I struggle to fall asleep on my own.
Despite the near-constant exhaustion that has haunted me throughout adulthood, I have spent many an hour staring at the ceiling, desperately hoping that each sheep will be the last I count before drifting off to dreamland. My mind is constantly over-active and my anxiety often time takes advantage of my drowsy state, the inner voices taking over as I try to quiet my mind. Scenarios of disaster play on repeat, flickering in front of my eyes over and over until finally I surrender, propping myself up in bed with a book, abandoning all hope of a good nights sleep.
For a while, I had someone to hold me on nights such as these.
His arms became my nest of safety (yes, we actually called it that…foolish young love and all that).
At night, we’d climb into his bed, his arms would wrap around me and I would rest my head on his chest. Thu-thump, thu-thump, his heart would beat steadily beneath me, lulling me into the deepest of sleeps. Never before had I experienced that, never before had another’s mere presence had the ability to calm my heart rate and silence the voices. He alone held the ability to sooth me without ever uttering a word.
Since him, I’ve not sought that particular brand of comfort. The ending of our relationship was less than amicable and I now find myself wary of the male race. The heart has a funny way of refusing to heal once it’s been so thoroughly broken.
There have been others who have tried valiantly to hold me in their arms, but I no longer allow myself to enjoy their embrace. While the need for physical contact is at times overwhelming, I can no longer lay such trust in another. My comfort comes from me, and me alone.
Despite having come to this resolution, my anxiety often times will push me to seek out physical contact. I constantly look for opportunities to be physically affectionate with my friends. It often goes overlooked the good a simple hug can do. A very wise friend once confided that after overhearing a conversation of mine, he vowed to hug me at every opportunity.
I’ve never appreciated eavesdropping more.
When the voices begin to grow louder in volume I will often wrap an arm around my middle. It’s one of my “tells”. I remain blissfully unaware as to whether any of my close friends have picked up on that one yet. I pride myself on the ability to quiet my mind without the help of another, yet despite my assurances that I’m happy on my own, there are times when the desire to feel another’s arms around me causes a physical ache. I feel it deep in my bones, the need for someone to hold me, to comfort me, to make the damn voices shut the bloody fucking hell up.
For now, I compromise with a blanket burrito and 6 hours of sleep a night.
I have hope that one day my mind will allow my heart to seek the comfort it desires, for it grows lonely and weary without another’s beat to follow. In the meantime, my mind and I have perfected the early-morning-stealthy-sneak-out (spoiler alert – it involves the true sign of absolutely no commitment – a quick and informal salute and the exchanging of names if you’re lucky).
I find myself to be endlessly amusing (if somewhat hopeless).