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Insom-nom-nom-nia

Dear Sleep, I miss you. This new pal, Insomnia, who keeps on showing up, is no fun at all.

It's interesting to read, in Man's Search for Meaning, about distinctions between logotherapy and the other predominant form of psychotherapy of the time, psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is concerned with "tell me how you're feeling," whereas logotherapy is concerned that this approach doesn't address fundamental problems of meaning and instead just reinforces the underlying neuroses.

I can see the point, although so far I'd look at logotherapy less from a "psychological disorder" standpoint and more from a philosophical standpoint, as a potential method for beginning to obliquely address my longstanding sense of Existential Crisis. (which, indeed, is what logotherapy is explicitly declared to address). I don't know that it fully deals with the heat-death of the universe (or whatever the current physics models call it), but it *does* deal with the contemporary sense of, what do we make of our lives and life-stories?

I can't tell the underlying causes of the current insomnia. Sometimes it's allergy-driven, and pollen levels are currently pretty high. I experience a literal sensation of being "buzzed," much as one would feel on caffeine. Sometimes it's anxiety-driven, and I *do* have a lot to get done in October [nothing like the feeling of manuscript-writing 24/7]. There are a half-dozen other anxiety sources I could point to, as well: scrottie being far away, physically and emotionally; not knowing what the future holds; my dad's health.

Regardless - body, please work on this.

Comments

( 9 remarks — Remark )
bluepapercup
Sep. 28th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
I love you so much, dear friend, and I'm so sorry this is a time of sleepless ennui for you. *big hugs*

I should write you a long email with my nighttime insomnia and stress management strategies, but I'll say for now that I have found great comfort in listening to sung Buddhist mantras on youtube - something about the repetition of a calming and prayerful phrase brings my brain/body into a less buzzed state that feels more restful even if I am not actually sleeping. YMMV, of course, and I am not even sure this is your "thing". But I am compelled to share.

Two of my favorites:

The White Tara Mantra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukr6ohaShM0

The Green Tara Mantra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqcWl6VAB_M

More about Tara - http://www.khandro.net/deities_tara1.htm
rebeccmeister
Sep. 29th, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the mantras! I am going to have to give them a try, if the insomnia persists (or maybe even if it doesn't!). :-)

*big hugs* to you too!
twoeleven
Sep. 28th, 2014 06:59 pm (UTC)
I know all too well how you feel. :P *hug*

Sometimes it's anxiety-driven, and I *do* have a lot to get done in October [nothing like the feeling of manuscript-writing 24/7].
Dunno if this will help you, but I've found that deliberately setting aside a day when I don't work helps me be more productive.

The sabbath: it's not just for Jews any more. :)
rebeccmeister
Sep. 29th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
Setting aside some time to rest would be beneficial. I'll have to see what I can do in that department.
twoeleven
Sep. 29th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
FWIW, I tend to run all my errands for a week on the same day. Not only is that easier on my nerves than trying to plan around things that take random amounts of time, it means that they'll get done, rather than indefinitely put off.

If I feel the need to collapse after running errands, the day's still been successful, even if it's not spent "working".
rebeccmeister
Sep. 29th, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
This actually relates back to some of our discussions on transportation. Transit geeks refer to some of this as "trip chaining," and as with most bicyclists, I do pretty extensive trip chaining, reinforced by the fact that stuff isn't open in the evening or on weekends in small-town Texas. The bank and post office aren't open on weekends at all, so they're a mid-week, mid-day trip, often coupled with a trip to one of the campus libraries, depending on book/literature requirements.

Grocery shopping happens on Saturday, starting with the farmer's market (open Saturday mornings) and including up to 6 other destinations (natural foods store, only open 9-6 on weekdays and 9-4 on Saturdays; hardware store; recycling drop-off; 3 other food stores with other available hours). I can get it all done before ~2 pm if I'm fairly efficient and strategic. Bets are off if it's really hot.

So Sunday, by default, is more of an at-home day. I have a meeting with a writing group at noon on Sundays, so I often wind up working on writing projects on Sunday mornings (part of what brought me to full-alert on Sunday morning was thinking about academic writing projects). Saturday and Sunday afternoons tend to feature a lot of cooking and housekeeping, which seems to have turned into my default hobby at the moment.

If I cared less about packaging and food quality, I'd probably have a whole lot more free time. But it's difficult to eat according to my admittedly high standards unless I plan on a lot of cooking time. It's also social time with housemates, at the moment - quite a change from the solitary cooking time at the Villa Maria house.

I suspect that a lot of this will change when I move to a new city at the end of the fall.
twoeleven
Sep. 30th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC)
So Sunday, by default, is more of an at-home day. I have a meeting with a writing group at noon on Sundays, so I often wind up working on writing projects on Sunday mornings (part of what brought me to full-alert on Sunday morning was thinking about academic writing projects).
So, Sunday is your day off, other than that little stressor. ;)
annikusrex
Sep. 29th, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
i rarely suffer from insomnia, but when i do it's clearly tied to emotional stress, and so that's the first thing i think about when other people have it.

there's nothing you can do about a lot of the stressors you mentioned--it definitely makes sense that this would be a hard time for you, not that that's very comforting.

things i try to do to cope/sleep better: no screen time in the evening (some empirical support for this); avoiding news about gentrification, student loans, rent increases (your subjects may vary); yoga practice that wears the body out and then winds down with relaxation; escapist reading (really anything not set in the here and now counts, including things from the 19th century); warm milk. and when all else fails, TRYING to stay awake with internet tv until i'm completely exhausted and just lapse into sleep.
rebeccmeister
Sep. 29th, 2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
I've discovered that I'm very sensitive to light sources at night, so I've gotten careful about eliminating them. I think in this case, my brain got over-active and started working away at the upcoming things on the agenda in addition to mulling over the longer-term things that I can't do anything about. Plus, I've been getting up at 5-6 am on a regular basis, so my body clock has shifted.

It was close enough to actual morning that I just got up and started doing stuff. C'est la vie, I suppose!
( 9 remarks — Remark )

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