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Up and Down (on Headaches and Sleepless Nights) July 28, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I know I just wrote about how happy I am, and that is still true. However, this week has been one hell of a hard one.

There isn’t really any reason for this week to be as tough as it has been. It’s been relatively busy at work, sure, but there hasn’t been anything particularly out of the ordinary to stress and pressure me. At home it’s been quiet, just watching TV and cooking up massive batches of delicious, yummy chilli.

But then, of course, there is the headache. It set in Tuesday, and despite the best pharmaceutical intervention there it stayed, buried deep down in my brain. Every thought has been an effort, the headache’s gnarly tendrils snaking deep into every mental function, tightening and constricting and slowing. Like a heavy weight on my shoulders I shuffled around underneath it, each hour of the day stretched to oblivion, time dragging on and on and on. Yesterday I expected it to be better. It wasn’t. Instead the headache morphed, evolved. It sat, for pretty much all of the day, somewhere behind my face, grumbling and prodding and complaining to itself.

The headache alone, and all the drugs, wouldn’t perhaps be that bad, were not for the lack of sleep that has accompanied it. What is strange is that this sleeplessness seems unconnected to the headache – it has just manifested itself in a bright, chaotic awakening, a sense that my brain has forgotten how to turn off. I’ve lain there, tucked up in my  bed, the hot waves of sticky air crawling over my body. I’ve closed my eyes, breathed deeply, listened to soft and gentle music purely designed to send me to sleep. And I have stubbornly stayed awake.

It’s been a tiring week, to say the very least.

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Last night I woke up screaming October 21, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Dreams.
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Last night I woke up screaming. I pulled myself from deep down, swimming through murky water that clawed at me like toffee to finally plunge into the real world, with a scream tearing its way from my mouth as soon as I surfaced. Immediately after screaming, I lay back down, but I couldn’t get out of my head the feeling of utter terror. When my eyes tried to close, fluttering down against my will, I forced them open, staring around the room like a rabbit caught in the proverbial headlights.

What is strange is that I don’t know what was scary. I have apocalyptic dreams all of the time, and they entertain me from the moment my eyes close to the second my alarm wakes me in the morning. This dream, however, consisted of me flying around a huge, dark, and deserted department store, fighting as always against gravity and the ever encroaching darkness. At one point there was a slow wall of mud crawling through a town, and a mad rush to escape. All in all, it was pretty far from terrifying.

Yet still, there I was, wild eyed and pumped full of adrenaline, at three in the morning. Realising, of course, that for the first time since I have been single, I needed someone to hold me. I needed someone to stroke me, and tell me that it would all be alright, and shh me until I faded into sleep with their arms wrapped around me and their breath hot against my skin.

And there I was, alone.