Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quaking in my pyjamas

I haven't been sleeping well recently. I put this down to Lent -- I decided to give up drinking at home. I've since modified this to giving up drinking at home unless we've got company, which isn't really on a par with fasting in the wild, but it's still sufficiently ascetic to make me feel pleased with myself. Oh hang on, it's not about that is it? Arse.

Anyway, a side-effect is sporadic insomnia. My anticipatory anxiety remains undulled, no matter how much camomile tea I drink, and all the things that might go wrong with my world creep around my head, releasing occasional squirts of adrenaline which send me downstairs to check the doors, self-censor blog entries, make sure I'm not overdrawn. If I have a plumbing job the next day, my imagination floods houses and falls out of lofts. Which is all very tiring.

On Monday night I took half a Temazepam from my secret stash. This is left over from the Dark Days, when I would drink enough to get to sleep but *still* wake up in the night full of rage and helplessness. Anticipating the inconsistent was pointless, but that never stopped me trying. But Temazepam is wonderful. You go to sleep without a care in the world, and, even better, you wake up in a benign universe. I guess some people feel like this all the time. They are probably morning people.

I don't do this very often though, as a benzodiazepine habit is the last thing I need. And engaging with one's anxiety is an important way of managing it. So I went to bed last night clean and serene, read a few pages of the new Screwfix catalogue. I turned the light off and lay there for a while thinking of power tools and listening to the darkness, and finally began to drift off.

And then the mirror leaning up against the chimney breast started banging. It felt like the roof rippled. I sat bolt upright, and M woke up with a start. What was that?

I think it was someone running across the roof, I said. Or an earthquake.

He went back to sleep, in the 'nothing we can do about it now' sort of way that he has. I lay there for another half an hour, waiting to be burgled or for the house to fall down around me.

I thought the former was more likely, but it turned out to be the latter. I've never felt an earthquake before. Now I've got something else to keep me awake at night. Maybe I'll go to the pub tonight.




Anonymous Mister Wibble said...

Me too. I awoke this morning to hear J shouting "It's a ghost"!. Such hysteria on London radio this morning regarding last night's quake. I have images of the carnage over at Mr Wibble.

1:42 pm  
Blogger Sabita Banerji said...

Hey Joella, I'm writing a book for insomniacs - a collection of writings, poetry, ideas, jokes, blank pages to get insomniacs through the night... can I borrow this eloquent and evocative post for inclusion in the book?

10:49 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

Yes of course! I might slightly rephrase the reference to the T if it's going into print, mind... catch you later x

9:47 am  
Blogger Tim said...

Bananas before bedtime and a glass of milk.
That's to help you sleep, not keep burglars off the roof.

I slept through it and feel cheated.

10:28 pm  

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