Archives for posts with tag: 3:00 a.m.

I woke at 2:46 am. I didn’t plan on making that a thing, but an hour later of quiet rest without returning to sleep makes the decision; I am awake. I woke wary and vigilant, and inclined toward anxiety. No point taking that personally, I remind myself, and shift gears. Yoga. Meditation. A cup of coffee. Morning.

Sitting at the table, sipping my coffee, I relax – and begin to feel sleepy. I could try to take advantage of it…but it’s already after 4 am and basically my usual waking time (although the alarm is set for 5), it isn’t likely I’d actually sleep, and if I did, the short nap would likely result in being groggy. The excuse-making is enough to assure me, I’m up.

The darkness before dawn.

The darkness before dawn.

The morning feels ordinary enough, although this place feels less safe than it did. I put a painting in the location the TV had occupied. I make a point to bring my work laptop home with me, and I don’t have to write using only my phone each morning. I am more acutely aware of the sounds of movement or conversation outside my apartment, and less easily able to ignore them. My experiences shape who I am – but so do my choices. I’ve been through much worse than coming home from work to find my house had been broken into. Seriously. A lot worse. …And those much worse things are behind me, I survived even those, and here I sit too early on a Friday morning, feeling just fine, and sipping my coffee. I’m okay right now. I smile. That’s kind of a big deal for a much younger version of me from a long time ago – I wish I could let her know. 🙂

I spend a few quiet minutes over my coffee. My mind wanders. I don’t stop it, and let my thoughts drift contentedly without directing them. There is so little reason to hurry the morning. There will be ample time to be purposeful later. I make a second cup of coffee.

Taking time, making room for this moment, now.

Taking time, making room for this moment, now.

Today is a good day to take the time to enjoy the moment, fully present, awake, aware; there’s no knowing how many or how few there will be.

Yesterday was a weird and difficult day that followed on the heels of a strangely drawn out night. Drama. Grief. Stress. Turmoil. Doubt. Anger. Pain. Hurt. Insecurity. Sorrow. Words. Moments.

Somewhere else, in the distance.

Somewhere near, in the distance. 3:00 a.m.

Sometime minutes after 3:00 a.m. I found myself walking (again), just trying to breathe. I’m nursing an injured knee; I didn’t care, or feel it. My arthritis is giving me major grief; I didn’t notice or attend to it. Life, in general, is quite good; I could not feel it or connect with what feels good in my experience. My PTSD was in the driver’s seat. I had been pwnd by the chaos and damage within. I walked until past 4:00 a.m.  I was up at 1:00 am, and I never slept again that night, until after dawn’s terse reminder that the day had begun in earnest, and even then the short disturbed hours of sleep I snatched from the day were dark and troubled and hardly worth the bother – certainly not ‘restful’.

I saw it coming early the evening before. That’s pretty new, but falling short of useful. I ‘fired a warning shot’ by verbally alerting my loved ones that I was at risk, but my effort was insufficient to halt the emotional freight train. In the moment, everyone having their own experience, each fully invested in their own needs-of-the-moment, my warning was both disregarded, and just not important to anyone but me. It was one of those “I hear you, but” moments. (Note to the reader, my own perspective built on experience, is that when someone I am in an emotional dialogue with says “I hear you, but…” they are not only not actively listening, they did not actually hear what they said they just heard, because the entirety of their focus is on what they are about to say.)

My OPD (Other People’s Drama) flared up ahead of my PTSD.  A wiser woman would have shaken her head in dismay, given hugs all around, perhaps said something wise about self-restraint, open dialogue, compassion, disappointment, and regrets – then walked the fuck away! I am not yet that wiser woman. I failed to take care of myself by making an attempt to ‘be in the moment’ to ‘be supportive’ to people who matter to me. It was a choice that resulted, for me, in a loss of emotional balance, the exhaustion of my own emotional reserves, disruption of good sleep practices, terrible nightmares, a lot of time spent soaking in powerful emotions like despair, sorrow, anger, resentment, fear… (and much, much more! Call now!)

When my symptoms did finally flare up beyond what I could manage through force of will, I was in familiar, bleak, territory. I walked. A lot. I cried. A lot. I shook quietly trying to force myself to go through the motions of simple conversations. I made notes on pieces of paper to remind myself to attend to simple tasks like brushing my hair, my teeth, showering…(I wrote the same reminders on my calendar, on my gadgets, devices, apps…but as is often the case, I avoided handling delicate devices (and power tools!) because my unsteady hands, and uncertain temperament, can be unexpectedly disabling.) Habits built over a life time to cope with the emotional wreckage. I went through the motions of every day things. Meals. Chores. Taking down holiday decor. I got through the day. Day became evening, and evening became night. I forced the shadow of myself through the motions of a mostly ordinary day hoping to avoid having the experience linger into the next and dropped into an exhausted surrendered sleep at a pretty routine time. It doesn’t always work, but I find myself more hopeful more often these days, open to successes, and less likely to count on failures.

Yesterday. Not pretty. Shall we move right along, then?

Here it is today. I woke at 6:00 a.m. drenched in sweat, but just hormones, not nightmares, and I felt rested and calm. When I realized I was awake, anxiety began to surge with memories of yesterday. Then I remembered; that was yesterday. Today is an entirely new experience. The feeling of relief that washed over me was motivation to rise and do my morning yoga sequence, and the stiffness and pain in my back eased as I moved through the poses. Each breath brought me closer to a real smile.  The anxiety receded. The new day begins.

I spent unmeasured time meditating after my yoga, before my coffee, and on the tail end of that I took a moment to focus my awareness on my loves, each as individuals, the beings they are rather than who I would like them to be.  I took a  moment to appreciate their best qualities, to feel fondness and gratitude for the joys we share, to feel compassion for their struggles with their own unique challenges as beings, as well as those challenges we share as humans and as lovers, a few moments to breath, to love, to recognize and be whole and well with myself as an individual being on my own terms.

Will today ‘be different’? How can it not? It’s a different day. Still, there are choices to be made – and some of them are mine, even when the struggle of the moment isn’t. Understanding there are choices to be made is a good step. Making better choices in the moment is an entirely other challenge of its own and one I expect to work on as a lifelong endeavor.

So…here it is a new day, and I’m starting it with a good night’s sleep behind me, a great coffee on the side table, a smile, and a few choice words. A nice start. I hope to make good choices today, that meet my needs over time. Today, I will spend the day building. Today, I will change the world.