Sleep when you’re dead

This light at this time of year triggers my insomnia. The sudden shortening of the days doesn’t make me sleep longer and later, but instead it spirals me into a manic sleepless mess that no amount of sleeping pills can touch. Toss in a poorly timed cup of coffee and you have a recipe for a completely sleepless night.

Somewhere around 5 a.m., I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to sleep. I was keyed up and wanted was to run, but it was too dark to go to the park. I’m afraid of being alone in the park by myself when it’s dark because I might run into coyotes, rapists, or poison ivy. So I looked up the time of the sunrise (7:21 a.m.), grabbed some rice crackers and hummus to snack on, and listened to the newest episode of Radiolab while I waited for the sky to get light.

I started running again recently. I tried to run when I was going through chemo, but I had a hard time catching my breath (a side effect of the drugs and low red blood cells). At the time, I chalked it up to being out of shape. Denial is a powerful thing. But when I began to run a couple of weeks ago, all those problems had disappeared.

There’s something amazing about returning to strength after an illness or injury. I have an ambivalent relationship with my body most of the time. It’s hard to be happy with something that has so often let me down. But right now — when it’s doing something right — I feel warmly towards it, if not completely enamored.

On a side note, you should watch this video by Yuula (but not if you’re at work because there is much nakedness). I love the water. Whenever I’m happiest or most upset, I want to be in the water. When I was a kid, I would turn somersaults over and over in the lake until I lost all sense of direction. The water would break the light into little pieces I could almost grab and blur the outline of my body so I couldn’t tell where I ended and the rest of the world began.


About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
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One Response to Sleep when you’re dead

  1. andrea says:

    Thanks so much for the introduction of Adam & the Amethysts to my world! How did I survive all these years without them in my life? Great video!

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