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Insomnia Diary - Views from the Bathroom..

It's 21:58 as I write this, I'm sitting on the toilet stark naked (sorry in advance for turning you all on en masse). I'm naked because I'm sweating to sauna-level proportions, but I also have a towel around me because I know soon the sweats will turn to shivers and i'll be freezing cold, then the cycle will repeat until i'll get too tired to sit upright and drag myself to bed. 
It's early for bed you might think, but I've been up since 3am. I can't sleep right now because I'm on a course of steroids which cause insomnia, night sweats and severe nightmares amongst other delicious side effects. I went to work at 5:30 this morning. Mondays are always busy and I figured what's the point of lying wide awake when I could be productive? So I went in to work, smashed every deadline well ahead of schedule. Despite having to dash to the toilet every 5 minutes, despite pain gripping my gut like a vice, despite my dangerous lack of sleep, despite myself. 

My sweet little cat is at my feet right now. He comes in when the lights go out, and my partner, the dog, cat and I all trot up to bed like were some kind of furry Waltons. (The steroids also cause 'hairy face'). 
Right now I can hear my partner snoring, which I also secretly enjoy, although it does make me a little envious; his unconscious, oblivious bliss. But mostly I'm relieved he sleeps, because I need to deal with this pain on my own. I don't want to disturb his rest either, he has to work too and why should both of us greet the day with bags for life under our eyes? 
But right now I'm silent but for a few gasps of pain, soon I'll get some relief and head back to bed. Soon I'll find my knees too weak to hold me up and i'll have no choice. Soon my eyes will start to droop. Soon.

Pretty depressing isn't it? Thinking about how desperate I am for oblivion. Not really - today I'm so very proud of myself for achieving more than I logically should have under physically and mentally trying circumstances. I pushed myself and it paid off, it's something so many of us with chronic illness tend to do - push. Not for you, on the outside, to prove we're just as capable, (although that's also a constant thought-moth fluttering around our heads); but for ourselves. Our bodies tell us so much about what they think we can achieve but there's always room to strive for a little more. To show our carcass who's boss. 

I don't feel much like the boss right now straddled on the porcelain like a miniature Sumo wrestler. I feel weak and vulnerable, frustrated and exhausted. But I will again. Life in fighting a chronic illness is a series of rounds and I'm just on the ropes right now, but I'll be back on top again soon. As my jaw-twin Rocky Balboa says, "All I want to do is go the distance".

Kathleen NichollsComment