Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Things change everyday.  Little moments here and there.  So small that we don't even notice them.

But then there are the big changes.  Those momentous decisions that actually change who you are.  It's hard.  It's scary.  But you step forward, hope for the best, and move forward.

Going forward is hard.  At first you just go through the motions as you determine if the decision you made was right.  And then those changes come to life.  You begin to see a difference in yourself.  You begin to feel stronger.  You begin to believe in yourself again.  You begin to believe that things are going to be ok.

But there are casualties.  There are those who can't or won't move forward with you.  It's unfair, in their eyes, that you changed the game.  You are no longer the same person you were.  You now have different expectations and different boundaries.  And while you know the changes are for the best, these people try to hold you back.

And so, there becomes a point in time where you have to become selfish.  You don't want to hurt others, but being held back hurts you.  You keep communicating.  You keep trying to help them understand.  You give them time.  But you have to be true to yourself. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Over a year.  That's how long it had been since I had been able to get a full night's sleep.  Oh, sure, there was the occasional night, but no more than four straight hours on a regular basis. 

I had tried everything. Exercise, but not too close to bedtime.  Cut back on caffeine.  Remove electronics from the bedroom.  Hot baths, warm herbal tea, cooler temps.  Prep the sleep space.  Use the bedroom only for sleeping. Nap.  Don't nap. Herbal supplement.  Over the counter sleep aids.  Massage therapy.  Breathing exercises.  Oh, the list was endless and nothing seemed to help. 

Others would complain about their lack of sleep.  But their moments were few and far between.  How could something as simple as sleep elude me on a consistent basis?  Why could others sleep and I couldn't ?  What was I doing wrong?  More importantly, what was wrong with me?

The problem--my mind.  I couldn't turn it off.  Every concern for my students, every worry about finances, every moment I could possibly second guess would come forward.  They become voices in my head that would not be ignored.  They made going to sleep a two hour process and loved to wake me up after only a few hours of sleep.  The four hour night had become a luxury.

So I tried for over a year to find a way to silence these voices.  But they were strong.  Before starting another sleep deprived school year, I went to my doctor.  She listened.  She understood.  She started me on a low dose medication.  She gave me hope. 

My doctor and I are still working together, but what a ride I am on!  I now sleep, but experience anxiety dreams where my conscious mind actually tries to tell me the things my subconscious are showing me are not real.  There have been morning where I wake up only to find that I have actually acted out parts of my dreams and moved items in my sleep.  But, at least I'm sleeping on a semi-regular basis.

And I haven't taken for granted how lucky I am.  I get to live in a time where it is ok to admit I need help.  No one is going to judge me.  No one is going to look down upon me.  If anything, most people have commended me for seeking help.  Their only question has been why I didn't do it sooner. I can't help but wonder the same thing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to wind down and get ready to get some sleep.