My Addiction

As I wrote my last post I wondered what other people do to help them sleep at night.  For so long, since Kevin died actually (11 months ago), I have been on sleeping pills.  Having a hot toddy and nodding off to sleep naturally (sort of) was kind of refreshing, not to have to take something chemical to make my mind clear when I go to bed.

I  figure there are a few obvious ways to get ready to head off into slumber. For me, it doesn’t matter what I’ve tried, I find sleep elusive at the end of the day.  Consequently I have been using sleeping pills literally since the beginning of April 2015, when I saw the doctor and she basically told me I looked awful.  I hadn’t slept more than three or four hours a night, and prefaced my sleep with a good long bout of crying.  In my defense, it does take a toll – the grief and the lack of sleep, so yes, I looked terrible.  I still have dark circles under my eyes, I honestly think they are permanent now.

Enter the sleeping pill, take one and half an hour later I was asleep. Trying to get off of them is not easy.  I have tried.  I substituted a nice hot bath, followed by some meditation, some relaxing music – didn’t work.  Tried using the Tibetan singing bowls to calm and relax me, it did while I was in that state of mind, but when my head hit the pillow the thoughts came back, the sadness.  I tried working out before I went to bed, exercising to get to the point of exhaustion.  I was exhausted, sure, but my mind still whirled.  It always comes back to the sleeping pills.  I love them, and I hate them.

Kevin would always say that sleep was overrated; the bags under his eyes were a testimony to the fact that he didn’t sleep very much.  Me, I always needed my sleep, and I still do.  I just don’t like the fact that I have to use a chemical inducement to enter into sleep.  It can’t be good for the body.  I suspect that having a shot of alcohol right before bed isn’t the answer either.

Fact is, for most things there are no answers, there’s just what works.  For me, for you, for her, for him.  Whatever works – within reason of course – and in moderation – of course. This is where I miss Kevin most, he’d toss reason out the window and believed ‘excess is best’, do it until you don’t want to do it anymore. For someone like me it was like living on the edge.  Now that he’s gone I am firmly grounded in the middle.

A Tot and Tea

So yes, I added a hot toddy into my daily routine, for the time being.  Just before bedtime, I boil the kettle, figure out what type of herbal tea I feel like dressing up with a shot of bourbon, lemon and honey, and then settle down with my lovely little nighttime cocktail.  My daughter suggested this, what a smart child I raised.  I think she suggested it as a temporary measure to battle the head cold, but I am considering adding it permanently.  It’s a rather nice way to end the day.  Sure beats taking a sleeping pill.

Living on my own I realize that I have become rather lazy in certain aspects. Meals fall in this area.  When Kevin was alive every meal was planned out, both while he was healthy and especially after he became ill.  Meal planning became even more important when he was diagnosed with cancer.  He had to keep his protein intake up and, when he was in chemotherapy, he really didn’t feel like eating.  His deal with me was that when he ate, and what he ate, I would have to eat too.  The thing was, some of the stuff, especially the asparagus soup episode, I really didn’t like.  A deal is a deal though.  I suffered through it as did he.  It made for a lot of meal preparation, planning, eating and clean-up.  Now that he’s gone I find that I just don’t feel like cooking, or planning or preparing for my meals.  I still have an appetite; just have gotten a little lazy.  Enter the cruise – wow, food galore, all hours of the day, all made by somebody else – perfect!

But now I am back to reality – five pounds heavier, and with a renewed appetite.  What a shock when I opened the refrigerator and saw how empty it was.  More of a shock when I saw that what was on the shelves was pretty much all bottles and jars long past their expiration dates.  Time to get interested in things again.  Time to pick up and put some effort into meal planning, prepping and cooking.  My intentions are good, but then this is a good day.  They come and they go.  I’m still riding the roller coaster.