Insomnia

Dec. 28th, 2010 05:51 am
perzephone: (dreams)
Lessee, 13 days into no Elavil, 10 days into work. My co-auditor is off until after the New Year. Yay.

I've been getting maybe 3 hours of sleep per 24-hour period in inappropriate places - like work.

My head feels like it's full of mud and I just don't have any emotional wherewithal left. I feel like I'm looking at everyone as though I'm a well-fed preying mantis and they are bugs. Speculative, possibly predatory but mostly disinterested.

2 more weeks & then I can take my freaking pills again. I cannot wait.

Dreams

Apr. 26th, 2008 11:57 pm
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This morning I woke thinking about the dream I had where I had spiders in my hair... and came to the realization that the spiders were dreams. I mean, yeah, in the dream I was traumatized and freaked out because, fuck, there were SPIDERS IN MY HAIR!!! but it wasn't like I stayed freaked out. Then I had personal encounters with live spiders, including an itsy bitsy one in my bed. Last night it seemed like I dreamed all night long. I know REM sleep travels in waves, so I probably wasn't literally dreaming for 10 hours straight, and I don't remember the dreams, but it felt like they were in my head all night, no blank space in between.

I layed there in bed last night, trying to visualize Las Vegas having a peaceful night, no bad dreams, no strife, everyone getting the restorative rest they need. Tried to visualize a silvery rain of quiet sleep falling on the city. I haven't been able to do any chakra visualizations lately or even work on Rob - it was going so well for a few weeks there - I think taking the break from the Elavil threw things out of whack for me. I have this anxiety before I fall asleep, I lay there thinking, "Will I be able to sleep tonight?" instead of doing anything productive with my hypnagogic state. Then, when I do fall asleep and wake the next morning, I wonder what I was so worried about. But I know tonight when I lay down, I'm going to be laying there thinking about insomnia. It's a vicious circle.
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I cooked food over an open flame last night, whee! The great challenge was in getting the charcoal to light & stay lit. Kingsford Charcoal is not so great.

I'm thinking of starting a second journal this summer - one herb or one Tarot card per day. Or maybe one herb and one card per day.

My insomnia is in full swing - not sleepy, waking up, not dreaming. At least if I only get three hours of sleep a night I don't wake up in the middle. I'm screwed if I get 5 hours though because I'll wake up at least twice. No paranoid delusions this time around at least. I feel all muzzy & my stomach's upset today. Blagh.

Josh called me last night. I'm so changing my phone number when I quit the Excalibur.

Dammit!

Mar. 26th, 2008 04:33 pm
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I was looking forward to seeing The Mist this weekend. It's one of my more favorite Stephen King short stories, and it would make a really good movie. However, I saw the newest preview for the DVD and those fuckers gave it all up. They just showed off a good portion of the creepy crawlies that lurk in the mist to the general public, which I happened to be a member of at the time. I wanted to cry. Probably still see the movie anyway, but that preview totally blew it for me.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. Kept waking up, of course. No dreams... just a vague feeling of something heavy and hot with harsh rasping breath laying on top of me. I couldn't even shoo it away effectively because it had the comforter wrapped around me snug as a sausage in a pancake. Maybe it was the barking ghost again. I know the barking ghost isn't a true ghost, it's something else. A messenger or harbinger of some kind. It's trying to tell me something, but I haven't had time to listen. I know it's been around but at least it hasn't been standing over me barking. Something else was wandering my room last night, too - in the form of a tiny red spark. Kept making me think the iron was still on or someone outside had a laser pointer.

I'm going to pick up a multi-vitamin & some minoxidil today, see if I can stave off any further hair-thinning. I'm hoping it's just my roots coming out back there & that it's just making my hair look thin. It's been so healthy since I switched to the black dye & I'm more upset than I imagined I could be. Of course, I've never considered that I'd fall victim to 'female pattern baldness'.
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So I've been 5 days w/out Elavil, friendly little green pill...

Aside from being an anti-depressant & helping me sleep, it suppresses nerve pain. Yesterday, not even halfway through my Excalibur shift, the pain set it with a vengeance. My back, my tooth, my hips, my knees, all screaming along in perfect harmony. Last night, no sleep. Partly because of pain, partly because I kept waking up. I should have just given up & gotten up, but I kept hoping maybe, just maybe... Alas, nothing. I dozed here and there - no dreams, no hypnagogic imagery. Usually if I can sleep all the minor aches and pains fade, but last night since I had no restoration, I still ache.

At least this time it's mostly just pain and insomnia, not paranoid delusions.

I also think I lost $9 this morning getting out of the truck.

