I mess around with insomnia most nights. Silent. Watching the port lights shine white on the water. Our relationship is bruised and ugly but I don’t quit it because I like the stillness.I like being so exhausted that sleep comes in minutes instead of hours. I trade my mornings for moments and stay, gripping tight to the day until it begs to be let go.
I mean, I still love my backwards mornings. I can appreciate them as the last thing in my day instead of the first.
My 2ams, 3ams, 4ams – I can’t count them on my fingers anymore. The ones where I have tripped in the door, still laughing. My clothes cold to the touch, makeup smudged but my smile bright. Disoriented, brushing my teeth and stripping straight down to sleep.
My 5ams, my 6ams, my 7ams. The soft blue mornings watching the cars flow over bridge and the fog settle gently on the water. And the mornings I have walked home with the rising sun. Shoes in hand as my music carried me through the still, apricot streets and up the hill to bed.
But I still miss seeing the mornings from the other side.
I want back the golden sunrises where light gently smooths out your room. I love the way that brushes your hair back from your face in a caress and smiles warm as you drink your tea. Even the mornings that begin with an alarm, there is something good in the way you roll out of bed and into a two toast kind of day. A kind of tired but still dressed and fresh kind of day. It gives you time to breathe.
Nobody tells you that mornings can be hard when you are grieving or you are sad or when your mental health has lapsed again. I didn’t know that a lack of sleep was a warning sign I should have looked for until 2ams had already etched themselves permanently into my routine.
So I will tell you now the thing that I wished I had known: That when your days are a battle, the morning will always signify an inevitable loss. All the hours of work you gave to rebuild, reorganise, forget will fall away. The good fight you wage cannot support itself while you are asleep. Because when you’re asleep you forget and when you wake up you remember – but when you try to avoid it you’ll be creating a habit that will stick unless you stop it.
I am trying so hard to unlearn years of bad decisions and wayward patterns. To stop reaching for my phone, or a book or another burst of energy – to just let myself rest. To say goodnight and then to say good morning.
I want to greet my mornings rested and peaceful, I want to want them again.
So don’t let it get you. When things are rough force yourself into a routine Go. To. Bed. Let the softness of a new day soothe you and bring you forward, and let yesterday go easy.
You’ll thank yourself in the end.
Part II of this post (the process) will be here next week – but here is some background on why I sleep, or don’t sleep, the way that I do. xo