*Gold stars to anyone who can identify that reference.
Lately, I hate waking up.
That’s new–with my PTSD, I have always tended to avoid sleep, sometimes staying up for days on end. Being asleep felt too dangerous and vulnerable, so I fought it in attempt to feel safe. I also have multiple sleep disorders that went untreated for most of my life, which didn’t help on the sleep front.
But now, I like sleeping. My body requires a lot of it now, especially when I’m flaring. I can only be up for about four hours before I need a nap, even after a full night’s sleep. It’s inconvenient, but for the most part I’m dealing with it. And it feels so good to sleep. I have a nice, soft mattress and a fluffy down comforter that even keeps me warm. (I’m always cold, especially when I’m sick.) I even bought myself a memory foam pillow to ease the neck pain I was getting with regular pillows. Everything is soft and warm and safe, and when I drift off to sleep, I don’t have to feel anything.
But eventually you always wake up.
I wake up to pain in my belly like some angry creature is trying to claw its way out from inside. I wake to the pain in my joints like someone’s been grinding down my bones with a metal rasp. I wake to exhaustion, no matter how long I’ve slept. I wake to weakness, never sure if I’ll stand up or collapse. I wake to fear that this will never get better. I wake to fear that this will get worse. I wake to anger at the unfairness of having my life controlled by a disease I didn’t deserve, a disease that strikes people without rhyme or reason. I wake to frustration and shame at the limitations it imposes on me.
So I’d rather sleep, but I get up and try to carry on like everything’s okay. It’s just what you have to do with a chronic illness, I guess, but it’s so exhausting and isolating.