I'm not going back to the Ex - I'm scheduled to work next weekend, but I can call in one more time before it hits suspension level, and then the first two weeks of April are my last two weeks of vacation, and then I'm done, done, done. Way-hey-hey, goodbye.
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I'm starting to think I've got a problem I don't even believe in. I'm starting to honestly think I have this mysterious malaise known as 'chronic fatigue syndrome'. Not that there's anything anyone can do about it - there's no cure only treatments for the various symptoms. But I do have all the symptoms and none of the other problems/diseases/syndromes (Eppstein Barr, wacky chromosomes, rheumatism, Sjogren's, chronic leukemia, etc & so forth) that match all the CFS symptoms. I'd be more open to the idea if there was a pill that would make it all go away but it's one of those auto-immune diseases that have no cure and won't get me FMLA. A more insidious thought has been creeping around my brain... what if it's fatal familial insomnia? It might a prion disease, like CJD or BSE - it could just be genetic. A lot of my relatives have/had trouble sleeping, a lot of them went nuts... what if I'm not seeing ghosts or entities? What if I'm hallucinating? What if my thalamus is slowly rotting away, eating my sanity and sleep as it dissolves into goo? I'd like to ask the doctor to test me for it, but I'm too embarrassed, because I'm a self-diagnosing internet surfer.

Taking 2 Elavil (which equals 50mg) brought the sweaty-panicky-frequent waking down from 4 times a night to just once last night and the night before. However, even though I don't get any other side effects from regular daily doses of Elavil, taking 50mg makes it really hard to wake up and get going in the morning. I got up at 10am but I didn't wake up til around, oh, 3 or 4 this afternoon. And it makes me stumble around like a drunken monkey when the alarm goes off. When my alarm went off yesterday morning, I flew out of bed like normal & discovered my legs weren't fully cooperating with the rest of my body, so I did a nifty knee-and-ankle wrenching dance until I decided to just sit back down on the bed for a minute or two. Then when I tried to get back up & turn my alarm off, it took my hand about 4 more minutes to remember how to turn the alarm off. I succeeded in changing the radio station, the volume and the dimmer on the LED time display. This morning I thankfully woke up before the alarm went off :P I took it somewhat slower getting out of bed - just sort of sat up & worked my way onto my feet. I can't keep taking 50mg because of the whole tolerance issue. I want the Elavil to keep working for awhile longer before I am forced to up the dose.

The only reason I woke up before my alarm went off was because I was having a creepy spider dream. We're talking hordes of spiders. Ugheek.

Insomnia is the worst thing. It'd be different if I was one of those lucky people who only need 4 hours of sleep, but I feel like absolute crap if I don't get about 8 - 10. I'm exhausted, but not sleepy. My knees and hips ache, my lower back aches, but if I try to lay down I just lay there, waiting for time to pass. It's not like my mind is racing or anything. I'm just laying there, wide awake and wanting death to come quickly. I have excellent sleep hygiene, too. Only use my bed for sleeping and sex, I only go to bed when I'm sleepy, I don't lay in bed & do my taxes or anything, there's no arguing or television in my room, I keep the temperature low but not too low, I avoid caffeine after a certain time, I don't go to bed angry or hungry, I sleep in the dark (now that I can sleep when it's dark - sometimes I still have to use a nightlight)... it's always quiet in the house & if I play music it's somnorific, not like Rob Zombie or NIN or anything raucus. I do everything right when it comes to my bed, my bedroom and preparing for sleep... so why can't I sleep? What triggers my wakefulness, why do I wake up when REM initiates? Why can't I sleep unless I take some kind of drug? I've studied my own sleep to death and still have no answers.
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1. Can you cook?
I'm cooking with gas, baby!

2. What was your dream growing up?
To be a dinosaur hunter - or a cowboy.

3. What talent do you wish you had?
Any talent, really...

4. Favorite place?
Carmel-by-the-Sea

5. Favorite vegetable?
Wow, this is a toughie... I actually do like green leafy things... brussel sprouts?

6. What was the last book you read?
Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia by Rob Breszny

7. What zodiac sign are you?
Capricorn (with a Pisces Moon)

8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
Why, yes.

9. Worst habit?
Nose pickin'.

10. Do we know each other off line?
Probably not. I only talk to one IRL person on here... small social circle, really.

11. What is your favorite sport?
Horse racing

12. Negative or Optimistic attitude?
Realistically Pessimistic.

13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
Being the practical sort, I'd open the little call box & get in touch with someone on the outside... that or start praying to the Great God Otis. Nothing against you, but spending time in an elevator waiting to get to the next floor is an inefficient use of time, and generally if I'm in an elevator it's because I'm delivering paperwork or trying to get to/from lunch. If it's after my lunchtime, you'll probably survive the encounter none the worse for wear.

