Maria looked at the ceiling for what seemed an eternity. It was the tenth day continuously that sleep evaded her. Life was not what she expected it to be and these days felt more long drawn and unreal. The hopes that she had as a young girl seemed clearly dashed as her internal and external worlds collided. There seemed to be nothing that was in sync. Every door that she tried to open shut itself and every opportunity that she welcomed into her life walked out and shut the door behind itself. There was no way out or in her case no way in for the life of her dreams to venture forth. Every day she thought was a new day. She tried to will herself to sleep sometimes counting sheep to entice sleep or at times tiring herself with workouts and exercises that could put even an Olympian to shame. Again no respite. In the night looking at the ceiling, all she was left with were her thoughts and her expectations that kept mounting on day after day, with no respite. The last she felt she had slept was about 10 days ago. She didnt know why but she could feel the cortisol in her veins. It throbbed so hard that it hurt, slow breathing did not help, being to a massage spa did not help, hot water showers did not help, as a naturopath, she could not bring herself to swallowing pills, eyes gre tired, the body gave up but sleep well it was a guest. One online search as to the hard facts about sleep was enough to send her into another 10 nights of no sleep, for lack of sleep was not only connected to a plethora of health problems and risks it was slowing going to take away her life or even worse check her into the throngs of Dementia or even the dreaded A word, Alzheimers. The problems of this life, the issues that have come into existence in this century. She knew the risks, she could understand, she was educated, yet she could do nothing about it. At the time of slumber, slumber never came.
Maria did not have a job that she could bury herself into, she was a Mom. Her days surrounded her son, who did bring her joy, but then was she she when she was with him? Or was the role something she landed into with no clue of what it would entail? Ofcourse life changes with every single person one adds to the mix, but when the din loses the individual then what does the individual become? No doubt Maria had a real hard time making peace with the situation. During the day she did best what she could, entertaining the boy and hearing several stories on how he should be raised like. She even spoke fluently and managed to do things like a regular person. Its not like she wanted to not be a Mom, but the role slowly took away her work, and then it took away her hobbies finally it took away everything that she thought she was. Change is inevitable but also unavoidable, but meteoric fast change that spirals down outright scary. While her mind kept abreast with things to be done, that included all roles life fit her into, the body kept score. The role of being a mother gnawed away at her sleep. Yet every night she dutifully climbed into bed said a prayer tried a new trick to lull into sleep, exhausted chasing a 5 year old, telling him a hundred times to do simple things like wash your hands or eat your food to finally reach calm silence and then stare at the ceiling. She hoped sleep would come everyday but then it came by once a week, sometimes once in 10 days. Every night she watched her son, drift into sleep and stay there. The house was quiet. Yet she could not sleep.
Then one day she had enough. After almost 4 years of surviving on an average of less than 2 hours of sleep annually and reading tomes on how the sleep was going to be the death of her she decided enough is enough. Bidding adieu to online research, hearsay, yoga, warm turmeric milk, podcasts, meditation, and music, she said enough of this hoping business. Pulling out of her covers she decided that was it. Instead of burying herself under expectations of what she would not expect she decided to tug at her heart strings and dictate her day, listening to her body instead of hoping to do what the world said would be good for her or threatened that would be the end of her. The body you see does not only keep score, it also guides the way. She decided to stop hoping and start hopping. Every day after a long beautiful day, when sleep did not come she would gather her bed clothes pop on some groovy fun favorite music and simply start hopping. Hopping on one leg and then the other. The purpose of life was to enjoy the moment and so what if the future was Alzheimers dictated by a present that was no sleep. So what if tomorrow was going to be a consequence of scrapped knees and MRIs. Why bother with hope when hope was clearly not worth bothering about. HA! she thought I dont need to sleep, and in the dark of the night she taught herself to gaze at stars, learning the positions of constellations, she learnt how many breaths make a night, she walked till the sun rose on her, she read tomes all through the night to reach the last page of the last chapter just as the sun began to rise. The son grew up as the sun rose on her. In time she grew wispy white hair and wrinkly skin, she wisened with all that reading and all that me time through the years. As she read like crazy she had solutions to everything. She became the go-to person for everybody. The only way to know about things that life doesn’t herself teach you is to read and Maria read, with all the time in the world, she had double of the usual as sleep was not her Achilles heel, she knew. And then when Depression came she knew what to do, when obesity began she simply walked some more and then when Alzheimer’s came she knew the signs, she had read all about it. She opened her list of institutions that she keenly researched on, all through calm and collected. She checked herself into palliative care and as the days rolled by she patiently waited. Then one day she fell asleep, deep, still, calm, beautiful and never woke up. But never did once did she hope to sleep.
- 1.a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.