Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Iffy post is back up

It’s becoming a nightly ritual for me. I listen to my body and give into the pangs of exhaustion, only to sit in my bed for three hours watching mindless TV, imprisoned once again by insomnia. I don’t know if any of you have ever suffered from it long term. To go a few nights without a good night’s sleep leaves you tired, kinda out of it, but more or less functional. You probably couldn’t go drinking with your office mates (or to the free ad world parties) after a night with literally a few hours of sleep, but the lack of sleep proves only to be an inconvenience instead of an actual health detriment. Now, the kind that I am currently afflicted with, however, isn’t your run of the mill ‘I can’t sleep so I’ll read or write out a list of what is bothering me’ bullshit. It’s more in line with fucked-upness of Fight Club, with the nights without sleep becoming consecutive jabs landing perfect shots on my already frail psyche.

I am on day number six without sleep. The most I have been able to sleep through the night has been about four hours, when I finally fell asleep at 6am on Sunday morning and awoke by 10am--that same day. I want to go to sleep in the worst possible way but I can’t.

What keeps me up at night is anxiety. Worry. The hypothetical what-ifs scenarios that could never come true, but in the world where I am currently living, somewhere between being awake and that lucid dream state, they are able to find some sort of traction. My current anxiety stems around Oxford, how I got into a shitty college and how my crap placement is going to affect my life over there. How my fabulous sexy reinvention into my version of a grown-up is being momentarily derailed because of this insomnia and addiction to Zen Soy pudding—I devoured an entire carton of four today. What can I say, it goes fucking great with Montell figuring out who’s the baby’s daddy.

All I want is to feel the same sense of comfort that my mother’s reassurance provided me when I was younger. How she was always right about everything, always knew the correct answer, and there was nothing that she couldn’t protect me from.

As I lay in bed, flipping through the channels, I ran across a rerun of Pee Wee’s playhouse. I adored that show when I was younger, so with a morbid curiosity, I watched it. I was somewhat a bit scared that by watching it as an adult I would question why I ever liked such a lamely written show, but I couldn’t resist the trip down memory lane, especially since I was in the mood for comfort.

And the show did suck. Within thirty seconds of watching it, I was ready to flip the channel to the E! but then I realized which episode it was. The French toast episode! Now, I know for a lot of you this is making no sense, but this episode taught me at an early age how I was not meant for the kitchen and also how my mother is always right, in the blind adoration that only a six year old could muster.

In the episode, with his normal gay fan fare, Pee Wee teaches the kids at home how to make French toast. When I saw that episode when I was like six or so, I remember being transfixed on the idea that soaking bread in egg and milk produces this magical soft sweet pancake like substance. I wanted French toast. Since I wanted French toast, my siblings also wanted French toast. And since Pee Wee was at the tail end of Saturday morning cartoons, aka we already ate breakfast, there was no chance for the French toast.

I never did well with structure. Even if it en parentas sanctioned.

I led my siblings into the kitchen where we went to create our own French toast. In went many slices of bread into the toaster. The ones who could walk, rummaged through the fridge on a quest for syrup and within the two minutes of the toast coming out of the toaster, all four of us had our plates piled high with toast, soaked in syrup, our version of French toast. However, biting into our creation, it didn’t taste like French toast. My siblings all looked towards me for the answer. I went to mommy.

Shannon, you need to cook the bread not toast it. Toast doesn’t mean French toast,” explained my mom.

It was there that I discovered she had all the answers to my world.

Sitting in bed right now, anxious about the next few months, knowing that I need to clean out an apartment, debating whether I should COBRA my health insurance, sick with worry, fear, guilt and other anxieties that exist only in my head as products of my interface with the outside world. But she doesn’t have answers to these problems. And not because my maturity has taught me that she is fallible or any other pseudo Freud stuff. She doesn’t have all of the answers because I don’t tell her everything.

Like, how do you explain to your mother that you think your birth control pills are making you sick?

So I leave that part out of the story. And she gives me an answer that makes no sense, i.e. my tiredness is from stress and that I need to stop running myself ragged. Then I get snippy and tell her that she has the same response for everything, how she is always out to prove the same point, that she needs to start to treat me like a grown-up. And as my voice gets more curt from my frustration, I just wish I could tell her what is really eating away at me. What I am really worried about. How I am afraid of this little pill that I take at 12:15 every day. How dating in NYC has left me a bit nuts and with high expectations for Oxford. That my “dates” consist of make-outs in bars, no commitments, and the ignore button on my cell phone. How my life is far more complicated than I let on.

I wish I could tell her that I would love to hear her life experience because I think I could relate and find wisdom in her past, but if only she wasn’t my mother.

All I want is her comfort and yet I stand in the way because, despite my desire for her to recognize me as her adult daughter, I have to acknowledge that I am still her child.

The contradiction of being an adult.


At 2:32 PM, Blogger mahogany_lll said...

i haven't slept great in about 3 years. i can only go to bed when i'm so tired that as soon as my head hits the pillow i'm out. if i try to go to bed before hand my mind wont shut off and i will lay there for hours. it helps alittle to have someone next to u but still.


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