Friday, December 19, 2014

Sleep. Snap. Repeat.

Years ago when smart phones hit our hands, Jill and I started lightly razzing one another.  When one of us left our phone unattended, the other would scoop it up, snap a ridiculous (PG) pic of ourselves, and quickly assign it as that phone's screensaver.  Admittedly, Jill was more consistent than me.

As a result, I'd often flip open my phone (that's right, the flip phone, baby - still love 'em) to see a jolly, but deranged Jilly face staring back at me from the screen.  A quick and ridiculous way to inject joy into one another's day.

As technology evolved, so too did the game.

Looking back, I think my way of dealing w/ the stress of our roller coaster was to sleep it off.  I didn't show a lot of emotion - little-to-no tears, no screaming, certainly no violence.  I was aware of my position and needed to play the part of the rock, Jill's rock.  And I think I did it well...when I wasn't sleeping.  That was my I dealt w/ the madness that tended to be our reality.

We'd often come home from a long day of doc appointments and I'd be drained from posing as the 'strong' one.  So, once Jilly had what she needed, I'd very naturally curl up to the closest couch or bed that would have me and pass the fuck out.  Sleep truly was my escape from reality.  Still is.

Jill had the Gilmore Girls, West Wing, a few iPad games, and books.  When she wasn't socially engaged w/ friends or family, these outlets were her escape tools.

Netflix and a book may help me from time to time.  But, more often than not, I couldn't underestimate the power of the nap.  It just pulled me in.  It was a crucial part of my coping.

And Jill knew this...though she had her fun w/ it, too.

I now realize how often these naps occurred b/c they are documented.  They're documented in photos stored on both our phones.

I'd conk out.  Jill'd grab a phone, snap the picture, and go on doing what she was doing.  Oftentimes I wouldn't see a pic until weeks later.

"When did you take that?" I'd ask, pointing to a picture of me on the couch, mouth agape, w/ the dog snuggled at my feet.

"That one?  Oh, probably a few weeks ago.  You hadn't seen it.  Keep scrolling.  There's more..." Jill would respond w/ gleeful pride in her voice.

And so it went.  I'd get my escape sleep and Jill'd document it w/ a series of photos.

Seriously, I could probably drop $75 on a thick Shutterfly album - all pics of me sleeping.  No good.

And now here I am.  I can't fucking sleep.  Well, I shouldn't say that.  I sleep.  I just have a really difficult time getting to sleep at night...and then waking up in the morning.

You try going to sleep w/ the same person for over ten years and then (somewhat) suddenly have to do it on your own.  (On second thought, don't try it.  Please.)  It's unnatural.

Quite simply and eloquently, it sucks.

I try to sleep to dream her.
I try to think of our shared moments.
I try not to think of Jilly.
I try to plan the next day.
I try to read myself to sleep.
I try to meditate.
I try not to try...

So far, no recipe for successful sleep.

If I just knew once I fell asleep I'd wake to one more picture that Jill snapped of me while I was out...

I think I need another plan.

All love,

J, J, & r

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