But I did sleep for 3 hours.
Let me tell you what happened after I wrote the last post.
I put down the anxiety book I was given and opened the app that came with it. I wanted to sleep but also needed something to relax me first. Usually I would open Headspace and listen to the familiar and kind tones of Andy, a hot former Buddhist monk. I wanted to see if this app, which was specifically for me, could help me in a different way.
The soothing Irish accent of Barry McDonagh told me to close my eyes. I panicked. Close my eyes? In this economy? My heart pounded. I tried it. Barry told me to breath and his voice made me jump, I instantly opened my eyes again. “It’s fine”, I thought, “I’ll do it with my eyes open”. He tells me to breath in deeply from my stomach, into my nose and then out from my mouth. Easy, basic, Andy tells me to breath too. But then Barry says “when you breath out, sigh” and he gives me an example of how.
The sound that proceeded to come from my phone sent my heart into a flurry of panic.
I thought of the voices from my dreams, from the panic attacks I would have as a child…of the Babadook and my hand clenched my duvet. I wanted to try his techniques and dismiss the feeling of anxiety, so I could continue. It was harder than I thought and as he breathed out while sighing again my fist clenched my duvet harder and my eyes darted around my room. I closed the app.
I opened Headspace, to try and listen to Andy, but the damage was done. I couldn’t even attempt to sleep. So, I put on a facemask and moisturised my feet while listening to podcasts. I decided to listen to an episode of This American Life. At first, the sound of a voice scared me slightly, but as podcasts tend to be, it was more performative and didn’t feel so personal. It felt less like someone was talking to me through my phone and more like someone was reading a news bulletin.
I listen to the whole episode of The Runaways, which was about teenagers who went missing from a town in Long Island, supposedly by a gang who called themselves MS 13. The main focus was on the incompetence of the police and that was really interesting to hear. The police were interviewed as well as victim’s families. I was engrossed and wide awake at this point. Still waiting for daylight so I can go for a run.
That episode ended and I started listening to Let Me Count The Ways, explaining how the Trump administration are finding ways to stop immigration - showing all the small ways it happens. I started to get tired.
I would start to fall asleep and my body would jump, waking myself up again.
That happened a few times, so I switched off my light to see if I could trick myself into sleeping. At around 6:30am I fell asleep for 3 hours.
My eyes were glued together when I woke up at 9:30, but I rubbed them open. Looking around, I felt groggy, a bit drunk and inexplicably tired. I lay onto my back and stared at my ceiling. I consider sleeping again but know I can’t. I think about going for that run but turn over in bed instead.
I have a meeting to go to now, so I’ll get up.
Maybe I’ll go for that run tomorrow.