An Insomniac’s Toe Jam.

Yes, I am one of the many who have sought counseling.

Hell, you run to the doctor for the most minor viral infection. The one that you know for a fact, is the infection that will set the medical community on its ear. You can see it as you sit next to everyone else in the waiting room who is oozing and sighing. They lead you into the room, and there waiting for you is a crack team of doctors, all of them puzzled because they have never seen anything like. it. Papers are written and interviews given as you lay in a hospital bed. Good Morning America does a piece on you, your family, and what a brave soul you are. Then you hear the words:

“Go home, stay in bed, drink fluids. There’s nothing we can do for  you here. ”

If you run to the doctor for that, why wouldn’t you seek help if your spirit and thoughts are in a bad place.

I don’t open with this to cause any sort of uncomfortable disclosure about my psyche. I would rather poke the toenail on my right foot that is about to fall off with needles, than try to invoke some sort of pity or concern for my well-being.

It really hurts. Really.

No, I invoke the all mighty therapy because, among all the other slightly crazy things I have dealt with in my life, one of them is insomnia. I refuse to take sleeping pills. Not because I’m stronger than that. I refuse because I am weak. Sadly, I know for a fact I would probably like them too much. It’s like Fritos, I can’t eat Fritos anymore either.

So here I am fighting sleep. My dear friend sleep. I’ve always been a night prowler who had a day job. I have no problem getting to sleep, it’s staying in that blissful state that eludes me. Usually somewhere around 3am I wake up. The mind may go to the dark place for a time, and then I shake it off.

I stopped fighting it. It’s become my friend. Well, maybe not friend. After all, if you run into me about 4pm you tend to see a woman who starts to resemble a wilted celery stalk. No really, my hair becomes crazy curly and green.

No it doesn’t. That’s my toe talking. It really hurts. Really.

I saw a wonderful woman about 2 1/2 years ago. She worked me through some things, and I miss our times together. She told me to work on visualization. She asked me to see what my 3am anxiety looks like, then face him and ask him to leave.

OK.

He looks something like this:

Makings Of Shannon Tice

I know, by this point in the article you probably think I should go back and seek counseling again. You wouldn’t be the only one holding that thought pattern.  The thing is, when my mind goes to the black place, Ralphie scurries up and I belt him with a whiffle bat and he scurries away with my anxiety and fear. It’s a proven technique. One I’ve talked with others about. Many visualize breathing in white light and letting out black smoke. This is a pattern I used years ago when I meditated.

But now I hold on to Ralphie. Or actually, I give the poor guy a sound beating.

However, after Ralphie leaves, sleep is still a distant mountain in a field of swollen sore toes.

Pain effects the metaphor part of my brain OK. Forgive me. Hurty McHurt.  

So I listen to music. I write. I read. I listen to the radio. I’ve decided that this is time given to me by the world’s greatest protagonist to help me try to make sense of me. Maybe I’m becoming my own counselor.  I better use it, or I may lose it.

I don’t believe we are meant to be happy all the time. That’s a philosophy that has been tossed at us by the rabid amount of self-help books we’ve seen on the shelves since I’m Ok, You’re Ok was first published. It’s normal to feel down, as long as you have a way back out.

Sleeping pills, medication, a good friend, a good laugh, or Ralphie. Whatever it takes.

God damn toe.

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