A novel way to spend your time

Once again I had challenged myself to simply spend time in my own company this weekend without leading myself to the dreaded cliff edge. This was my third attempt in three wobbly weeks so naturally I was hoping for third time lucky.

On Saturday I was as close to bright and breezy as I’m capable of being right now. Painting the smile on, getting out and about and going through the motions came quite naturally and I didn’t have to coax myself too hard to get going. I made it to the supermarket (via the Maple Road farmer’s market, where I couldn’t quite afford to buy anything, but didn’t get disheartened!), cleaned the flat, took a walk along the river and read my book. This is all good stuff, and, if I may say, is especially good for me. But it got better! I also got myself signed up for the 10,000 step challenge, ate four – yes four – square meals, took a long, hot bath and eventually headed for an early night feeling really rather pleased with myself.

And then my old friend insomnia turned up in an attempt to pull the rug from under my feet (Boo hiss). To be fair, I haven’t been sleeping terribly well since I started taking the Citalopram but on Saturday night I was chronically awake for the first time in weeks and it wasn’t long before I started getting frightened. The wee small hours can be a dangerous time for me – it’s the absence of distractions, the quietness, stillness and the dark that does for me. Above all else it’s the notion that I am completely alone and that not a soul on earth knows where I am or what I am doing…. If things are going to get really bad for me, it’ll be in the middle of the night. And if I find myself awake in the middle of the night things almost always get really bad.

Before I knew it, everything was crowding in and I started to feel defeated. I couldn’t sleep and I was in no fit state to be awake and “I couldn’t do this anymore”…. and then a revelation: I had a kettle, a good book, a cat who would be delighted to have my company over a brew and an emergency sleeping tablet that would take an hour to kick in. Low and behold* I had a plan!

An hour and a bit later I was fast asleep and full of Horlicks….. I also felt quite proud, no, I did – I felt quite proud that I had dispensed of the hopelessness, all by myself, at my most vulnerable of moments. Go me.

Today I was mostly tired and groggy! I caught up with a few work emails, pottered up to Canbury Gardens for a wander in the rain, faffed about online and ate three meals. Incidentally, I’ve managed to put a little weight on over the last few weeks, but I’m still hovering somewhere around the ‘telling off’ mark.

Over all I think this weekend has been third time almost lucky. I’m aware that eventually I’m going to have to start getting myself ‘out there’ again but for now taking care of myself (even when the chips are very down), getting things done and finding ways to relax are huge achievements for me and I’m not ready to rock the boat just yet. I’m going for third time completely lucky next week.

Do you know what though? I haven’t hated this weekend; in fact, I’ve spent this weekend feeling moslty calm, reasonably safe and fairly relaxed. What a novel way to spend your time!

*Or is it lo and behold?!

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