I have a beautiful mind according to skirt! magazine. As I was flipping through my favorited tweets, I was catching up on links I wanted to look at. One of them was for a writing contest called “A Beautiful Mind”.
This was the contest description:
We challenged women to write a story about an absent minded moment, a brain fog, going out of your mind, putting your mind to rest, mind over matter, a brain trust, a time of insanity or a strange state of mind.
And I thought… crazy? I know crazy! And I entered. I didn’t win but I got published so I’m sharing a little bit of my excitement.
“I had a mind once. Then I had children.”
Okay, I only had one child. But apparently that’s enough to suck the mojo out of your brain. This is not a “I’m losing my identity because I stay at home now” story. This is a “I was a fully functioning working woman who somehow teetered on the brink of insanity” story. Can you guess how? I stopped sleeping.
As women, we are all insanely jealous of the men that lie down beside us, close their eyes, and drift into a snoring slumber. And when we are faced with the same opportunity to get relief from exhaustion, our body relaxes and our mind perks right up. Let’s go through everything we had to do today: for work, for home, for the pets, the kids, the bills, the… Now what did we forget and what do we have to do tomorrow. It’s maddening but also pretty typical.
So when did this simple unwinding before bed drive me to insanity? It started just after Christmas when I would fall into bed exhausted. Then the seasonal colds and coughing starting where everyone in the house would wake me up and keep me awake. Then I started anticipating the sleep interruptions. I would easily fall asleep at 10pm and wake up every morning at 2am. For the day. My mind was racing and I could not go back to sleep.
Now I know of this rare breed that needs only 4 hours of sleep a night. But that’s not me. I’m a solid 8 hour girl. And it kept getting worse and worse until one night I didn’t sleep at all. When the rest of the house awoke, I informed my husband that I was going crazy and needed to go to the doctor.
Thank God he didn’t take me to the nearest psychiatric ward, which is where I felt like I belonged. All I wanted to do was pace and pace and pace. My doctor entered the office. I explained my newfound insanity and he asked me if I’d like to take a nap. I HAVEN’T SLEPT IN DAYS. DON’T YOU THINK I WOULD TAKE A NAP IF I COULD?
Turns out intravenous valium does a nice job of knocking you out. And that’s how I kept from teetering over the brink of insanity. Now insomnia can be a serious issue. And there were serious issues that I had to deal with. It’s usually rooted deeply in something which seemed par for the course for my life. I got something deeply rooted in everything.
So the next time you feel like you are losing your mind. Or that your hormones are way out of whack. Or you just can’t find your mojo. Take a nap. Get some sleep. It just might keep you sane.