• atekirdag

The cure for my insomnia

Updated: Mar 28

The birth of success & failure series.


It is 3 am. Again.


The night is deep and quiet. I can hear Arda sleeping deeply in the next room and Eleanor, she is much closer to her wake-up time now.


It is almost dawn and I am wide-awake. Damn it. I think it is time to admit that I have a problem... I might have insomnia.


It is one of those nights where I just can't get to sleep. And there has been many of these nights lately.



You know that feeling, when you force yourself to sleep because it is too late, then you get stressed that you can't and it gets worse...


Once I put my head to the pillow, I start thinking about the day, then how things are going and the what ifs and how and when…


The mind is racing and I just can't get down to sleep. (I should have learned how to meditate, when I had the chance...) Nothing helps in one of these moments... I am just anxious and almost hysterical sometimes. I just can't relax.


I reach out to melatonin and hope I can find some peace and sleep as it makes me drowsy...I pick up my book and wait for melatonin to kick in slowly.


I know when I am finally able to go down, I won't be at peace - the nightmares will follow. I keep seeing my grandmother's old home and crowded spaces. One day, I am being kidnapped the next day I am being assaulted...


No wonder I don't want to sleep… (Maybe it's better if I never sleep?)


My therapist would have told me to think about the nature and message of these dreams but I am not going to get all psychoanalytical here... I know what they mean already.



When I wake up in the morning, I am exhausted.


What is going on, I ask to Arda in the morning. Why can't I sleep till 4 am?


He tells me that its okay. Considering the circumstances, what I have been going through, he tells me that it is perfectly okay to be stressed.


Hell yeah I am stressed. I am dying inside some days... I feel helpless, anxious and depressed. I know the problem. I just don't know how to solve it. No, CBT techniques doesn't help. I tried counseling, it changed nothing.


So, no, thank you. I am all about asking for help when you need it but at the moment I don't need one more therapy technique or a new counselor or another self-care suggestion (and if I hear one more person to tell me I need some patience... )


The fact of the matter is; I am sick of waiting for things to happen and it feels as if life has slowed down and stopped.


It has been


12 months 54 weeks 377 days 9,044 hours 542,688 minutes 32,561,299 seconds


since we submitted our PR application. Still no news. It was suppose to take 6, maybe 9 months in the worst case scenario. It has been 12 and still counting...


It has been 3 months since I submitted my graduate school application. Still no news from that, too.


I know. I know. You will tell me to be patient. Maybe that's not my strongest suit or maybe I used all my reserves for patience in the last year? how about that.


It has been one hell of a year, living through a global pandemic, leaving my job and career, moving from US to Canada and waiting for stuff to happen. Constantly.



Arda is right. I have to take it easy on myself...


but how...


How to give yourself a break when you are constantly blaming yourself for the life choices you have made and feeling like a failure.


What if I have done this, what if I have done that...

What if I waited a little more in that career,

What if I waited couple more years to have a child,

What if I have waited in the US and applied for a green card,

What if I have never left Turkey...

What if...


It takes a lot of courage to say this out loud (also knowing that probably 5 people will read this...) that I question myself, a lot lately.


I keep thinking about the choices I have made. As a woman, as an academic, as a mother, as a daughter, as an immigrant... you name it.


Maybe it is true - maybe there is an existential crisis at 30s and I am living through one. Maybe this is my "midlife unraveling"...


I feel as if all the pieces of my identity as moving around (more like shaken by an earthquake that keeps going... ) and I am staying in the middle of this mess - wide awake every night.

While I was looking for a cure for my insomnia - I decided to put words on my feelings and write about what keeps me up at night: "my failures"


Don't get me wrong. I take responsibility of my choices, and if I were to go back, I will probably do them all again. and the point of this or following essays is not to complain or vent.

The purpose of this discussion is to shed light in the process of becoming.

Even though we might have all the reasons to make a particular choice, we might struggle with that decision, in the process. We might feel both brave and afraid. We might both feel like a success and a failure.


I think this is totally normal and I would like to look deeply into this ambivalence in different realms of my identity.


Therefore, I proudly present on success and failure series. This will be a series of posts where I will discuss success and failure on,


- being a career changer

- being a PhD and ex-academic

- being a woman

- being a mother and parent

- being an immigrant

- being a spouse & partner

- being a daughter


My hope is that, by talking these concepts, success and failure as a woman, mother, immigrant, and more, you may also discover how you think of success and failure in your own life and challenge the beliefs that don't belong to you.


Maybe together we can cure insomnia. What do you think?

Let's dive in.


Kumsal

March 19,2021


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