Wednesday night I did not sleep well. I had a hard time getting to sleep and a hard time staying asleep. I woke up early Thursday morning exhausted. To make matters more challenging I also had to be out of the house for most of the morning. I found that I could not concentrate. I struggled with focus. I couldn’t get any work done. I felt miserable. I spent most of the day on the couch watching TV.
What is worse than not feeling great are the dark thoughts that run through my mind. I find myself questioning whether or not the sickness that I’m feeling is a return of cancer. I find myself going down dark paths in my mind feeling like this disease is going to kill me.
My logical brain tries to dig me out of the hole. I try to reason with myself, reminding myself that I don’t need to be thinking this way – that worrying and having these thoughts will not change any outcomes – that there is not point in dwelling in this misery because it doesn’t make any difference. I try to convince myself that I’ll be OK – and that I am OK now. I try. But those dark thoughts keep popping in to my head – they overwhelm me.
Then the day ends and I go to bed. Last night I slept well – a solid 8.5 hours sleep. I woke up well rested. Although the heat wave broke, so the temperatures are a perfect 22 degrees C, sun shining, with a nice cool breeze. Exactly what I needed.
Today has been hugely productive. I’m almost done marking. I made progress on my dissertation. I’ve done other self-care things that I needed to do. I walked around the block a couple of times. I’m feeling so much better.
I know that sleep affects my mental health – but this highlights just how much. Today I’m glad that last night I slept well!