It’s been almost 3 months since I last had a proper sleep. I’d kill for a 3 hour sleep right now… I mean a solid, unbroken, 3 hour sleep! Instead I get an approximate broken 3 hours between the hours of 11pm and 2.30am (see barking mad posts etc for a more detailed description).
I’ve decided it’s my antidepressants. I decided that a while ago but I was too worried that the barking and the gut wrenching terror and panic would continue even if I quit the drugs. Which would of course mean it’s just me… I’m barking mad. And that might mean that I’ll never get to sleep a proper sleep again. I know I’m mad, but I think that would make me feel madder… hearing the dogs that live in your head barking and not be able to blame the drugs.
I stopped taking the antidepressants a couple of days ago because I just can’t continue on like this. (I know they advise you to do a slow withdrawal, cut down gradually, but I’ve not yet managed to do that!) My brain is starting to feel a bit odd, like it’s not my own, but the zings haven’t yet started. My brain often feels like it’s not my own… but this is a different kind of feeling.
I’m waiting for cmht to get back to me after an assessment last week… they’re going to tell me if they can help me. (I’m not sure what will happen if they can’t!) It’s taking so long to get anything done… this is why I started my withdrawal.
I’m not looking forward to the zinging. I don’t look forward to anything much these days. But I still have a glimmer of hope that I’ll be able to sleep one of these nights!
So the dogs in my head are barking more insistently now. It’s hard to tell if they’re desperate to get out or are warning me of someone trying to get in.
I’m hoping they’re warning me of someone trying to get in because I have absolutely no idea how to let them out!
As I meandered around the local cemetery with my dogs for our evening constitutional it struck me… it’s not the dead who haunt the living, but rather the living who haunt the dead.
This evening I saw a family of at least 4 generations at one grave. I saw a young boy cycling and smiling at the squirrels (he even paused to smile at me as I stumbled amongst the dead) before shouting in Polish (or some other language foreign to my ears) to his mother who was happily stepping amongst the gravestones collecting fir cones. I saw couples kissing on benches and people hurrying home in the wind, their coats pulled close.
The dead cannot be at rest whilst the living plague them with questions about the mundanaties of life. (I’m not actually sure if that’s a word, if it isn’t it should be!)
The living roam amongst the dead, tending graves; taking short cuts; selling drugs; walking dogs; talking to long dead or newly dead loved ones; sitting with lovers and kissing beneath autumn trees. We talk amongst ourselves, to the rotting bodies beneath the earth, to our dogs, to the birds and squirrels, to ourselves. We haunt the dead.
It’s been about 5 weeks since I slept for more than a couple of hours at a time. I’m exhausted!
I no longer hear dogs barking… instead I wake up in sheer panic, over and over and over again, all night long. I long for the barking dogs to return to my head! They were friendlier than the panic!
I’ve taken night sedation… changed to a different night sedation… taken anti anxiety meds (prescribed for me and some not prescribed for me). Yet still I wake frequently throughout the night, gut wrenching anxiety tearing me from each short sleep.
I’m starting to question if I need ECT… something, anything to reset my brain! The longer this episode of insomnia lasts the louder my internal dialogue will become. Until it reaches fever pitch… until I start to feel like I’m being torn inside out. The screeching inside triggering the aversion to high pitched noises that’s linked to my ASC… but you can’t cover your ears or run away if the screeching is on the inside.
Tonight I’ll try again. I’ve taken the night sedation… the highest dose I’m prescribed. I no longer have any hope of sleeping though.
It’s often bandied about that phrase… he/she’s totally barking! I’ve said it myself, about strangers and family members.
My recent posts have been about my insomnia. I tend to doze and wake throughout the night, rarely getting more than a couple of hours sleep without waking. I’ve had various things waking me in the past. Recently it’s been barking. Yes, barking! I’ve had barking in my head.
I do have two dogs, so initially I thought it was one of them barking and waking me. But they would both be asleep when I woke. I’ve heard my friends dog barking when she’s not here. I’ve heard barks that are totally unfamiliar. They all wake me up.
So I guess it all means I’m barking mad.
Imagine the blade at your throat. The pain would be white hot as it sliced. The smell metallic. Imagine the warm gush of blood over your chest. Your chest rising and falling rapidly, with each ragged breath. The blood would thunder in your ears as your heart pounded. Your pupils would dilate. Your hand would reach out for something, for someone, but encounter nothing. Just imagine!
Insomnia = ^ anxiety, ^ thoughts of self harm/suicide, ^ ruminating, ^ self isolation, ^ alcohol consumption.
^ alcohol consumption = ^ thoughts of self harm/suicide, ^ anxiety, ^ propensity to ruminate, ^ self isolation.
^ self isolation = ^ propensity to ruminate, ^ anxiety, ^ alcohol consumption, ^ thoughts of self harm/ suicide.
^ thoughts of self harm/ suicide = ^ anxiety, ^ alcohol consumption, ^ self isolation, ^ propensity to ruminate.
^ propensity for ruminating =……… etc etc etc
I meander around the local cemetery most evenings. I read the gravestones as my dogs stop to sniff. I like graves, I always have. I can spend hours wandering amongst the stones. My all time favourite graveyard is Pere Le Chaise in Paris, a place one could spend days in and never get bored.
But I do have a problem with epitaphs…
‘Fell asleep’ – I want to scratch it out and write Died!
‘Passed away’ – again, they Died!
‘Gone but not forgotten’ – most often seen on long neglected graves.
‘Forever resting in peace’ – they’re not resting, they’re dead.
‘Reunited in heaven’ – maybe they didn’t want to be reunited and, let’s face it, there isn’t a heaven.
I’ve planned my funeral songs but never thought of a gravestone, never considered leaving a stone to decay for some future generation to read and ponder as they meander amongst the stones.
Maybe my stone will read…
Died on this day (date). Gone and soon forgotten. If there’s a hell she’s probably writhing in its deepest pits and loving every minute.
My first priorities are my dogs. They were the first ones (as were the other two pooches in the car) to enter my brain during a recent accident. Swiftly followed by my best bud in the passenger seat. After that it was dealing with the others in the accident, make sure everyone was ok, then back to check on the dogs.
It was a shite day for driving. The car in front indicated very late for his left turn, I braked, the car behind me was on the old tram lines and failed to stop, rear ending me and shunting me forwards into the car in front.
Priorities… dogs, best friend, other humans, vehicles. Then continuing to check on pooches and best friend.
My evening dog walks are often taken through / around the cemetery these days. It’s a peaceful walk, surrounded by the dead, surrounded by the silently majestic trees, with my dogs padding quietly beside me. More peaceful on a damp, grey evening like this one.
As I wandered I wondered if the noise in my head would continue after I’m dead… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in the afterlife, in heaven, in reincarnation. But I wondered if electric echoes of the constant noise inside my head would continue when I don’t have a head to contain it? It’s an odd thought, to consider my erratic, ever questioning thoughts would continue after I’m gone.
The noise is at a level that I find comfortable… no longer at fever pitch but never silent. I don’t recall a time it was ever silent. My surroundings are finally quiet, which is bound to help with the noise in my head. I’m happy, as happy as I’ve ever allowed myself to be.
So these really are just wonderings as I wander, just grave thoughts.