Totally Tired and Suddenly Sleepless

How annoying is it when you are mega tired and can’t get to sleep? Humph.

No matter how hard I try to clear my mind, once it’s apparent that sleep isn’t coming all this stuff starts marching around my brain. 

I’m not lying awake worrying about things, no, no, no.  Because my brain can be a pretty busy place a lot of the time (except brain fog times of course) and I fall asleep with mind whirring anyway.

So my thoughts were filling the space, rather than keeping me awake.  At least for the first hour or so and then I start thinking about what I could blog.  Sigh.  If only I thought in structured paragraphs eh?

Recurring themes lately seem to be:

1. “Why am I not doing more?” v.  “It’s so frustrating to do just a little and feel really ill”

Couldn’t I just try harder?  Use more will power?  Fight my way to health?  Well, no.  Hello brain – do you remember that over exertion equals feeling even worse?  Hmm?  And that will power is no use in this equation?  How forgetful we are.  going round in our usual circle again.

2. “What clever ways can I use to earn a living and make a contribution to home and society?” v. “There’s no pressure to earn and contributions made are more than just financial or huge gestures”

I keep writing things on my little to-do lists that say things like “brainstorm ideas for income generation” with half ideas about writing, putting a book or two together with my drawings, doing something web based, being a full on self-representing artist and so on.  To find ways I can carve out a new work life for myself with all the flexibility I need.  But is it really necessary?  Not for money, but maybe for my self.  And then I realise I am already doing rewarding fulfilling things for myself so why push for more when my energy resources are so limited?

3. “Life is about love, friendship, connections and touching people’s lives for the better somehow” v. “My life is of virtually no value”

Please don’t panic about this internal conversation I have with myself.  I don’t know why I keep coming back to this inane conversation when I know my life is of value – but it does happen and my job is to tell myself all the right things. 

I always know there’s some mental flexing to be done when I hear my string of internal nasties reciting in my head – the kind of negative self talk that used to trigger self harm and still could if they went unchecked.  So it’s good to practice the positive challenges to those “no value” chimes.

It’s easy (it seems) for me to see me, myself, my role, my “contribution” in a very grey light as small, needy and not very giving – being an ill, incapacitated type who needs a lot of assistance.  But of course that isn’t the whole picture.  I am much more than that – aren’t I?

A friend of ours died just last week from complications following a deliberate overdose because he’d “had enough” (his words) of Multiple Sclerosis (late phase progressive).  I have huge respect and fondess for him.  It’s a sad loss of a good man.

Selfishly, it made me scared.  I don’t want people to give up.  I don’t want to know that being totally dependent and incapacitated was too much to bear.  I know it’s not the same situation (I know it’s not) – but I can’t help that the sentiment has upset me and made me start asking a lot of questions about life.

If I am able to do nothing except just be – then is that of value?  The problem is to just be whilst in pain and discomfort, with little control over your own life.  It’s not that movie image of soft sunlight cast over crisp linen with the incapacitated lying pale yet beautiful in bed.  It’s a slog – a tough, challenging, mind blowing, painful, knackering, stinky slog.

Well, I think there’s still value there.  My friend made a very personal decision.  We’re all different.  I only wish if things ever come to that for me I will have the courage to shout to the world that I need a whole lot more from life.  That this isn’t a sympathy call but a chance to make a difference to a life.  And only then when all avenues are exhausted can I call it quits.  But no assistance can be the same as doing it for myself.  It’s so very hard.

My circumstances are of course very different.  I’m sure as far as “value” goes I have many things to offer and that I do offer them regularly. As much as I am able to give I always do – be it love, encouragement, a smile, a word or two, to listen, to share.


I have a lot of big themes on the go.  I think that last one, about life and value and what-is-it-all-about, is the biggie at the moment.

Thing is, that even when I figure out answers these pesky things come popping back up in my brain and usually, for a while after they do, I’ve forgotten I’ve already worked out some answers!

There must be so many blog posts in the world fuelled by insomnia.


7 Responses to “Totally Tired and Suddenly Sleepless”

  1. 1 vivi November 21, 2007 at 9:06 am

    I hope you don’t mind I leave a comment, I have been reading your blog for quite a while. I just wanted to thank you for this post, I know what you write about in there just too well, and you certainly helped me by talking about it so freely.

  2. 2 rachelcreative November 21, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Hi Vivi. Thanks for leaving me a comment 🙂

    It helps to know I’m not the only one wrestling with stuff like this and my rambling isn’t totally ridiculous. I really want to be one of those people that sales through illness with determination, grace and style – but it’s just not meant to be 😀

  3. 3 Nina November 22, 2007 at 4:11 am

    OMG Rachel — you’ve just written my life! I keep myself “brainwashed” w gratitude practices, but underneath, I really feel the way you express it.

    yesterday, I went to the drugstore and was able to help a man in front of me who needed a Enlish to Spanish translation. He was SO grateful and it felt SO good to be able to help somone.


  4. 4 tammyrenee November 22, 2007 at 4:51 am

    I so admire your openess about “the tuff stuff.” When I struggled through some of my own tuff thoughts, I really felt I was losing it and found so much comfort in learning from others that I wasn’t the only one who had ever been in that very spot. Keep sharing, Rachel!

  5. 6 Glenys Hicks January 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Rachel, you are valuable to your husband and family. Value does not consist of productivity! Our value is in being alive- not matter what conditions assault us! I know how you feel, I have chronic pain and fatigue myself- along with depression. When I find myself thinking that my life has no value, I look up, not in. I think your friend with MS probably felt his life was of no value as well….and look how you miss him!

    I will pray for God’s comfort for you, Rachel.


  6. 7 rachelcreative January 17, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Thank you for your kind words Glenys

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