#11 – SLEEP THERAPY

The Adventure – Sleep Therapy

The Chrysalid…

My grandpa just died.

My dad is recovering from an extensive illness.

My career is over.

I just moved for the 38th time.

One of my dearest friends is dying.

And I’m single again.

There was only one thing left for me to do…

The sleeper within…

I didn’t want to open my eyes.

I didn’t want to return back to my body, back to reality.

I walked away from life…leaving it wearily, sadly, slipping into the darkness, surrendering myself into the weightlessness of the void.  I was worn, beaten, and I needed a moment of something – anything – that resembled nothingness.

I silenced the phones and fell backwards onto my bed, into the abyss, allowing it carry the weight of the world from my shoulders, a moment of reprieve.

And I gave myself permission to sleep. To give my body, my spirit, what it so desperately needed.  There was no where to go to, no place to run. So I closed the door, walked away from my life, and I slept.

My kittens, unsure of what to make of this new and unusual development, snuggled tightly against me, their low rumbling purrs caressing my soul.

And time stood still.

I dreamt, losing track of all space and time…and of the world around me.

My dreams, troubled at first, eventually gave way to something different, something new. And soon, I was consumed by only one dream. The dream of another life.

One that was filled with new beginnings, new possibilities.

…but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

The sleeper awakens…

With great reluctance, my eyelids parted, opening slowly. And as the last fragments of sleep dissipated, leaving my body, I became aware of why I left it in the first place. A sense of sadness lingered, but slowly replacing it was a feeling of hope.

That everything was going to be all right. That I would recover and move forward into a new journey, a new life.

And like a butterfly emerging from it’s cocoon, I opened my bedroom door and re-entered the land of the living, altogether something else.

Someone else.

Awakening within me the stranger I’d been waiting an entire lifetime to meet.

The adventure…?

So where was the adventure this month?  Call it what you will. Perhaps it could be called an adventure – perhaps not. And although it wasn’t quite as adventurous as learning to sail sailboats, it was something I’ve never done before…giving myself the gift of time and of sleep.

There were moments where some semblance of the ‘old’ me popped out and demanded that I get up out of bed, that I get up NOW. But a soothing gentler voice shushed the angry voices within, silencing my ego, giving me comfort, nurturing me in the darkened womb I called my bedroom.

It felt as though something inside of me was shifting, something different, perhaps even good.

Deep down inside, I knew I needed to escape the world for a moment in time…that I needed to heal the wounded spirit within.

Afterthoughts…

There are times in our lives when we need to retreat and regroup – and this was one of those moments.

And things did change in my life from that month onward. Amazing new adventures that you’ll soon be reading about. Granted, since the sleeper within awoke, there have been MANY ups and downs – all part of the learning curve, I imagine. But that being said, with all the trials and tribulations I experience, I sense I am on the right path, finally living a life worth living for.

So when is it time to channel your inner Rip Van Winkle?

  • You are having issues focusing your attention.
  • Your short term memory is really sketchy (ie. can’t find your keys)
  • You can’t seem to carry on a conversation without zoning out.
  • You struggle to stay awake no matter where you are.

Interesting Factoids about Sleep

  • It’s not uncommon for a person to sleep with their eyes wide open.
  • You can burn up to 300 calories a night sleeping.
  • The record for sleep deprivation is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes.
  • A bright light shining on the back of human knees resets the sleep-wake clock.
  • Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep and lay down for REM sleep.
  • Ducks keep half of their brain awake while the other sleeps as a survival mechanism.
  • The record for the longest hypnotic sleep was 8 days by hypnotherapist, Peter Powers.
  • 37 years is the record for the longest coma without waking up (Elaine Esposito).
  • 19 years is the record for the longest coma – but waking up (Jan Grzebski).
  • In the coma state, your body goes into a state of rapid healing.

© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, November 2008

Frank Herbert, Dune. 1965.