Most nights, when I lie down on my comfortable bed, I’m so tired I feel like I could fall to sleep immediately. Most nights, though, it doesn’t happen. As soon as my head hits the pillow, and I get still and comfortable, my demons come out and haunt me until dawn. I toss and turn. I pick up my phone and read news articles until my eyes feel like they will fuse shut. But, I still feel like the memories from my childhood, teens, and young adulthood are zombies, chasing me until they eat me alive. I feel like I am one of the walking dead.
I know these memories can’t really hurt me. The traumas are long over, with only the scars left to remind me, night after night, that sometimes life isn’t so kind. I know I have PTSD. Therapy, counseling, whatever it is called, three times, for various reasons at different phases of my life, has helped. I wonder sometimes how I have made it to my senior years, appearing “sane” to the outside world.
If I could tell you about the things that run through my head on these nights, I don’t think you would believe me. I’m still not ready to talk about specifics, even after 60+ years for some of these demons. I want to. I want to write them all down, and flush them away into the blackness of the internet. I want to sleep. To rest. To finally get some peace in my life.
I don’t know how to make this stop. It seems that the older I get, the worse it becomes. I take all my meds at night, with the thought that they will make me sleep. I take Cymbalta for depression. It helps. Gabapentin and hydrocodone help with the pain of diabetic neuropathy, so that is no longer a factor keeping me awake. Maybe a talk with my doctor on my next visit, to find out if that is a mistake.
Tonight was another restless, sleepless night. The zombies won, again. Maybe soon, it’ll be my turn.