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Sleep talking...

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

There will be less typos in this in 48 hours...


I’m feeling ‘ok-ish’ which i’m happy with, it’s not always as black and white as having good days and bad days sometimes just feeling like i’m keeping my head above water is enough to catch my breath so I can think straight. Thinking straight is so underrated, there’s nothing worse then having to many thoughts to compose myself and feeling like i’m drowning. Being creative is tricky sometimes it’s a flood of ideas at once, other times it’s like a drought which is frustrating. Then throw in some neurodiverse conditions sprinkled off with traumatic life events and sleep becomes tricky. I can usually deal with tricky sleep because it’s nothing new to me, however the last few month it seamed to step it’s game up again, which has happened from time to time over the years! I’ve never really got it under control, so now perhaps from hormones, my general stress being higher or I’ve pissed off some higher being…but sleep got a little too intense. Nights became longer, dreams became even darker, which I didn’t think was even possible, but apparently it is. I’d started to become desensitised to the miscarriage dreams in a way I guess, so my brain decided to step them up and make them worse and now I dream about going in to really early labour and losing my daughter in my arms, which are the type of dreams that can really mess up your morning! Just dark, I hate my brain sometimes. However while i’m usually lying in bed over thinking these types of dreams I can feel movements from my daughter, she’s doing great despite the condition, we have some big appointments coming up so my already overactive subconscious is just in overdrive I guess! I have been talking about these types of dreams in counselling which have been helping with my anxiety. Dreams come into my sessions a lot. I have the really bad dreams, that are just that, bad dreams. Then I have dreams that are pulled from my memories, dreams that are pulled from memories feel different, because they are different, they make my body hurt. When I wake up from them it can be quite disorienting, I have to remember where I am, I’ve been working on this more and more in the battle to tackle them. I really can’t control what I dream about, but I can try and control how I ground myself and regulate my breathing again after them.

So here are some tips, because sharing is caring right!

Sensory, I will feel where I am, a hand on my bedside table usually works well. Feet, a simple wiggle of the toes, (kill bill style) and then the feel of my quilt. This all just reminds me where I am. I get moments where I feel disconnected from my body, this is also usually the first hint a panic attack is coming, so again grounding myself and bringing myself back into my surroundings help a lot. Deep, slow breaths and counting also can really help. These are getting more under control again while i’m awake, unfortunately sometimes i’ll wake up in the middle of them and I have to ride it out until I’m calm enough to remember what I need to do. They can hurt too, they hurt my chest and they make my body ache so again counting helps, counting my breaths, this also helps me focus. FOCUS, focus on ANYTHING, bringing my mind to something positive or something simple or sensory makes all the difference.

Crying… I'm not a fan of crying, but let it out, I’m great at the silent night time sob into a pillow now, pregnancy is hard anyway, but anyone who is trying to tackle a sleep problem and also trying to suppress emotions is just going to end up making it worse, because the negative feelings will find away into dreams… so cry it out if needed.

Talking and self compassion helps, honestly just talk about it. I hate to say it, I might regret saying it too, although it feels true the miscarriage was a wake up call and made me confront not only my mental health but the way I dealt with keeping everything inside and i’m dealing with EVERYTHING now, but better late than never right! This is a positive effect because of all of that. Although I wish I didn’t have to deal with that but the fact that it happened changed me for the better, I started to think about all the hurt and anger I was silently carrying around and pushing down. I was also only holding myself accountable, instead of other people, self compassion is hard. I find it difficult, but people who act like animals don’t deserve to have people smile sweetly at them just for an easy life, a fake smile sometimes hurts, I hurt myself over and over again just to please others because I felt like I was doing the right thing by not hurting them when they never gave my feelings a second thought. I had to forgive myself for allowing this, for hurting myself, forgiving yourself is a complex task, and a working progress. However eventually (I'm hoping) my mind will be a more peaceful place and this will work it's way into my sleep. So overshare if it helps, share with people you trust, share with one person, but don't keep it all in if you are struggling because lying awake at night thinking about all the things you want to talk to someone about is hard work in itself. Writing also helps, sometimes getting words out isn't easy, writing can be easier than physically saying something. (Probably why I like blogging...)

Unfortunately this can be a (sorry for the bad language) headfuck in a half awake, half asleep, sleep-paralysis type dream, because i’ll think i’m awake go through this process and i’m still sleeping then there will be “something” in the room then all of a sudden I can’t move again, or call for help, and the loop will keep continuing, luckily these are becoming less frequent, this is definitely down to the counselling. My sleep-paralysis dreams happens when I’m overwhelmed and really stressed or keeping too much inside, ‘not in control of myself'. So talking more seams keeps them at bay. These also seams to happen when I fall asleep too fast, so breathing exercises before bed are a great help. Often falling asleep isn’t the problem, it’s staying asleep that’s hard, and having peaceful sleep is the real issue.

These ’tips’ are working for me, kind of, it’s on going progress, but i’m open to trying anything at this point because i’m just exhausted and whiles having a session with my counselor it became a realisation that I genuinely can’t remember the last or first time I’ve slept through the night as an adult! If I don’t keep working on this now it will continue to escalate, and bad sleep just has a negative effect on EVERYTHING, work, social life and being creative.

The Art!

As always my ramblings are followed by my weird self portraits and reasons behind them, i’ve gone dark and honest with the images. This is a two part blog because I want to share a lot of work and go into it I’m still working on this project and there will be a lot of work coming out of it. I’m not going to talk to much about the meaning as I’ve talked a lot already, and as i’ve already stated I’ll share more in time! So here is the work-


So a brief insight into my images, why so many hands? and dark figures?... Because sometimes the monsters are just there, reaching out, in the way, in the background of my dreams taking up space, wanting to be noticed. Needing to be feared to stay relevant. Fighting me to acknowledge them. Then sometimes they are so close to me it’s like I can feel their breath on my skin, holding me down forcing me to confront them. As my breathing get heavy and I lose my ability to move they start to win, so I’m fighting them more now, although I die a lot in my dreams so this wakes me up violently. As i've mentioned a few other times in my other posts, I often end up in my childhood home. I did spend more than half my life there so it’s ingrained into my memory and subconscious, however I’m sick of visiting it at this point. It’s always dark, there’s always a feeling of dread, in the back of my mind I know that house also holds happy memories but they have now been overtaken by the bad, but I guess that’s the thing about bad experiences. “Oh but you had this” and “you did that, remember” the good memories don’t matter, because they feel fake, they feel forced, wrong, faded. Yes they are there, they happened, I still have gratitude for some of them I guess but they are not the ones that wake me up in the middle of the night. I remember laughing and joking with my siblings, cooking and painting. But thinking about these memories is like trying to grasp sand as it slips through my fingers and before I know it they are gone and i’m back in dark rooms.