Tag Archives: insomnia

The thoughts that wake me at 3am

7 Sep

I’m awake in the middle of the night.

Someone in my building is having a party. The music is loud and obnoxious.

I was dreaming about a presentation I have to give at work on Monday. Not some crazy dreamworld presentation where you imagine you are presenting in your PJs to the cast of Friends about some random topic like the use of broccoli as a pizza topping. No, no. Just plain boring real-world stuff. About branding. Even at the weekend, my brain fills itself with work.

Because what else is there?

Going into hospital for a day next week to get my cervix checked out following a weird smear test?

Which yoga class to go to tomorrow?

How I’m ever going to clear enough stuff from my flat to get a new carpet fitted?

Why a certain friend ignores me these days?

Or the thought that reverberates. And only intensifies after a look on Tinder or eHarmony.

I am never going to meet somebody.

Ugly aggression

27 Feb

I think I have a few issues with displaced anger.

I’m so mad at my ex. So mad. Mad at him for treating me like crap. Mad at him for saying he loved me when he didn’t, and saying he wanted to marry me when he didn’t, and hassling me to move in with him. Grrrrrrr. Mad at him for not loving me.

I’m also mad as a March hare about some sh** that went down with him. Like when he got paint on his stupid shoes and trampled it into my carpet. And the time I made him breakfast, then went to the supermarket to get food for him staying that week, and when I got back he was still on the sofa in his underwear and hadn’t even put our plates in the sink, let alone the dishwasher.


Problem is, I have no outlet for this anger.

Except Irish Two.

Irish Two is a curious cat. He’s pretty much not affectionate. But he’s not a bad person. No, no.

Last night he stayed at mine. I had seen my therapist after work so a few issues were fresh in my head.

As a result, I slept very aggressively.

I’m ashamed to say that I kicked him in his sleep. I pushed his head off my pillow. I shouted at him to stop snoring and stop moving around.

I apologised this morning. I truly felt terrible about it.

And even angrier at my ex for turning me into this cold-hearted person who attacks others in my sleep.

What a bitch.

Three months since the break up

3 Nov

Three months, my friends. It is totes offish three months since the pizza of doom. Whenever I think of that night, it gets hard to breathe.  I feel so embarrassed for myself. So humiliated. So desperately sad for the girl cleaning her flat, shaving her legs, and getting cocktails ready for her boyfriend coming back from working abroad.

I’m also pissed off that I paid for the pizza.

My friend Kate came and stayed with me that night. I didn’t sleep at all. I stayed up emailing people to tell them what had happened. Goodness knows why, but it made me feel better somehow. I was desperate for anyone to respond. Then I counted down the hours until it was acceptable to phone my parents (luckily they wake up around 6am so I didn’t have to wait too long).

I was crying so hard on the phone I could hardly get my words out. And then I felt guilty about worrying them. And worse for feeling guilty. I booked a flight to Scotland. I walked around the park with Kate, then got a taxi to the airport. The whole day is a blur, but I remember the taxi driver singing along to reggae music.  And I remember downing two vodkas on the plane.

Everything tells me that this was probably the worst day of my life. But, honestly, I can’t remember that much of it.

I would never have expected to still feel this bad three months later. Yesterday my entire day revolved around getting my nails done. I cried all morning and all evening, and went to bed rereading ‘It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken’ for the seventh time.

I was starting to worry about all this crying. It’s like being trapped. Forced to replay the same memories over and over and over and over. And I don’t know how I’m ever going to get over him or when I’m going to get a break from all these memories.

So I turned to Google for answers, and stumbled upon a forum of people discussing the ‘3 – 4 month post breakup’ stage. What I’m going through is not unusual at all.

Once the shock wears off, you have to face the reality that this is what life has in store for you. Every day the hope you had left that things will work out diminishes. And, however amazing your friends are, as time goes on you are less entitled to be injured.

Life goes on. Whether I’m ready or not.

I’m also realizing that I’ll never be exactly the same person again. Which is annoying because, before I met him, I was a really happy, independent, ambitious girl. I’ve started to question things. Not just whether I’m smart enough or pretty enough or at all lovable, but also the things that I believe in.