14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
The realization that I was a perfectly normal, everyday, average human being with no super-hero mutations, no god-like power, no talent, no future and no potential.

15. Tell me one weird fact about you:
For years & years I used to tell people my name was Daisy.

16. Do you have any pets?
Yes.

17. Do you know how to do the Macarena?
Thank the Gods, no... but I do find the song itself catchy and somewhat hip-shaking.

18. What time is it where you are now?
11:13pm, PST

19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
Scary. Very, very scary.

20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be???
My skin.

21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
Partner in crime. Friends bail you out - real friends are sitting in the cell next to you saying, "Damn that was fun! When are we getting together again?"

22. What color eyes do you have?
Hazel.

23. Ever been arrested?
Yes. Nothing stuck, including the handcuffs.

24. What is your favorite drink?
Brewed unsweetened iced tea

25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it?
Pay off my credit cards yet again.

26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew?
I'm pretty stuck on Orbit's Citrus flavor right now

27. What's your favorite place to hang at?
Home sweet home. Used to be Cafe' Espresso Roma, though. Or the Huntridge.

28. Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes.

29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Sleep. And World of Warcraft.

30. Do you swear a lot?
Yes, motherfucker. I swear if one more person asks me this...

31. Biggest pet peeve?
People who have no consideration for people behind them when they go through a door, and people who stand right in front of the elevator door when it opens.

32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
Grouchy.

33. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
The proof is before you.

I just got up from a nap. My sleep (and Rob's sleep) schedules have been completely fubar'd for no apparent reason. Stayed up all day yesterday, went to bed at like, 5 or 6pm, got up around 2am, stayed up til 6pm today, took a nap. I haven't taken my Elavil in two days so I'm kind of freaked out to begin with, but both last night & tonight I was awoken by the weird noise factor. Last night I laid in bed looking intently at my bedroom window for almost an hour because I hearlucinated the perfect sound of fingers sliding on glass, complete w/a cool draft from that corner - as if someone had jimmied open my window. Because I'm scared of the dark & also of reality, I wasn't able to get up out of bed to actually check the window. Finally I forced myself to turn my light on & just get the Hel up outta bed. Tonight, I was just twitchy, kept waking up in a panic only to fall back asleep. Finally, I started seeing the reflections of red & blue flashing lights & hearing cop voices over mikes... of course, there was no one in our neighborhood being arrested, but Metro's chopper patrol was flying around outside spotlighting everyone's yards. I know the audio-visual effects are partly from trying to sleep at weird times & partly because of no Elavil, so I'm not overly concerned. I called in sick tonight, too, because I knew w/the weird schedule of my weekend, I wasn't getting any sleep today & I just didn't want to go into work like this. I'm hoping I can force myself into bed around 10am & get up at like 4 in the afternoon. I'll be tired & cranky, but it should reset my clock.
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Heh heh... C. W. McCall is soooo politically incorrect. And so very, very funny. It never gets old, especially being the daughter of a trucker. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour has nothing on this guy. In fact, I think Foxworthy could get some new material.

'When I say put a rock under that tire, I mean a ROCK!'

I wish I could find 'Comin' Back for More' on Limewire. Harley's had me listening to Johnny Cash all last week. This is stuff my folks listened to regular, & I guess it's my guilty pleasure - the storytellers of country music. Johnny Cash, W. C. McCall, Tom T. Hall... 'Sneaky Snake' is possibly the bestest song ever written.

Of course, I am supposed to be in bed right now. I can tell I'm getting bronchitis by the feeling in my chest & the cough that keeps sneaking up on me. But here I sit, taking advantage of the fact that Rob is gone to his mom's to work on a door & also he's doing some Yule shopping, even though I keep telling him I don't want anything. Instead I sit here, rambling through my music collection. Now it's The Talking Heads' Remain in Light, home of 'The Great Curve'...

The world moves on a woman's hips
The world moves and it swivels and bops
The world moves on a woman's hips
The world moves and it bounces and hops


I think I've just got that going-to-be-sick-soon restlessness. Not tired, but exhausted. Always looking ahead. I've lost my center, my ability to just live in the now.
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So we're eating pizza & hotwings, & watching the series finale of the Justice League cartoon. I wasn't really paying attention, mind you - something about Darkside coming to earth to destroy Superman, & the bad guys, headed by Lex Luthor, all showed up on the Justice League's doorstep to warn them of imminent doom. Wonder Woman wanted to lock all the baddies up while the JL saved the earth, Batman was saying something about needing all the help they could get & trying to hold Superman back from killing Lex, & all of a sudden, Superman just hollers, "Come on! It's Lex flippin' Luthor!"

