Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Night Terrors, Sleep Walking, Hormone Imbalance and Changing Your Life

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I've started to get night terrors again.

In the past, I've always had someone next to me to grab me by the shoulders, calm me down and soothe me back to sleep. Now, I have no one. It was my very first experience of dealing with it alone. On Monday night I fell asleep early, around 8pm. I curled into bed with my hot water bottle by my feet and was grateful that a hard day was coming to an end. I'd resigned from my job... tears had been shed. I'd made the big decision to leave Cape Town where I had tried so hard to build a life for myself. A huge part of me felt (feels) like a failure. So needless to say, I was exhausted, falling into a quick, dreamless slumber. Then, suddenly, I shot up in bed... heart hammering out of my chest, gasping for breath. I was literally terrified. Even today, I can't quite figure out what I was doing but I think I thought there was something in the bed with me. I started throwing the blankets around, looking for 'something.' When I couldn't find it I chucked the bedding completely off the bed, ran across the flat to the lights, near blinded myself as I smacked the switch and charged back to my bed where I continued to search for whatever it was I was searching for. Then I saw my hot water bottle and I think that's the moment I really woke up - even though I remember the entire freak out, I was asleep. It was a bit like sleep walking, I suppose. I stared dumbly at the water bottle and asked myself, 'What are you looking for, Jade?' and I couldn't answer the question. Perturbed and confused I slowed my breathing, checked the time (11pm) before meandering across my flat. I let the room fall into darkness again, feeling my way around the coffee table and set-up tripod, allowing myself to sink back into my minimalist mattress on the floor and float back off to sleep.

I've realized my night terrors only ever resurface when there is an overwhelming amount of turmoil in my life. Even when I sleep, my mind cannot shut down and ease the panic. A clear sign that things in my life need to change... and change, they are.

The last week or two have been a whirlwind: 
From finally being comfortable being single and alone (actually rather enjoying it, too!). 
To hearing my ex tell me he's miserable without me and wanting to try again. 
To me (silly, silly me) agreeing to give it another shot. 
To experiencing severe symptoms of a hormone imbalance (fatigue, depression, acne, mood swings / irritability, night sweats and poor sleep patterns, weight gain, anxiety) due to negligence with my contraceptive pill which inevitably turned me not only into a walking pimple but also a complete psychotic wreck that completely mucked things up with aforementioned ex who has now turned into the ex.... again. To me having an absolute breakdown and running home to my family in Knysna for a few days where I re-cooperated. 
To breaking down again when I had to come back to Cape Town and face reality. 
To returning to work where I sat my boss down and announced my resignation. 
To breaking down AGAIN because although I am lonely and unhappy in Cape Town, my job (and my flat) are the two things I really love about it here. 
To realizing that gone are the days of flower deliveries for me when a man rang the bell at work clutching a bouquet of Proteas meant for someone else. 
To finally seeing that right now, for me, it is best to be alone as scary as that is... because I need to mend a very broken heart right now. So no more boys. None. Not one. For as long as it takes. I won't become a bitter crazy cat lady, cynical of love and stinking of stale wine... my heart IS open. It's the one amazing thing I have discovered about myself recently. I am ready to fall in love, to trust and to be happy... I wasn't before. Before, I was still too scared. Now, my heart truly is open.
This leads me to the final TO in this paragraph......... 
To deciding to take a year off work now that I have absolutely nothing to lose and nothing to stay for.   

It is time to regather myself. Pick up the pieces of my battered heart, dust off my passport and collect some more stamps for its pages.

Image may contain: 1 person, close-upIt is also time to fill the pages of my latest novel. So in this year off I am flying to Bali once I figure out the best way to deal with the visa situation... and I am going to write the first draft of my new book. By the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019, I will be sending my thriller novel to agents for consideration and I believe something good is going to come from all of this. I believe in my writing. I believe in this leap of faith. I have to, because if I don't, I'm going into things with the wrong mindset. I don't want to think things like, 'what if by the end of this year of writing a book it doesn't get picked up by an agent!?' I want to believe that it will. I have faith in it. And you know what?? I may not be making money in this year of not working while I focus on my writing and healing my heart / soul, but I am making the TIME to do something I truly want to do while I have the opportunity and the means to do it. So I am proud of myself. I am ready. 

Otherwise, I just had to purchase a new inhaler as my chest has been getting tighter and tighter with all of this building anxiety. It's funny, but as dramatic as it sounds, this heartbreak is making it hard to breathe... to be. So one day my hope is that breathing will be effortless again. One day, I will be OK.

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2 comments:

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Jade