzled. My appointment was at 7:00, it was almost 30 minutest past, I begun to wonder about under what kind of file system these people are operating. I walked myself to the information and asked. They didn’t answer my question but promised me I will be the next. That was good enough for me.

True to their words, after quarter of an hour they sent me into a cubicle with two doors at both ends. A woman told me to lock the door closer to me, strip naked and put on  the hospital gown which was folded neatly on a chair.  There were 3 hooks on one corner of the wall and a mirror next to it. As usual, they were too high for me, but they provided a chair for me to stand on, no?

It took another quarter of an hour before the door to my right opened and the same woman called me in. By that time I was so nervous I could jumped out of my skin. You see, I can (and I did numerous times) jump from the top of a train bridge knowing there were submerged pillars under the water to tie boats and trains can pass by any moment, or somersault from the top of waterfalls while from up there I can see there were rocks underneath and if I don’t hit the right spot it could cost my life. I roamed around in cemeteries in the night playing spirit of the glass. I broke in empty dilapidated/abandoned houses just for fun, climbed on roofs to watch the moon and rowed boats in the middle of a storm but I am terrified of MRI scan I was practically shitting in my pants.

The radiologist instructed me to lie down and told me not to move an inch in any circumstances for whatever reason. She locked my head in one place by placing some sort of frame over me after giving me earplugs and placing a huge headphone over my head. She also informed me that the process will take 15-to 90 minutes and handed me a sort of rubber ball attached to a hose which strongly reminds me of a giant perfume sprayer. It’s a bell she said. In case something will happen.  I wanted to shout: Something could happen??? But I keep quiet. The sooner I get out of there, the better. I was happy enough she didn’t need to inject me with contrast dye like the last time. I closed my eyes and started counting. I can never managed to open them during the procedure. I have this feeling that if I do that, some radiation (I know it’s magnetic)  will rendered me blind for the rest of my life. Also, I am scared to see the inside of the cylinder and how tight it is. I am not claustrophobic but during every MRI scan I underwent, temporarily I am. So much so that I have a very strong urge to bolt upright and run away from there as fast as I could.

Counting didn’t work so, I started breathing slowly and deliberately. When that failed as well I tried singing Two Less Lonely People In The World by Air Supply, my favorite band. Though I can recall the lyrics perfectly well, it failed to do the trick. I noticed I begun singing them higher and higher in my head till it reached a hysterical pitch. How long I still have to wait? How long is 15 minutes (or more) in this torture chamber? My knees started twitching and I  was in danger of opening my eyes and sitting upright. It took all the courage I could muster to lie there perfectly still.

Just when I  thought I could not handle it anymore, the motorized bed slid down and I was told it was over. I never been more relieved to be dismiss in my life than in that moment. I dressed in record time, jumped in the car and drove in search of a bakery. I desperately needed some donuts, my current addiction.  I glanced at the paper next to me in the passenger seat. It contains some information I need to check to find out the result of my scan online. I decided it could wait. I know that I will find there nothing new, only worse…

TunnelVision

Alert!

We seem to be experiencing deadliest heat wave these last few days and there is no improvement in sight according to the weather forecast. Today the temperature soars to staggering 37 degrees in the shadow and still is at this moment (19:30 hours) my (established) plants look dead even after soaking them pretty good this morning and yesterday evening. I can’t even begin to describe how I feel… Hopefully it ends soon.

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Mr Sandman

I came across this passage while browsing the net:

Too hot. Blanket off. Too cold. Blanket on. Hot again… sticks foot out of blanket, hears creepy noise. Sticks foot back in.

I laughed because it is too familiar. But with me that is only the beginning. In no circumstances I can let my foot out, remember what Stephen King said about protecting your feet and ankles at all cost from the thing under the bed? That’s one of the reasons. The other reason is my brain. Yes you read it right, I said: my brain.

My brain has a knack of keeping me awake when I am about to find my way to la-la land. If I’m getting comfortable and drifting off it will say something like this: Hey, look at you, you’re almost asleep. I bet you don’t know that. Isn’t it wonderful to not realize you’re drifting off to sleep? You’re almost there; just a little bit more and you’re off. And this and that, etc. etc. etc. By the time it finishes, I am already wide awake.

Other times it will trick my whole body of feeling itchy. The itch will start on the small of my back; from there it will spread freely, only I cannot guess where. It can go whole night on and on and on… Till I am not only wide awake, I will feel murderous also and close to insanity.

I read somewhere that if you lay nonchalantly you will get more comfortable easily and thus fall asleep faster. Just let your body drape across the bed let your hands, feet and head stay where it naturally fall down and keep them there. Just like babies. They can fall asleep in the most strange, unnatural positions which for us adults painful to watch. We always have the urge to arrange them into stances we think are more cosy, snug or secure. My father taught us not to do it. He said if they managed to fall asleep in that position, they must be comfy enough.