I about had a chicken wing pop out my nose I was laughing so hard, trying not to die a horrible choking death.

This will no doubt stick with me for some time.

"Come on! It's Lex flippin' Luthor!"

I don't know about the likelihood of me & Rob making it to the Ren Faire tomorrow. All of our carefully laid plans often go awry due to insomnia... I was awake til 1 this afternoon (mainly because I fell asleep in the tub around 11am), & slept til about 8. Rob went to bed waaay earlier than I did, like 9 or so this morning, but he didn't get up til I did. I had originally wanted to stay up today so I could sleep tonight & we could get up earlier tomorrow & head out by like, noon or 1 & get a good 3 or 4 hours in at the Faire.
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Well, my heart is perfectly normal - no blockages, no loose valves, no scarring, perfectly healthy heart. My renal arteries are the same. I also don't have Turner's syndrome, no sleep apnea, no restless leg syndrome and no snoring, at least not at the sleep clinic. I know I do snore because I wake myself up sometimes wondering why there is a lion in my bed...

However, when I hit REM sleep I'd wake up & not fully fall back into REM sleep - at least at the sleep clinic. Each time I woke up corresponded w/the onset of REM. Weird, huh? Most likely it's alcoholism-related. I do 'suffer' from hypnagogic imagery, aka 'night terrors' only mine are more dream-like than terrifying. Probably because I understand the psychology of sleep and my hypnagogic state is closer to lucid dreaming than it is to the night terrors that some poor folk experience. I get the weird urge to tell Rob stupid Vaudevillian jokes. I do get the REarM's, complete with roaring soccer crowds & the sensation of levitation or movement but I know it's not aliens coming to get me or spirits sitting on my chest when I feel that sleep paralysis setting in.

So I'm trying a new sleeping pill called 'Rozerem' - it's supposed to restore the natural circadian rhythms, even for shift workers such as myself. If it doesn't work, I've got another prescription for Elavil, my personal wonder-drug.

I am also thankfully almost done with this round of algebra. 2 more weeks - it went by a lot faster than anticipated.
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Yesterday, after frustratedly waiting for one of my toons to log into WoW, Rob put his foot down & proclaimed, 'We are getting you some more RAM!' So that's pretty much what we did, got two sticks of 512Mb DDR & now I'm running at 1.5G of RAM.

I tell ya something, last night we had been playing pretty much non-stop from about 9pm and I had forgotten completely about it, but Mondays are when I have Norton do its full antivirus scan. Around 2am I got bumped offline & lo & behold, Norton had been running its virus scan in th background of WoW all night. Normally, even w/my original 512Mb of RAM, I couldn't do anything, let alone play a graphics-and-processing heavy video game, while NAV was scanning. I never noticed anything wrong - in fact, the extra RAM was totally eliminated my inner-city-lag problems in Orgrimmar and Undercity. I am almost orgasmic over the new play flow. It's freaking fantastic, people!

Not only that, but I can minimize WoW, look two things up - one on the Yahoo! browser & one in Explorer, open an Excel spreadsheet(who eat RAM like nothing I've ever seen), open a Word document, do some stuff in both of them, all while playing solitaire, having my typing program monitoring everything, and my printer going - without noticing any changes in performance. I should have done this when I got the freakin' computer!!!

I took the other two Lunesta I had last night - I had been up for about 36 hours playing the game (vacations are the bomb!), gotten Zane 2 1/2 levels, and I wanted to sleep. Monday nights are when the servers go down for weekly maintenance, anyway. So I went to sleep. Rob & I had really good, partially drugged (for me) sex, and I was out. When I woke up my throat was so raw and sore, & the uvula dangly in the back is still swollen to the point where it's sitting on my tongue - and annoying me. I went in & asked Rob if I'd given him an over-enthusiastic blow-job, to which he said no, and proceeded to tell me I was snoring so bad, laying on my back with my chin pressed into my boobs (sounds uncomfortable - probably why my back is killing me, too), and he could not wake me no matter what he did. The hung-over partygoers banging on the next-door-neighbor's windows did not wake me, either. He said that someone could have broken in, stolen everything in my room, included the bed, blankets & pillows from around me & I wouldn't have noticed or cared til I saw the pictures they'd taken of me on hotornot.com.

Hey, I feel well-rested, though. Gargled w/some warm salt water, took some Tylenol & have some ibuprofen on the list as soon as I can figure out how to cut the pills into much smaller pieces...
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beats a good night at work any evening.

