This I Believe

Connie - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on November 15, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65


I believe most people need at least eight hours of sleep. Getting it is another story. When I can’t sleep I know how a composer must feel. Words dance around aimlessly in my head like loose notes looking for the right

melody until morning.

When I finally get up and sit down at the

computer, they have chosen partners and proceeded to form their own tune or in my case story. Hopefully, it has a good rhythm and is easy to read.

I hate people who can fall asleep anywhere. It is particularly annoying on airplanes. I am wedged into my ever decreasing seat space trying to find someone to talk to, while I look at people everywhere sleeping on those ridiculous pin cushion size pillows.

How do they do it? I can be in the most luxurious hotel with all the amenities, and still have trouble sleeping. I have trouble sleeping in my own bed, much less a bed I am not used to.

I believe I made it through life as an insomniac by being as ritualistic as the TV character Monk. I always went to bed early. This gave me more time to obsess about the sleep I was not getting. I always woke up early. I never allowed myself to sleep in or nap for fear I would pay for it with a totally sleepless night.

When my parents were dying, I remember lying awake waiting for the phone to ring. It was during that period I finally sought help.

The doctor wrote me a prescription for a mild sleeping aid she swore would not put me into the Betty Ford clinic. I believed her, and I now believe in drugs when all else fails.

The medication has turned my life around. I stopped fighting it and decided to just say “yes” to drugs.

I still have the occasional restless night, but it is nothing compared to the small amount of sleep I survived on for years.

I believe everyone deserves a decent night’s sleep. These days it feels so good to be able to sleep that when I wake up I think I must be dreaming.