With me, that thoughts last only for a couple of minutes before my brain try to convince me that perhaps moving my feet, hands or head an inch farther or nearer to anything is more comfortable than my current position. And before I know what’s happening, my appendages will move on their own accord looking for the most desirable place to settle, ending up with me not sleeping at all.

My brain only allows me to lie on my back. Lying on my side whether left or right will trigger all the nightmare and horror scenarios in its repertoire, ranging from a Ju-On creeping from under the bed and lying next to me hugging me from behind to the Grim Reaper itself caressing my hair from the back. To prevent this I put two pillows against the open headboard of my bed, another two on my left side and a giant hotdog pillow on my left. Sometimes it works, often times not.

If there is any window in the bedroom that is reason enough for my brain to conjure up Danny Glick from Salem’s Lot hanging outside suspended in the air looking through the glass begging to be let in. There is no way it will allow me to lie with my back to the window. Better to be aware at all times than be sorry, it reasons.

Added to all of that lately are hot flashes, night sweats and the urge to urinate frequently. About these symptoms I don’t wish to elaborate right now. There is no need anyway. You understand.

That’s it. You got the picture of my nightly adventure. There is more but I’ll keep it for myself for the time being. Goodnight and sweet dreams.

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The art of sleeping

Sleep… sleep for me is something mystical, elusive, a puzzle and the most difficult thing to achieve. In my case, there is a vast difference between wanting to sleep, being sleepy, trying to sleep, drowsing, almost drowsing, falling asleep and actually sleeping. And all of this could (in a matter of a second) lead to being totally awake for hours and hours up to three consecutive days, before my body and mind succumb to fatigue and doze off anyway.

My favourite method lulling myself to la la  la land is to write a book in my head. Complete with personages, dialogues, locations and feelings. Feelings are the most important ingredients because my brain refuses to move forward to another scene if my body doesn’t feel what’s happening is real, as real as in… real life. The kisses have to taste good; the touches have to evoke certain feelings, the smell the lighting, the places the sounds have to fit perfectly or I would not sleep anyway and try to re-write the whole scene over and over again.

Most of the times, I can write a whole book and start half way to the sequel before I finally lost consciousness. The next day I usually start with editing what I wrote (envisioned) in my head the previous occasions, and it could be tricky because most of the times I could come up with several alternative scenarios and all of them good. I usually file them in my sub-conscious for future reference when sleep is prove to be hard to chase and impossible to capture so I have something to play with for variations.

These days, I’m stuck with a certain scenario in book two. It is something to do with feelings again. I decided that my male lead would look like an improved version of Sinbad (those who read my earlier blogs would know that this is the hunk who rowed 4 hours straight to an abandoned lighthouse so we can spend a stormy night there together -but not alone) and has the voice of Ranie the Casablanca guy, someone I have not yet introduce to blogsphere. 

The problem is, when I take his hands in mine (mine because it’s me that has to feel) it shockingly feels like D.s which is not good because it’s too close to reality which I wanted to escape. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot summon any other previous touches I had experience. I reckon I’m rusty and have to start experimenting again to get back some of that old feelings. (ha ha)

Another trick I use when trying to fall asleep is to pretend I don’t want to sleep. Doesn’t make any sense? To me it is. You see, I can easily doze off in public places; like in trains cars busses airplanes stations and my favourite of all… airports.  Could be also a bundle of clothes in a corner of a room, a hammock while reading, or someone else’s house anything far away from my own bed. But if I dim the light in my own room, undress, feel comfortable and try to go to sleep… guarantee I will be awake. I could drink all the sleeping pills and herbal teas available it will not work.

So what I do is drape myself across the bed fully clothed, leave the big lights on, pile some books next to me and stare at the ceiling. Sometimes it works, oftentimes not.

Another thing I do subconsciously is to sleep like a duck, I learned it from childhood, I have to be constantly aware in case… Bad things happen when people sleep you see. Someone could sneak up on you and do unspeakable things. So, if I’m off to dreamland someone could make regular everyday noises and I will not wake up. But the moment somebody try to be quiet like tiptoeing or opening the door ever so slowly or whispering… I’ll be awake in a jiffy. Funny…

So, sleep… sleep is magic for me. Something I am trying to learn from day one and seem I will never get the hang of. Very difficult, falling asleep. I wish I am more like D. doesn’t matter what time it is, night or day rain or shine,  the moment his head comes in contact with a pillow… he’s gone. And continue being dead whatever might happen, unless you go bother him.  If you’re lucky, maybe he would wake up. If not, he could stand up, move to another room and fall asleep there standing. Lucky, lucky b*stard…

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