It's a damned good thing I got some Lunesta from my doc beforehand, or all I would have been doing is laying there thinking about all the wires & belts & sensors & the crap on my head. The Lunesta knocked my ass out initially, but I still was awoken every 30 minutes or so by the air conditioning. It sounded, and vibrated, like a Boeing 747 flying low through the room. And then it got cold - there was a perfectly good bedspread on the floor that I couldn't reach because the wires had me tethered to the right side of the bed, so I ended up having to buzz the nurse. Meh. Ah well, I had to pee by that point, anyway, so there I went, trailing wires behind me.

At least I know I will never have to wear those hideous Easter-peeps yellow pajamas ever again. They were the only thing I could find at Wal-Mart that had shorts.
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I am not sleepy, not one iota. This utterly sucks because I have to go to work tonight.

I saw someone's profile on okcupid, & okcupid tells you useless random things about your fellow sitemates, like, "So & So just added 'witch' to her profile!" It got me thinking. I haven't referred to myself as a witch in a very long time. I haven't used the word 'witchcraft' in a very long time, either. I used to call myself a witch all the time, trying to empower that word & dismiss its negative stereotypes by parading it out in public. But somehow, pantheist & animist & Pagan have superceded witch. And even though the way I 'practice', if you want to call it that, is more shamanistic in nature, I don't feel comfy calling myself a 'shaman'. So Pagan I am. I don't remember when I stopped calling myself a witch. I never called myself a Wiccan, as in "Hi, I'm Janelle & I'm Wiccan!" I'd usually say, "I'm a witch & I practice Wicca", with the emphasis placed on witch. But now it's "I'm a fat ol' Pagan woman".

Weird how we pick up labels.

I had a really funny thought, tho, thinking about old-school Pagan/Wiccan/witchcraft. Anyone remember (or still use) the phrase "93 & Blessed Be"?
I coined a new one, but mainly fans of Douglas Adams will understand the many pop-culture & underlying references (another one just occurred to me involving the Great Arkleseizure): "42 & Bless You".

(The new '93 & Blessed Be' seems to be 'Namaste', which I don't use often or at all because I'm not sure exactly how to pronounce it... is that last 'e' silent?)
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I happened to see this video the other night & I am so disappointed in the Black Eyed Peas...

I think it's called 'Hump' but I could be wrong.
Their female singer was featured in this video singing about how men spend all their money & time on her for (and I swear on earth & water that these are the words):

'My hump,
My hump, my hump, my hump
My lovely lady lumps'

'Lovely lady lumps'? Come on!!!

And in the background, the male lead singer is crooning away: 'Loooovely laaaaady luuuuuumps'.

Aaaaaagh!!!

Been off all the sleeping pills (not voluntarily - the script ran out & I don't go back to the doc til the end o' the month for my b.p. pills & to find out what results occurred on my yearly thyroid test) & I've been having some funky weird dreams. Mostly work anxiety, but there's some just plain weird crap floating around in my head.
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Been down so long don't know what it feels like to be up. Been thinking about it, knowing somewhere inside me that something is broken. I'm not completely emotionless - I get angry, irritated, annoyed, irked, peeved... but pure, unadulterated joy? I don't think I've ever felt it. Mostly I'm dead or angry, or some variation thereof.

So I'm thinking to myself. I've been fighting this a loooong time. Since I was little. The only thing years of counseling & Alateen as a teenager did was give me basic coping skills, how to recognize when the depression swept over me. Counseling won't help me right now - I can talk these feelings and fears out til I'm blue in the face, but all I'm basically doing is complaining at that point. I can't change them. I can't alter my own emotions. I can't 'act as though' anymore. I'm not 'bi-polar'. There is no manic side to my depression. I'm either depressed, or more depressed. There's no upswing on this for me to take advantage of, no opportunity for me to release & channel the negative emotions. And right now, things are pretty damned bleak. I asked Rob (who is so completely against me trying better living thru chemistry it isn't even funny, but he's the one who keeps bringing it up...) how long he thinks I've been down & he said, "More than a few months." It's funny, because I've only started feeling really bad for what me feels like a few weeks. I've got to look thru my previous entries & see if I can pinpoint when the last wave hit, & the one before that, see how long I've been in the trough of the wave this time around. I don't think that this time I'm going to come out topside on my own, tho. I think this time the wave is going to suck me under. And my arms are getting really tired of fighting the current.

So Monday, I'm calling the doctor & I'm going to go in & ask him a few questions. I've been doing the background research on the 'Net, seeing what treatments are out there. The only side-effect that really bugs me is the loss of sexual desire... I rarely drink anymore. You actually can drink while taking anti-depressants, but it's not recommended.

I'm just so tired of being tired. Not sleeping, even w/the Ambien. Not wanting to take a shower or get dressed or go anywhere, do anything... When I talk to people I bite their heads off. I sit at work & just want to bawl or scream or just walk out & walk into the sunset. I've changed what I can, but there are still elements of my life that I cannot change right now. I can't blame this bout of depression on them, but they definitely exacerbate the problem. And Rob always thinks it's 100% his fault when I get them ol' cozmic blues. He just doesn't understand - he may make them worse, but they've always been there.

