Ella is the central character in my soon-to-be-released novel Worlds Within Worlds. At one point, she finds it hard to sleep, and if you have ever had difficult sleeping, the following excerpt from the book will resonate with you, and you may find Ella’s unusual insomnia cure helpful. The essence of her unusual insomnia cure is meditation and contemplation. It may wake you up more for a start, but at least you are utilizing your time in a useful way, and knowing that things will eventually change helps you not to worry about the insomnia. Not worrying is vital, because anxiety makes insomnia worse. Next time you can’t sleep, try asking yourself the questions Ella asks herself.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt.
Word-shaped bullets pound against my skull and ricochet again and again. I am not following the thoughts; they just won’t stop coming. I’m not thinking about the thoughts; they are fading away, but they keep returning, like some bad guy in a movie that just won’t die. The world beneath the veil is so far away that it might as well not exist, and I can’t find the entrance. The fact adds immeasurably to my frustration. My mind has gone crazy, and I can’t get it under control.
An hour, at least, has passed while I wait for the onslaught to slow. But the thoughts and images just keep spinning and thumping. I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep, and every moment that I lie here waiting to slip into oblivion is precious time wasted. I’ve been working way too hard—long hours with my concentration too often interrupted by anxiety and irritation at the two men that have turned my life into some kind of hell. And now all the things I need to do and haven’t, that have fallen unattended to while I focus on the editing, are reminding me of their existence. My ‘to do’ list is overwhelming. It doesn’t bother me during the day, but at night, everything becomes urgent. I need to do these things, and somewhere my body feels that it should do them now. But I’m too tired to get up and try to wade through the work.
My confidence is shot. I’m probably making grammar mistakes in the editing, and the retribution when they’re found—someone will notice eventually—will be swift and cruel. And I sure as hell aren’t managing my mind as I should. I grab my hair at the roots and yank. I tuck my legs underneath me and bury my head in the pillow. Tears threaten. I’m a wreck and I shouldn’t be. I should be able to handle this. I know how to handle it, but nothing is working.
I ignore the thought forms and their accompanying feelings. They do fade, but they come back, as predictable as a yo yo.
I try to take my mind elsewhere with visualisations and mantras. They do fade, but they come back and knock the mantras aside. I’m too tired to maintain the concentration required to hold them steady against the barrage.
So I make them the focus of my attention. I wait for the next one. And there is a gap. A blessed space.
I enter the space and find relief, but then, like a set of ocean waves, they rise again in a great swell and crash against the inside of my skull. On the outside, an iron band tightens around my temples. The blood in the veins beneath it pulse like a Japanese drum. My eyes are sore and dry, and even pressing into them with the palm of my hand does not relieve the discomfort.
I have had enough.
I will not be at the mercy of my mind. I will not be at the mercy of anyone.
Bring it on; I’m watching. And waiting.
The thoughts go strangely shy.
Where do they come from, anyway?
Where do they stay?
Where do they go?
I slip into the space opened up by the unanswerable questions, and find myself blissfully on the other side.
The clarity is brilliant—but too brilliant. Still I cannot sleep. But it is a better place to spend time while I wait, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve taken back control.
But taking back control of the run-away train of my outer life will not be so easy.
I snort; control is an illusion. Cause and affect and habits drive our lives. I never had a say in the entrance of Dita or Scott into my personal play. I never choreographed them in, but now I must dance around them until they choose to leave, or the scene changes—and it will, eventually. Everything changes.
Thank goodness for that!
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