Same Old Story
It started last night. Another attack of insomnia, hyperactivity, claustrophobia, you name it. With memories of recent marital rows over my midnight outings still fresh in my mind, I tried to keep busy indoors. But doing what?
Tried to stay in bed after he went to sleep but I was too restless. Was tossing & turning so violently that I nearly woke him. Then I broke into a cold sweat. I could feel my sheet, blanket & pillows getting damp but I was shivering cold. Teeth-chatteringly cold.
That was my cue to get up before I started hyperventilating or something. Went out onto the balcony. It was pretty cold. And I was just in my nightie. But the fresh air felt good. I felt my breathing - and my heartbeats - slow down.
Why was I so scared? Utterly irrational panic. An anxiety attack, my mother would have called it. But fear of what? I'd been in a perfectly good mood until my husband fell asleep. Not a care in the world. Couldn't put my finger on anything scary that happened or was expected to happen. And yet I was. Scared that is.
And then all of a sudden, my thoughts went to the last book I read. Colleen McCullough's 'On Off'. A thriller about a psychotic killer who preys on young girls. It has a truly horrifying ending. Couldn't get over it at the time.
But I'd read that ages ago. I must be even more unhinged than I thought I was to be still having panic attacks in the middle of the night over it. It was FICTION, for heaven's sake.
So standing there on the balcony, I silently talked & laughed myself out of the panic attack. And I went back inside, anxious by then to avoid an untimely death of hypothermia. I was FREEZING.
Prayer seemed like a good idea. After a hot shower and a change into admittedly less glamourous but warmer clothing. Layers held a lot of appeal at that moment. And socks.
And so it went. After the shower & change, I made myself a cup of hot chocolate. Then I sat on our prayer mat for so long my legs started to cramp. When I felt my mind start to wander, I knew it was time to stop. I was taught that you shouldn't pray or read Quran without full concentration.
Felt better, calmer. But no less active. Still hyper. The thought of going back to bed still held no appeal. Was glad I managed not to wake him though. He keeps saying that he can't function properly at work without at least 4 hrs of sleep. And his work days are much longer than mine.
When I looked at my watch, it was 5:00am. An hour before I had to get up for work. I spent it essentially wandering around the house aimlessly in my socks from room to room, occasionally pausing to stare out of a window or the balcony. When I heard my cellphone alarm go off in the bedroom & I heard him complaining, I started crying. Relief, I guess. The night was finally over.
Of course he took one look at my face & he knew. He said 'astagfirullah yarabi'(Allah forgive me) under his breath. Which struck me as on odd choice of prayer in the circumstances. God forgive him for what? He hadn't done anything at that precise moment. But then he held out his arms. Gratefully, I got into bed with him. The bed didn't seem so scary anymore with him awake in it.
But I could only enjoy being comforted for a few minutes because well, duty calls, no? Work is work. As always, he offered to give me something to help me sleep after work if I wanted. And as always, I could tell he wasn't happy to be offering that. So I said no, I wanted to fight it.
Tonight he stayed up with me until 2:00am. And then I took pity on him. I pretended to fall asleep so he'd go to sleep. And it worked. He was out like a light in less than 2 minutes.
And here I am. It's 2:52am.
Labels: Health Crisis