E-mailed the Hula Rat, as she's the only person I know who's had any experience w/anti-depressants as something other than a recreational drug, hoping she e-mails me back before I get to the doctor. The people @ work swap their pain killers, muscle relaxants & anti-depressants like they're Pez, and Alex is on so much crap, prescription & otherwise, that he's not a reliable resource.

It used to be when I was a depressed, drunken teenager I could at least write pretentious angst-filled poetry, dye my sheets black, walk around muttering how my life was 'one big, dark room', but I'm getting a little too old for that crap. And I can't see walking around for months on end feeling like this. I keep telling Rob that there are drugs out there that could help him w/his never-ending anxiety. So I'm going to take my own advice & see if I can get some artificial joy in the form of a pill.
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Once again, Rob found himself musing about the whole Terry Schiavo situation. He's still horrified by the fact that she basically died of dehydration. He gets on these kicks. Rob is nothing if not a survivalist. He wants to be kept on life support, resuscitated til he's pounded into a bloody pulp, made into some sort of cybernetic mutant nightmare... and I don't. Don't resuscitate me, don't put me on life support, don't go to any means, extreme or otherwise, to keep my ass around. I haven't given up on the notion of suicide entirely, but teenaged attempts proved unsuccessful. I survived being hit by a car, I am afraid of shotguns because, even tho I think the photos were faked, I think about the pictures of the kid who tried to blow his head off & the experts blamed it all on Judas Priest... and I must have a really, really high tolerance to most forms of chemically induced death (one can only wonder why...), so I'm stuck here for awhile. Anyway, when I die, cut me up & distribute me to the needy, or if my sedantary lifestyle has ruined me for donations, give me to Bodyworlds, and if I'm too hideous for even Bodyworlds, give me to the Body Farm... but Gods, please, the next time I actually die, let me go.

That said, after arguing about the need for a will to state that he wishes to be kept alive by any means necessary, Rob & I got into a philosophical discussion about the soul. Where, in fact, does it reside? Can exanimate flesh be brought back, soul intact? Are we just a composite of chemical reactions in the brain? Can hard science, electric stimuli, artificial respiration & heartbeat bring back someone once they're dead, and if so, are they still who they were before they died?

I believe that the soul & the flesh are two separate things, bound together for practicality & convenience, kind of like sharks & remora. The shark, efficient biological machine that it is, is the flesh. The remora, small & unobtrusive, maintains the shark & keeps it in good running condition - that's the soul. Rob's views on when life begins involve conception, maybe even something in the sperm & ova... I believe that life begins at the first breath. That's when the average human gets their soul. That's why it's so important that one's life starts out w/a slap on the ass & a scream. You have to suck in a soul. Without that initial breath, the baby dies, no soul enters. And when you die, you breathe your last breath & there goes your soul. Gone to wherever it came from. Returned to sender. Which is where zombies come from, at least, movie-concept zombies. They are the soulless bodies that are just reanimated. You have to work fast if you actually want to bring an individual back to life. There's a limit on how long someone can be dead & be successfully revived - the soul's got things to do, places to go, new people to be. It can't hang around a corpse for days on end, waiting for it to breathe again. The human brain rots remarkably fast - decomposition begins almost immediately. People in long comas who have been autopsied after they finally let go or are taken off the life support show that, even tho their lives were in suspended animation or being artificially induced, the brain had already begun to decompose. I think there's even a slang term for it, something like 'coma soup'. The soul left long ago & only the shell remained. Extreme cold is about the only thing that retards it, gives a person maybe a half hour extra, which is why a person who's died in frigid water can be successfully revived w/little brain damage. So therefore, the brain must be home to the soul - within minutes of the soul vacating the premises, the property value drops.

It's all a little irrelevant, tho, now that I'm thinking about it. Rob can wish for immortality all he wants - maybe by the time it's his time to go, they'll have technology out there that can give a human an endless lifespan. I won't be opting for it and that's enough for me.