I’m not sure anymore whether I believe in marriage or lifetime love. I’m not sure I want to get married and have kids, even though it’s everything I’ve ever wanted. I can’t eat pizza anymore. Or listen to The Civil Wars. And New York is forever ruined for me.

They say a break up causes you to grieve. Genuinely grieve.

I think grief travels a wiggly line. It sets off in one direction, and twists and turns and goes back on itself. Kind of like a scribble, really. And eventually, yes – eventually – it ends up near the point of departure. ‘Near’ because you’ll never be exactly the same again.

But I’m going to get as close as I can. I don’t care how long it takes.


30 Oct

I don’t sleep much these days, or nights.

I stay up late trying to tire myself out, and then I wake up early thinking about him.

I go to work. Doing a new job is incredibly tiring. You constantly have to be “on”.

In the evenings I try to stay busy with friends, or the gym, or I’m at my counsellor, or I walk home to distract me from things, or I just sit and cry.

On the weekends I get up and go out so I’m not rattling around my flat on my own. I try to stay out most of the day. I tend to have work to catch up on as well. And, of course, a lot of the time I just sit and cry.

I caught my reflection in the mirror earlier. The dark circles under my eyes are like deep caverns. My skin is blotchy. My lips are chapped.

Frankly, I look like crap. And I feel like crap.

I’d like to go to sleep and wake up in 2015.

I’d like to wake up with no anxiety, no echoes of , “I was never in love with you” , no pain, and no memory of him.

What is there to say?

27 Oct

I’m feeling really low. I’m struggling to sleep without my sleeping pills again. I’m even low on inspiration for my blog.

What is there to say?

It’s been 12 weeks.

I still cry nearly every day.

Sometimes I hate him.

Sometimes I hate myself.

I’m so busy trying to distract myself that I’m exhausted.

I’ve seen two therapists.

Two doctors.

Three psychics.

Lost count of the massage therapists.

Nothing really makes me happy anymore.

I’m not even looking forward to Christmas.

I’m angry at myself for sounding so miserable and self-centered.

And I still love him.

Apparently there’s a huge storm about to sweep across the country. I hope it blows the past away.

Well, this is unexpected

24 Oct

I went to bed really early tonight. I’ve been so tired all week, I was ready to get some major zzzzzzzzzzzs.

But I couldn’t sleep.

So I watched Netflix.

Still couldn’t sleep.

So I read some blogs.

Still couldn’t sleep.

So I lay very still and tried to lull myself into sleep.

Somehow, instead, I lulled myself into thinking about him. And now I can’t stop crying. The kind of hot, messy, gulpy crying I was doing 11 weeks ago. The crying that hurts your heart and feels like it will never stop.

Please, stop.

So long, September

30 Sep

Another month over in just a few hours. And I’m ready for it. I love the autumn. I like coming home from work and lighting candles and putting on warm pyjamas and watching TV without feeling guilty (when it’s light and sunny outside I always feel I should be out enjoying the light and the sunniness).

Ok, so this autumn I was supposed to be moving in with him, and instead I’ve lost my boyfriend and my best friend and all those plans. But I am not a total loser. No, no. Because I’m gaining knowledge all the time.

Here is what I learned in September:

1. I’m stronger than I think
I am still of the opinion that my new job is somewhat of a disaster. But, let’s review the details. The day after the ex and I spoke on the phone, whilst still completely heartbroken, with no sleep, I started my new job. New company. New clients. New people. Big step up. No coffee machine. And I have managed to get up and go to work every day and pretend that I know what I’m doing. I have also now introduced a French press for team morning coffee. It’s not how I wanted it to be. I’m not how I wanted to be. But I’m doing it anyway. And for that reason alone, I think I’m doing OK.

2. Know when to ask for help
Week one of the new job (post telephone conversation with the ex), I really sank. I hardly slept at all. And everything got very, very dark. Honestly, I have never felt so distressed, and the hardest thing was telling my friends. The guilt of it. Ugh. People go through much worse than this. How dare I feel so terrible. Well, I did tell people. And people were incredibly supportive. Now I’m seeing a tremendous counsellor and slowly but surely a little colour is coming back.

3. If you’re still crying, it’s too soon
At one point I decided the answer was to date. I joined a dating site. I got upset that every man on there was boring/ugly/unsuccessful/not my ex. As a blogger buddy pointed out, when you’re still crying every day, it is not the time to go looking for someone else.

