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Sleeping It Off

I'm sitting on a hotel bed, surrounded by leftover containers and coffee mugs. The continental breakfast included miso soup and kimchi along with the standard fried potatoes, gray sausage, and Froot Loops.

I got a hotel to get away for a night to write without interruption. I've been frantically trying to finish another draft of my novel, and I'm behind on freelance work and am doing a writing contest this week, as well. PLUS it's been a month since I blogged here (oops). So, much writing to be done.

Robb joined me for the first few hours- we had a new babysitter scheduled and thought we were geniuses for spending our time together in a hotel hot tub and eating carry-out food too spicy for our kids while naked on a hotel bed.

We were. It was lovely.

We'd planned to shake the walls and annoy our neighbors, but I fell asleep before we could do much wall shaking. I've been doing a lot of that sleeping thing lately. For weeks, I've been falling asleep while putting our youngest to bed or, if I actually make it out of that room, I'll crash on the couch while watching reruns of 'Archer.' I know I should just put myself to bed, sleep hygiene and all, but there's something so relaxing about watching dumb comedies at the end of a hard day. I regret it when I wake up at 3am with my contacts burning holes in my eyeballs, and every time, I promise myself I'll be better the next night.

I lie.

At first I assumed that all of this extra sleep meant that I was dying, obviously, or that I'm just old now and can't be counted on to party (stay up past 10pm) anymore. Now I'm thinking it's by body helping me recover from all the emotional stuff my mind is experiencing. I've also recently concluded that my chronic lower back and hip pain has some emotional roots, too, so, probably a vitamin or a yoga pose won't fix those, either, dammit.

Life has been hard lately...lately is a vague term, I'm not sure when the hard started or when/if it'll stop, but RECENTLY it's felt especially tough. One of our kids is going through some major struggles and it's all-consuming. We're doing what it takes to get them help and to support them through it, but it's exhausting. The sense of helplessness and failure, grief, and panic when your kid is hurting and acting out is visceral. I know we're only starting- our kids are still young- there's a decade plus of big emotional, self-esteem, academic, relationship, substance, and safety challenges ahead of them before they're considered adults. We parents need to grow some resilience to this ache, but shit, it's hard.

So, there's that weighing on my mind, and then this book I'm writing. It's poking all the bears- digging into childhood grief and trauma, and the characters are all dealing with huge emotional growing pains, so putting myself in those shoes, that fit a little too well, is also sucking all the juice out of me.

By the end of the day of living in real and fictional world of feelings, I think my mind and body just agree it's time to shut it down. So I fall asleep, despite my intentions to stay awake for hotel sex or comedy or whatever else I might like to do.

Something I've been working on in therapy this last year is trusting my body- it's telling me what I'm feeling and what I need. Another thing I'm trying to do is not judging myself for feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, sad, angry, lost...I'm trying to just feel the thing and move through it instead of adding a layer of criticism and denial on top of it.

So, I'm writing, I'm working, I'm loving on my kids and my husband (between the hours of 6am and 8pm), and I'm working on letting myself just feel what I feel and need what I need.

I'll blog more soon- I want to share how terrifying and exciting the burlesque class I'm taking has been and also I plan to review my new favorite show, 'She-Hulk.' Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, let's keep loving ourselves through the hard parts of life, k? We're worth it.

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