Today is brighter than yesterday. Tomorrow promises even more light. Sleep is an incredibly underrated but extremely vital component of maintaining mental health. Sure, you may think you can get by on less sleep, or by switching up your sleeping schedule, but lack of regular sleep can have an immediate and negative impact on you, especially if you are dealing with a mental illness or depression.
Lack of sleep caused by the Gardening Beauty’s recent shoulder injury and the difficulty she sometimes has in shutting down her mind at night has helped deepen this latest low. She had a couple appointments today and now has some medication and some strategies to get her sleeping on a regular sleep pattern, like getting out of bed at 8am regardless of when she went to sleep, in order to recondition her body’s inner clock. Right now she is sleeping, and that is a small triumph, since she has been unable to get to sleep before 2 or 3 am for the last two weeks, and often has not been able to get to sleep until 5 am, if at all.
My only worry is that she will dream. Dreams for her tend to be vivid and extremely emotional. She also has some recurring dreams. The mind is so very complex and the dreams that are stitched together by our subconscious are most often riddles and quilts and montages. Not having an explanation for these enigmatic movies in our minds, we struggle to find meaning in them. Are they signposts or visions? Are they of the future or the past? I currently believe there is little meaning in dreams other than how they give us insight into the almost infinite complexity of human thought and the amazing capacity of the brain. But, I know that is not a widely held belief. My simple desire is that she experiences some deep REM sleep and that the dreams do not occur as frequently as they have.
Sometimes I struggle to keep positive. ON those days when it seems like she always puts a negative spin on everything, it can get tiring. She blames herself. It is one of the things that keeps many people who experience depression from socializing; they want desperately to be around friends, but they don’t want to bring everyone else down. Add in anxiety, and you have a toxic soup of doubt and guilt. It requires patience on those who care most about her. But, it’s ok to have days when you just can’t deal – we all get to be human. Just keep understanding that if she could escape from these negative feelings, she would.
I am hopeful. She is still struggling, but I see this as a major step forward. Next up is to get some exercise. We need to walk, and the weather is turning cool. My favorite time of year! One day, one step, one more beam of hope.