I hate bedtime the way an eight-year-old hates bedtime. I kick and whine and pout before turning into a loopy, weird, wide-awake version of myself that only seems to exist after 10pm.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I will jump up and onto Stephen. Anything that comes out of my mouth is funny, and I’m laughing at everything – mostly how funny I am.
Stephen is, without fail, always surprised by this change in personality that happens every single night. “Weren’t you just tired like 20 minutes ago?” Probably. But now it’s bedtime, so I’m wide awake.
That’s not to say I hate sleep. I love sleep. But the physical act of going to bed and trying to fall asleep is torture. I literally lay in bed and stare up at the dark ceiling as Stephen’s breaths get longer and deeper. I think about EVERYTHING. When finally, I start to drift, my conscious mind realizes that I’m drifting and jolts me back awake. ‘Not this time, Sonny!’ is what I imagine it saying. And THEN, because I have to completely make myself miserable, not only will I think about things, I will think about scary things. I don’t know why I do this to myself. Maybe I am so afraid of having bad dreams – because I have bad dreams almost every night – that I think how I’m going to have bad dreams and what they will be. Here’s how it goes in my head:
‘I just want to sleep. I know I’m tired. I need to go to sleep so that I can get up at a reasonable time and have a productive morning. Do not start thinking about scary things. Don’t do it! Don’t you dare imagine that scene from Saving Private Ryan. La la la la la la I can’t hear you. Think about happy things. Flowers and sunshine. Not that scene where the two guys are fighting a very long fight. The good guy is winning. I’m sure he’s going to win, but then the bad guy starts winning, and now he’s on top of the good guy, and he’s got a very long sword hovering right above the guy’s chest, and now, instead of fighting, the good guy tries to plead with the bad guy. He says, “Wait wait wait wait wait.” God dammit! I just imagined the whole fucking horrible scene!!! You idiot. Now your heart is pounding and you’re going to have nightmares. Way to fucking go.’
Oh yea, I forgot that I also then berate myself after I have the bad thoughts. That scene really is so horrible. I don’t even like to think about it now, in the middle of the day.
My sleeping pill days are over. I don’t like how they make me feel. I don’t like feeling drugged. And it’s always difficult to wake up the next day. And I just don’t want to take them. I want to fall asleep and wake up like a normal person. So I drink wine.
I’m kidding. Sort of. Wine doesn’t actually help with sleep. It might make it easier to fall asleep, but drinking wine close to bedtime actually makes your sleep a lot worse (unfortunately). Besides, I haven’t been drinking.
Today is Day 16 no drinking. That’s the most consecutive days not drinking in my entire adult life. A little sad but let’s call it a victory. Prior to this, the longest I’ve gone is one week. Somehow, going longer has felt easier than that one week. I think it’s because of expectations. Stephen and I have decided to not drink for 3 1/2 weeks.
It’s been really nice, actually. Now, instead of “winding down” after dinner with some wine and TV, we go to our respective rooms and work on things we need to work on. For Stephen this could be consulting work, listening to podcasts, doing his own research, or currently, checking something off our long wedding to-do list. For me, it could be writing, working on the fun workout I’ve been creating, or checking something off our long wedding to-do list.
I look forward to having this time. Most recently, I spent my time after dinner putting together a playlist for the night of the Welcome Cocktails. This consisted of picking the songs, then compiling them into a list on Spotify, then putting them in order, and then listening to them in order to make sure that one song flows smoothly into the next with Spotify’s nifty 12 second cross-fade feature. At 10:45pm there’s a knock on my door. I open the door with a big smile on my face. Hi!!
Stephen laughs with a look that clearly recognizes that nighttime Lindsay is here. “I’m exhausted, I’m going to bed.” I stand up to hug him. OK. I’m wide awake. I’m going to work on our Welcome Cocktail playlist.
Stephen goes to bed. I compile a list of 85 songs. When I finally check the time, it’s 1:17am. Motherfucker. I need to go to bed. I don’t feel tired, but I must be tired, right? I climb into bed around 1:30. And so begins my struggle. I might as well should have just stayed up. Just kept listening to music until I could finally get sleepy and pass out on the floor. That would be better than this. Laying in bed, hoping to get tired. Hoping to get some sleep.
Bedtime is so stupid.