I'm just meandering, trying to put some thoughts down on paper. I read 'Susannah's Song' (The Dark Tower Series, book 6) by Stephen King over the past two days, and he had put in a journal at the end. Part of me wonders if it's the real deal (all up to his 'death' from being hit by that van) or if it's all made up. It's probably a compilation of real events & those thrown in to show the coincidences between his life & the lives of his fictional characters. I've always liked the Universe that King created - towns & people cross the pages & covers of their own books & make cameos & guest appearances in others. The world the Tower inhabits is in almost all of his writing, in a way. I've grown up as familiar w/that world as w/this one - I think of fate as 'ka', and can accept the notion that the entire Universe we know hinges on a singing rose in a vacant lot somewhere. Ka is also Egyptian, but I can't remember if the 'ka' was one of the souls, or if it was something akin to destiny. I remember that the 'ba' was the portion of the soul that resembled a bird... but did it fly to the Underworld to be weighed, or did it stay w/the body? (Of course, typing 'ka ba' in the search window gave me references to the Ka'ba at Mecca). (ah, loosely, the ka is the soul tied to the body by mummification, & the ba is free to fly).

I think the shot tech who gave me my allergy injection got me in the muscle. It hurt. A lot. Moreso than any of the others. I've got a lump there. I've got a lump on the other one, too, but that one itches while the one on the right aches. Deep. I yelped, and normally I'm very stoic. Of course, I am also running on approx. 2 hrs. of sleep in the last 36 or so, so I'm a little more sensitive. Burned Nag Champa in here to clear the airwaves. I was listening to Cirque du Soleil's 'Nouvelle Experience' before he left, trying to wind myself down a little so maybe, just maybe, I could go in my room, play my Delta Sleep CD & maybe actually fall asleep. But Rob got me all wound up before he went to work. Bastard.
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I saw an ad for it last night. It looks a lot like the 'Ambien' ads. It's called Lunesta/Lunestra (there seems to be some confusion on the web about that). It used to be called Estorra during the clinical trials. But anyway... it's a chemical called eszopiclone. (It all sounds espanol to me - espaghetti, especial, ese)... Supposedly it's non-narcotic, faster acting than Ambien (10 min. as opposed to 20 min), and supposed to have a lower chance of causing backlash insomnia. The thing about it that appeals to me is the fact that you can take it for a long time. Most narcotic sleeping pills are only usually prescribed for 1 - 2 wks. But w/Lunestra, you can take it for up to 6 months. Wowee! So when my Ambien scrip runs out, that's my next drug of choice.

The takeover was bumped up due to the fast conclusion to the Detroit sale. The Sr. Vice President's last day was Friday, some bigwig from the casino is gone... I don't know exactly what to expect on Weds. when I go in. This whole training-Kelly ordeal may have been for naught.
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This morning, Rob laid down w/me. When he got up to leave, I placed tented, questing fingers against his chest & said, "I could just reach in there and rip it out." He asked, "Rip what out?" I replied, "Your heart. I could rip your heart out." He sort of moved away from me & my hand followed, "What are you going to do with it?" "I'm going to add it to my collection." "What collection" "Oh, you know, heart, kidneys, liver..." and then I laughed at
him. He asked me if I was awake & I told him, quite plainly, "No". I vaguely remember saying something about adding it to my collection, wanting to say something about 'shapes', "heart, square, triangle", but organs came out instead. I am creepier than I imagined myself to be.

Yesterday I walked in my sleep & trashed the house & the contents of my purse looking for dildo lube... this morning I threatened to pull Rob's heart out. The whole heart thing had Rob kind of concerned because I could do something violent in my sleep & not even know it til I woke up. When unleashed, my subconscious mind is a dark & scary place. I'm starting to wonder if maybe my conscious mind knows this & that's part of why I have insomnia.
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So today was my first day in a month w/out Ambien... again. I need a new doctor - one that will give me more than a 2 month supply at a time. Anyway, I actually fell asleep around 9:30 this morning. Around Noon:30, I heard what sounded like a stadium full of people cheering, woke up, adrenaline rushed, heart pounding. Couldn't fall back asleep (naturally)... masturbated til I did fall back asleep (works almost every time). I wake up a lot because I always seem to have a crowd of people making noise in my head. I also dreamt something about pissing dark blue, staining my pristine white panties & hands. Odd. Understandable, tho, because between discussions of natural UTI remedies on tribe & trying to remember which herb makes a dark blue essential oil (chamomile, not St. John's Wort), dreaming about blue urine seems natural.

I'd like to go to to a sleep specialist, but the idea of spending the night in a lab w/a bunch of electrodes taped to my head... I don't think I could fall asleep in a place like that w/out artificial tranqulization anyway, so it's kind of pointless. I just have this nagging feeling about 'fatal familial insomnia'... Very few people I'm related to actually have an easy time with sleep. Genetic testing is also very, very expensive, and I don't think my insurance cares about me that much.

From Merck:

Fatal familial insomnia is a prion disease that interferes with sleep, leading to deterioration of mental function.

