I’m finding that there is a world of difference between being a "night owl", and being an insomniac. My normal 5 or 6 hours of contented sleep has increasingly been replaced by a mind-racing, fidgetty 2 or 3 hours which simply feed the loop from night to day.
And there are so many aspects to that loop: worries about the Mater, Pater and Auntie M; the pressures at work, chasing a series of deadlines which are not being met, with additional "urgent" tasks being added almost daily; the background worries about trying to Chair the choir, which is proving to be a pretty large task, and feels a bit like a runaway train (and which has therefore lost much of the joy of actual singing); and the horrible, all-consuming fear that my own health is actually pretty poor.
And so we come back to me – body and mind. Intellectually, of course, I understand the many symptoms of stress and depression, recognising them in myself and knowing how I got here, while still feeling a little foolish at the same time. I even know how such symptoms can manifest in physical ways. But at 5 in the morning the general backgound of ill feeling, aches and pains, and that huge lump in the middle of my chest are all-consuming, and now, lately, those symptoms are with me throughout the day too.
And so I have at last started to do something about it. "Unbottling" to Mrs WeeKeef was the start – and now to you, dear reader. And going to the GP was a big step. So now I am in another loop. One involving medication, blood tests and, as of yesterday, a big menacing X-Ray machine.
And in a week or so, I hope to be able to report that all of the tests have come back negative, that I have been worrying about nothing, and that I am making a start on a better, less toxic lifestyle. But the inside me – the child of a heart-diseased family, and an ex-smoker of many years – is in a very bad place, and fully expects to have my worst fears confirmed.
And what then? What then?