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Mental Health Track 048

Ugh. Morning? What’s that for? Feels vindictive. This morning I have mostly grumbling to do. This has been a crappy week for sleep (my sole focus!), and I haven’t managed to fall asleep before 3am yet. It’s very annoying. I have proceeded further with my book however, which I totally could not have done at any other more useful and more awake time. I only have a couple of chapters left, which puts me in the intolerably mild predicament of deciding whether or not to pack an actual paperback book for being away from home tonight, rather than just my Kindle. The very idea that I might be stuck with only one book while having just a sliver of free reading time tonight. Of course, that’s me still assuming (bless) that I’ll be able to fall asleep at the time I want and not spend my early hours in the Hilton Metropole reading instead… I almost admire myself for that sort of mindless optimism. Maybe it’s a personality trait; I don’t think I’d know any more.

I did also dip into The Transformers Vault which is a lovely history and treasury of Transformers toys and ephemera. Despite loving a whole assortment of things and franchises from my childhood, I’m not sure that it’s usually nostalgia that I’m wallowing in. I’ve enjoyed most of the Star Wars films (we’ll not discuss the prequels, ruined my childhood etc) and now that it’s all current again it doesn’t feel like I’m longing for the old stuff any more. Similarly, despite the fuckawful Bayverse of Transformers films, the comics – which have always felt like the core of my Transformers experience, not films or cartoons, or even really toys – have been incredible this side of the millennium. That said, spotting the exact pair of Ultra Magnus slippers I had as a kid in this book was extraordinary. I have not thought of those for I don’t know how many years, but I can feel their mass-produced toy tie-in foamy softness around my toes right now.

I do find that I am dwelling on the past and on the litany of mistakes that make up a human life, in this case mine, more than I feel like I usually do. Partly that is because I’m scoring an extra four to six hours a day to fret about such things. Hurray… Or maybe it’s the other way around. Since the middle of last week I’ve been feeling that familiar tug of anxiety at bedtime. I wonder if other people feel it the same way. To me it’s as if there’s a little hook inside me, about two inches above my belly button, and it’s being gently tugged inwards. The physical manifestation of such sensations is so strange. But it is definitely a feeling that I associate with free-floating anxiety – I’m not thinking about anything in particular when I climb into bed, but that hook is there just waiting to latch on to anything, doubts, fears, full-blown existential dread; whatever. And since I’m not someone who just conks out, there’s space for that hook to drift about lazily, making its presence felt without necessarily having caught anything. I suppose that is what the amitriptyline did well. In addition to making me extra sleepy if I had a couple of drinks to wash it down, it either skipped me fast through that falling asleep phase, or pushed that hook back down inside where it could do no harm. Anxiety these days is almost only a thing that comes upon me at night time, when I’m quiet and vulnerable. The rest of the day I’m able to exercise my powers of being more rational and finding other stuff to do, ideally things I can practically fret about.

All of this is to say that I continue to have doubts about the direction I’m travelling in. What I am comparing my sleeping states to is my experience on amitriptyline, which puts me to sleep (and keeps me asleep) three or four nights out of five, and even if it fails me, I’m almost never kept awake all night. Being off amitriptyline is not currently measuring up well against that. So this is a threat, body and mind: get it together, or we’re going back on the drugs. I’m concerned about this enough that I’ve even ordered a repeat prescription (my doctor wisely left it available in case all went tits up) because I don’t have a back up supply if I really, really need to get a full night’s sleep. Last night would have been ideal really, since I’ll be spending the day with colleagues doing work. While I can grind through an unslept day on my own, others require time and attention. But I’m also noticing that I’m becoming detached, partly from simply not being fully awake and conscious, but also perhaps from this current degree of self-focus. I’m distracting myself from myself? Yeah, possibly. Ridiculous puff-paste worm meat creatures that we are. Reminds me of one of my favourite bleak quotes from a favourite bleak as fuck play, The Duchess of Malfi:

“What’s this flesh? A little crudded milk
Fantastical puff-paste. Our bodies are weaker than those
Paper prisons boys use to keep flies in; more contemptible,
Since our is to preserve earth-worms.”

Ah, Mr Webster. Perhaps my love of the grim and dark comes from you.

Mental Health Track

A purposeful daily attempt to track how I feel and what I’m doing.

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