Please note, this is a post for December’s Blog Carnival of Mental Health, on the theme of Night. For more information about the Carnival, click here.
I’ve posted before about how much I enjoy sleeping. If I could, I would happily spend my life asleep. When I’m asleep, I don’t have to fight any more.
If I don’t get enough sleep, it has a huge impact on my ability to cope with life. For every hour of sleep I need which I don’t get, it’s like someone takes a spoon away from me, so on the weekends I’ll sleep for twelve or fourteen hours to get back to level pegging.
But one of the most important things about night–apart from it being when I get my sleep–is the time I’m lying in bed, my partner beside me, waiting to fall asleep.
You see, these are also times when I can stop fighting. I don’t have to deal with the world, with any of the people in it or be prepared for what it might throw at me. I’m free to think about anything I want to.
A lot of the time, I think about killing myself. I’m allowed to–this is my ‘stop fighting’ time, my ‘free time’ (time when I’m free to think what I want), remember? I think about how I would do it, what I’d say to whom in my last emails, and how, at my funeral, no one would really be upset but instead be happy I’d finally been able to lay down my arms.
Sometimes, I think about other forbidden things. Like living in a world where my sexuality isn’t a problem because anthropomorphic animals are just as common as humans, or being able to live my life in a sealed box where there’s no need for interaction with the outside world. Or I think about being captured, held hostage and tortured because, well, then I’d have a reason to be fucked up–or it might free me, like surviving one of Jigsaw’s traps.
Very occasionally, I take a bite out of the most forbidden of fruits: God. I have no problem with religions or the people that follow them, don’t get me wrong. Whatever gets you through the night, as they say. But like everything else, the God I think about while falling asleep is idealised, millions of miles from reality. I think about being able to wash my hands of responsibility for my life and everything in it, putting it all in the hands of some creature beyond accountability.
One of the ways I know I’m a lot better than I used to be is that, these days, I think about other things, too. Normal things, like The Utterly Awesome Batman Story I’m Going To Write Which’ll Make The Killing Joke Look Like Something From The Adam West-Era, or what I would do if a million pounds just dropped into my lap, no taxes and no questions asked. Ten years ago, my thoughts would be on suicide almost every night with occasional, painful musings about my imaginary God.
Sometimes, I think about my partner lying beside me and why she’s put up with me all these years. You’ll have to ask her, I suppose, but I’m grateful she has.
I need my free times when I’m falling asleep as much as I need my sleep. I need times when I’m free and can stop fighting. All I want–all I’ve ever really wanted–is to be able to give up the fight permanently. I’ll happen. But, in the meantime, I’m grateful for the respite night time offers me.