Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth
I find myself more and more frequently retreating to my beautiful haven of sleep. In sleep I go to find escape. Escape from thinking. Escape from planning. Escape from feeling.
I have all the leisure time in the world now. Time to exercise. Time to see friends and family. Time to cook and clean and do all of those little things that I could never seem to find a spare moment to do before.
And yet, I sleep.
Sleep is the ultimate time killer. I lay down only to open my eyes and find that three hours have disappeared. Slipped away never to be found again, not matter how much I might regret their passing. And yet, what have I really missed?
Am I sleeping to heal? Sleeping to find answers? Or simply sleeping as a means to not have to live the life that I find myself in?
Sleep is my reward for each task accomplished. One job applied for? Why don’t you take a nap? Dishwasher emptied? Why don’t you go lay down after all that hard work? A few phone calls returned? I think you deserve some rest now.
Sleep is not really an escape. I find myself dreaming about everything I’ve been doing. Everything I should be doing. Everything I’ve already done, I keep doing over and over again, night after night in some sort of cruel somnambulistic ritual.
I tell myself to view this time of freedom, this era of release with anticipation, delight even. And yet, I can’t help but feel the judgement that I’m most likely only truly receiving from myself.
I view sleep as a release from the torture that I’m putting myself through; a sanctuary from the almost militant plan that I’ve laid out for myself. I can’t allow myself to believe that I’ve truly been through a terrible time, and that I deserve, nay, needed to escape from where I was being held prisoner- both by my manager, and myself.
I don’t wake up feeling refreshed and revitalized. I wake up cursing myself for having wasted precious moments that I could have been doing…what? I don’t know. Something.
Meditating? Applying for more jobs? Scheduling therapy?
Sleep. How I loathe those little slices of death, and yet I long for them as well.