I think I've finally recognized my biggest obstacle in finding sleep: I cannot stop thinking.
I go through the routine—I turn off the electronics, drink tea, breathe deeply, and slip a mask over my eyes. I've turned my bedroom into a sleep zone. I adore my bed—I really cannot tell you.
I lay, as if on a cloud, in the darkness and quiet... and I see everything I need to do in the space between my ears. Stop thinking, think of nothing, think about that later, you can reply to that email later, you can brainstorm for that project later, shh brain, shhhhhhh, just sleep now.
I lay in bed for hours and stare at the ceiling.
People are concerned.
I say, "I'm fine."
Then I'm told in no uncertain terms that things aren't fine.
On the drive home I almost rear-ended the same car three times.
I fell asleep in my driveway. I fell asleep on a pile of warm laundry like a five year-old. I fell asleep at the dining room table trying to finish up a project. Then, in bed, when it's finally the right time... I lie awake and take inventory.
I suppose professionally speaking we're not supposed to expose our flaws so vividly or complain about things like this so candidly.
I am just so absolutely sick of holding everything together with bits of twine. I want everything to be more than passing. I want things to be excellent. I want my schedule to work. I want my sleep to work. I want people to think I'm the most impressively put together and effortlessly charming person they know. I want my dog. I want my mom. I want to eat more than 900 calories a day.
I am not a mess. I am not forgetful. I do not miss details and I do perfect work.
But this version of me drinks nyquil to sleep and diet coke to stay awake. This version of me has stomach ulcers and migraines and can't read without squinting or drive at night without leaning forward. This version of me is falling apart. She is unsustainable and heading into a nosedive.
And I know what the solution is—I think we all do—but the part of me that refuses to fail is going to make this work.