4. Dear God, limit the sleeping pills
A very generous doctor prescribed me some very lovely sleeping pills. At the time, they were such a gift. I was so relieved. My poor body and brain were craving rest. Badly. Turns out, these particular sleeping pills should be prescribed five-at-a-time. My doctor prescribed 28 of the bad boys. After a week of them, I had a permanent hangover. I’ve weaned myself off them with hypnosis apps and chamomile tea. I don’t sleep every night, but I feel more like me. I like me.

So tomorrow is October. Not the October I was expecting, but who knows what’s to come?

And October 1st is my Mum’s birthday. Happy Birthday to my lovely Mum. Of course, she doesn’t read my blog. She doesn’t even know I write one.

I’m pretty sure she would be horrified.


29 Sep

I don’t have much to say tonight, except that I long for a restful night’s sleep.

I’ve managed to ditch my sleeping pill habit, and I’m getting through the night without hours and hours spent awake and horribly anxious. I still always wake between three and four, but I’ve got a knack for getting back to sleep through the power of a hypnosis app on my iPhone.

The only remaining problem is the nightmares.

Last week I had a horrific nightmare where I was watching Beyoncé ice skate across a pond that I knew wasn’t frozen. I didn’t stop her. She fell through. Other nights I find myself involved in gang warfare, and often dealing with weapons or complicated organised crime deals. It’s all very stressful for someone who panics about breaking the speed limit.

Anyway, last night I dreamt about my ex’s Mum. It wasn’t a nightmare as such. She was her usual lovely self. I woke at three in a panic about it because I felt so sad. Got the hypnosis app going. Fell back asleep. And dreamt about her again.

By morning I was emotionally exhausted. I really wanted to be part of his family. His Mum was ridiculously kind to me. As much as I need to move on from him, I need to move on from his parents and brother and nieces and nephew and his lovely friends. And they really need to stop visiting me in my sleep.

So, dearest brain, if I have the choice, I’ll take another nightmare about being inadvertently involved in Beyoncé’s death over a happy dream about any of his family members. Deal?

I’m exhausted

25 Sep

I saw my new counsellor tonight. The moment I met her I liked her, and felt totally at ease with her. She complimented me on my cat socks. I think she’s going to be great for me.

We talked through the whole sorry story. I cried. As I do these days. And at one point she just looked at me, sympathetically but not in a patronising way, and said, “You’re completely exhausted.”

That set off the tears again.

I am so tired.

It’s not just the not sleeping, or the stress of the new job, or constantly trying to think of things to be happy about, or the hours lost to crying. It’s not flying up to Scotland to lie in bed for a week, then back to London, then Scotland for a hen party, then London, then France for a ‘feel better holiday’, then London, then Scotland for Sarah’s wedding, then London.

These things are tiring, yes. But my poor brain is still trying to compute what has actually happened. I’m still going over and over and over and over the same conversations, eight weeks on. Even when I sleep, I have nightmares about it. It’s no wonder I can’t concentrate on anything. My mind is absolutely frazzled.

Much as I’d like to not think about my ex for an hour, or even a half hour, I need to let my brain keep going because we need to work through this together. And sooner or later, we will make sense of it all. This brain came top in its class, got through law school, and has won awards for some pretty great creative work in its time. I trust it. I know we’ll get there.

In the meantime, we’ll keep getting up every morning and dragging ourselves to work. We’ll try to focus, and play around with decidedly mediocre creative ideas. And we’ll go over and over the same things we’ve gone over and over for the past eight weeks.

I thought the worst thing my brain would ever have to go through was my second-year commercial law exam. At least it only lasted three hours.

The thing that sticks

24 Sep

I’m trying herbal Nytol to avoid becoming completely addicted to the sleeping tablets that my doctor has prescribed in very generous quantities.

So far, the herbs ain’t doing much.

One thought is going round and round my head. Same thought that has stuck and hurt the most for seven and a half weeks.

He was “never completely in love” with me.

It undoes everything. All my memories come apart. It’s like a thread that you pull and a whole jumper unravels. Everything’s gone.

And I must be in some way deficient.

Because I was completely in love with him.