The Good Kind of Sleeplessness

I’m drafting only a short post this evening.

I’m tired, you see.

I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night. I lay in bed awake for several hours, until 2:00 a.m. I woke when Martin clambered into my and Adrian’s bed, around 8:00 a.m.

Here’s the thing: Martin didn’t keep me up until 2:00 a.m. He didn’t wake at midnight and rustle for hours while I hovered nearby, iPad in hand. Nor was I anxious, thinking that he’d be up as soon as I closed my eyes, or pondering his future.

Incredibly, I wasn’t able to doze off because I wasn’t tired. Each of the previous several nights, I enjoyed eight or more hours’ sleep. My body, apparently, felt sprightly enough to play a few additional games of on-line Scrabble and then gaze two hours at a near-full moon.

Since Martin’s ASD diagnosis almost two years ago, and even before that (from age 14 months on, he had sleep troubles), and even on vacation (I worry a lot), I cannot recall a single night when sleep eluded me because I wasn’t tired. Between 16-hour days managing Martin’s recovery process, and worrying about whether we’ll succeed, and sitting up with him, I function in a state of permanent exhaustion, punctuated only by degrees. Most nights, I lose consciousness before I finish a 30-second prayer. The remaining nights, anxiety so clogs my mind that I give up trying to sleep and wander the apartment “getting things done” throughout the night.

We’re on vacation this week, in a rented seaside house that compels relaxation. Martin has been sleeping well. My mother-in-law is traveling with us; she wakes with Martin each morning and washes and dresses him before releasing him to me and Adrian. Despite the crap summer we’ve been having, I am sleeping.

I’m off to sleep more now.

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