Go to Top

Sleep? Let’s just get rid of nights

sleep sheep

Day 98 – Sleep

After Rodney left, after his party, I had so much energy. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I just wasn’t tired, even though I had very little sleep, it didn’t bother me.

For the last month I have been just so exhausted, all the time. My sleep is completely fucked up, as Philipp would put it. Instead of being awake until 4:30 AM, I am now staying awake til 6:30 or 7 AM. The amount of sleep I get is even more reduced, from 4 – 5 hours to 3 – 4 hours.

I stayed awake for more than 2 days last week, eventually I fell asleep and slept for 14 hours. Waking up about 6 times, checking the date on my phone – yep – not the time, Rodney is still gone – back to sleep. Somehow my tired brain must have thought if I just sleep enough time will revert back. Didn’t work.

Sense of Time

My sense of time is, well, different to yours, I guess. When I took Cora for her walk after I got up this morning, I greeted everyone with a friendly ‘good morning’ and a smile. Yeah, I did get some funny looks but I thought ‘well’, they are tourists’. When I passed the pub I saw people sitting outside having a pint. ‘That’s a bit early’ I thought.
When I got home I realised it was way past lunch time, just before 2 PM. Oh well…

Why don’t you take some sleeping pills, you ask? A glass of wine before bed?

Hm… I am somewhat paranoid about addiction. My father was an alcoholic, one of the well respected sorts, in a suit, hiding his stash, taking secret trips to the kitchen taking a mouthful. Don’t get me wrong, I like alcohol. My friends have seen me drinking too much on more than one occasion. OK, way too much.

And boy, it is oh so tempting to drink. Right now, it’s the only way I can get a proper nights sleep. And it does help in other ways. The sober me is so scared to go to bed and close her eyes. Every night! There he is, breaking out in cold sweat, nearly throwing up wile listening to the oncologist talking about his diagnosis. There he is, laughing with me, going for a walk with me. There he is , making love to me. There he is, letting go, finally closing his eyes for the last time.

And so the tears are coming. Every. Single. Night. Uncontrollably. Nothing I can do to stop them. Believe me, I tried. After an hour or two I get up, make some tea, watch the sun rise, yet again.

Not Drinking Before Bed

So, no, I am not drinking before bed. Right now I’m getting plastered every fortnight or so, which is way more than I’m used to, but it means I can sleep at least once in two weeks.

leeping pills? Sadly, still way too tempting to take too many. So, I’ve put them away, together with all the morphine and stuff. Yes, this is how bad it was, and sometimes still is.

So, I am still here, nearly a hundred days later. And I’ll probably be here in another hundred days, two hundred, a year and many more to come.

We are adapting to the changes. Some are quite nice, like less laundry, driving 150 km per week instead of a thousand, the house is always (nearly) tidy.

Spending fun time with my daughter. A couple of weeks ago she ask me if she could try make-up. So, we spent an evening trying all sorts of things. It was so much fun.

I try and keep our conversations and stuff age appropriate, try to keep some things away from her.

Be a Kid

Not that I’m hiding my feelings from her and we do cry together just as we laugh together. But there’s no denying that she has grown up so much over the last three month. Not only can she now make pancakes, French toast, knows how to operate the microwave (very important skill that is) but she is also that little bit more serious, quiet and thoughtful. Also so bloody considerate. Sometimes I want to shake her, yell at her ‘be a kid, laugh, scream, slam the damn door’.

Their childhood has been taken away from both of my kids, one through illness, one through watching her father die. The three of us have become friends and I am not sure yet what to make of it. I am feeling really honoured when I am the first one Philipp calls if something nice, funny, sad happens to him. It’s so sweet.

I love it when Katie comes home and she tells me about things that make her uncomfortable and we are having a long discussion in the garden. It is nice but also damn close to a conversation I’d have with grown up friends. The three musketeers, as a friend put it so nicely. I am so glad that they can talk, that they feel they can share things with me. Something that Rodney and I had a hard time learning, quite late in our lives.

I guess the dynamics of a parent / child relationship change when the children are at an age where they can understand more than you’d want them to, after a traumatic experience like theirs. Hell, it took me til my late 20s to get to where they are. I just hope that in all their seriousness that they will grow into healthy, happy adults.

Susanne xxx

, , ,

About Susanne Breen

Widowed in April 2016 after her husband died from cancer. A social worker, translator and accidental writer. Mother of two with one living at home plus 3 mad pets on the shores of Carlingford Lough. Originally from Berlin but now living in Ireland a number of years. These days she's learning to adjust and cope with widowhood.