Fatal familial insomnia is a genetic disease, due to a specific mutation in the PrPc gene. However, the disease can occur spontaneously, without a mutation. This form is called sporadic fatal insomnia. Fatal familial insomnia and sporadic fatal insomnia differ from other prion diseases because they affect predominantly one area of the brain, the thalamus, which influences sleep.

The disease usually begins between the ages of 40 and 60 but may begin in a person's late 30s. Most often, it runs in families. At first, people may have minor difficulties falling asleep and occasional problems with muscle movements. Eventually, they lose the ability to sleep. Other changes include muscle twitching, rapid heart rate, and dementia. Death usually occurs after about 7 to 36 months of illness. No treatment is available.


Of course, there's always Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease, the human version of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease)... and considering how much raw hamburger meat I've eaten in my lifetime... eh, it's probably just the depression, or the graveyard shift work - even tho I can't sleep at night, either, because I'm awake anyway. Even when I was little. I wouldn't get sleepy til 4 - 5am. My mom & dad could not enforce a 'bedtime' on me because I would be awake long after they fell asleep - they couldn't stay awake long enough to make sure I was actually sleeping. Of course, it made school a bitch. I'd want to sleep after 5am, but noooo, I had to get up to go to school. Half the time I didn't sleep except for on weekends - be up all night, at school all day, couldn't get away w/going to bed til 9 or 10 at night when I'd be AWAKE again. They just gave up - let me stay up & watch old black & white horror movies on the couch. I saw some great movies... 'Abbott & Costello Meet Dracula/the Mummy/the Werewolf', 'Them', 'The Bad Seed' (which was on AMC last weekend, but Rob couldn't stand the dead kid's mom's bawling & pleaded w/me to change the channel so we ended up watching the Food Network all night), all those Hammer flicks, 'Hell House' w/all the heads planted in the fields. I also used to go roaming around & stealing people's flowers to give to my mom. The neighbors had no clue that I was the 4am Flower Marauder. I don't know what my mom ever thought of the bunches of flowers I used to leave all over the house, either. She never said 'thank you', but I don't remember ever getting yelled at about it or told not to leave the house in the middle of the night. That's the benefit of living in a town like Sumner, WA in the early 80's - a 7 year old kid could wander around picking the neighbor's flowers at the break of day & no one cared. Television seemed a lot more interesting, too - old movies til the 'Station Identification' & 'Sign-Off', that last commercial w/the old Indian guy crying over littering, and the multi-colored bars came on. Now at 4am I have a wide variety of infomercials and repeats from earlier in the day. How many times can one watch the same episode of 'Iron Chef America', anyway?

Alcohol interferes w/the dreaming process, but it's been a month or so since I got drunk the last time, & I haven't had a drop since. It's mostly curiosity, the thing about, well, exactly why do I have such a hard time staying asleep? Why, when I wake up after 3-4 hrs. of sleep, do I feel like I'm having a panic attack? Why are there crowds of people making crowds-of-people noises in my head? Today it was cheering, like right after the Brazilian announcer yells "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!", but sometimes it's just that sort of ocean-wave muttering murmuring crowd-of-people noise.
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Daily Om
March 30, 2005
Being Truly Free
Letting Go


There is tremendous freedom in letting go. It is liberation to free ourselves of things that clutter our lives; too many possessions, useless emotions, unhealthy habits, old beliefs, even people that drain our energy. All of these things and more can weigh us down. Every once in awhile it's good to "clean out our closets" literally and figuratively.

Like pruning dead branches or like a snake shedding an old skin, we need to let go of the what no longer serves or what no longer fits, so that there is room for something new, alive, and what is needed at this time in our lives. Yet, we are a possessive society. We often hold on to things, feelings, and relationships out of habit or, many times, out of fear of being without. For so much of learning to let go is about learning to trust. We have to be able to trust that, indeed, new branches will grow, that there is a new skin under the old one. And yet, to the degree that we are willing to let go, we are able to receive. When we stop holding on and clinging to anything, we realize we have everything.

For in reality, we really own nothing. Certainly, we don't own people. Our spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, children are not really "ours." Even if we own the title to our house or car, such possessions can be gone in a moment, taken by a natural disaster, an accident, or financial circumstances. Native Americans could not grasp the European concept of "owning" land, anymore than one can own the sky. For everything belongs to the universe, as even we do. When we allow ourselves to rethink our sense of "ownership," it is easier to let go. We no longer need to feel burdened by the responsibility of having to hold on to something. Rethink the value of a prized book collection, a coveted job, and feelings for an old flame. Perhaps it isn't necessary to physically get rid of something, but letting go of the power that a person, ideology, or material object possesses is truly freeing.

***
I woke up about an hour ago, congested & headachey. Normally, this would not be weird for me, but I took my sleeping pill at 4am. What the fuck!?

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