Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sleep Deprivation

It has taken me a good part of a decade to really understand how detrimental the lack of rest is to the human condition. Much of what our society terms as post-partum depression and PMS, in my opinion, is nothing more than the toll of sleep deprivation on one's mind. Last night, after finally laying my head on the pillow, Seth woke up screaming and remained inconsolable for most of the night thereafter. During those gut-wrenching hours of rocking and pacing and singing and rocking I felt myself starting to go insane- feeling completely overwhelmed by my life's choices, all at once, and wanting to just hop in the van and drive away- a solo road trip into bliss, if you will. For years, when these times of utter chaos would take over, I would sit there, in my dispair, feeling like there was something so wrong with me, that the mere fact that I'd given birth at all was a complete miscalculation of my ability to take care of even one other human being. I would sob, sometimes for hours, to Tom, that we'd made a mistake, that I wasn't capable of being a mother at all and that I was just going to walk out of my life, never to return. Miraculously, or so it seemed, once I'd slept for a few hours, I would suddenly return to my "normal" self again, ready to take on the world, ready to be the mother I'd sought to become. Though it didn't really change the way I was feeling at the time, it did help to know, and to tell myself repeatedly, in the wee hours of this morning, that I was okay and that things would improve once I had some shut-eye. And they did, though its been a tough day. I've heard it said, from time to time, and it totally makes sense, that sleep deprivation is used to turn prisoners of war against their own country, forcing them to say things that they otherwise would be unwilling to devulge. So,it is no mistake, my friends, that motherhood makes even the best of us feel crazy from time to time. Let's give ourselves a pat on the back and know that it will be okay- we just need some sleep!

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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