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The above photo was taken last Saturday evening at Disney's Boardwalk, in front of the ESPN Club. I don't know the family pictured, but you can read the back-story and view it larger here.

Today marks the fourth day in a row that I've ventured into the awake-hours on more than four hours sleep -- in over a month. Hello, my name is Robyn and I have chronic insomnia.

I never know when the really bad cycles will hit. One day they just walk up and flick me on the forehead full-force with their middle finger.

It's really hard to explain to someone who has never suffered full-throttle "34-Jolt colas in one sitting" style insomnia what it's really like. I'm a night owl regardless, but this is so not "just staying up a little late". This is your brain doing the splits on the edge of a rusty razor blade. Forty-seven times every second.

"Why don't you just go lie down for awhile and close your eyes?" Ok, sure. And when I'm still not asleep 27 hours later, do you suggest a nice hot cuppa cocoa as well, with a dollop of whipped cream and valerian root sprinkles? I would inhale that stinky concoction through a Pixie-stix straw if I thought it make me sleep.

Gimme your list*. I guarantee that I've tried it in years-past. Ambien? Wired me. Trazadone? Awake 48-hours straight. Klonopin? Sinequan / Doxepin? Sonata? The Benzodiazepines? I got a lot of web design done those nights. I've tried aromatherapy. Natural remedies. Stuff my mom read about online. Something someone's aunt suggested because it worked on their neighbor's cousin's sister's friend... Been there. Got the dark circles.

In fact, the only thing that's worked for me since "I gave birth" has been Lunesta. Only right about the time we left the comfort of our own beds and moved over to the east side, even that only bought me pseudo-sleep between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

After fighting it since the age of 16, I know — as does my family — that when I go into an insomnia-cycle, I just have to wait the son'bitch out. I go through some sort of body-reset about every 2 years, and for 6-8 weeks it's just total hell until it passes. I live in a body that requires at least 8-10 hours sleep every day. It doesn't matter if they're in a row, in pick-a-size paper towel form, or if I phone them in. But without that magic total number reached, I look and live like a zombie. And then, one day with no rhyme or reason, my body throws up a white flag and says, "Ok, I fold. You may sleep again now. I give you permission."

That day was Friday, March 23rd at 9:43 a.m. (just in time for the boys' morning naps). And thanks to a wonderful husband who let the mother of his two toddlers stay in bed past 1 p.m. all weekend long, and a great new doctor who looked over my medical history yesterday and actually believed the insomnia-rap I've been given (along with two shiny new Rx's for Lunesta as lovely parting gifts so I can adjust my dose myself as I need it rather than being forced to take it in one single all-or-nothing dose), I have mental clarity today. And energy. And I'm wearing something that doesn't resemble pajama-attire.

When daddy gets home tonight, we are SO out the door to take full-advantage!

Hug your pillows tight for me tonight.

*No, on second thought... Don't give me your list. Seriously. I've got good doctors, I'm sleeping again, and I'm really not interested in breaking something that's fixed. But if you still insist on typing out a list anyway, don't be surprised to find I've snuck in your home and replaced your regular body-soap with this one. Lather, rinse, repeat!

posted on 03.27.2007 @ 4:57 PM :: mail a comment  
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Original images and works ©2001-2007 to Todd and Robyn
Orlando and Tampa area newborn and maternity photographer

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