insomnia

(some)BODY

When I think of my body, the best I can do is not think aesthetically but functionally. If I keep myself concerned with the things my body can do, I never have to worry if it is pretty or beautiful or good. The problem with this is that there are some things my body cannot do. There have been many things people have said about bodies like mine. There are so many more things I have said about my own body.

Running is one of those things that I don’t expect my body to do. All, I can focus on is excess flesh just moving and how grotesque a sight that is for onlookers. Gravity becoming the immortal enemy of my physicality. If I am still enough, then I can maneuver around slowly enough for things to stay in place. It is all one big optical illusion of Spanx and slimwear and clothing in a size too big. It is weird to see the thoughts, I have displayed on a screen, but this is the reality where I reside.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, I had a case of insomnia. It wasn’t even that my mind was running. I literally just could not sleep. At 3:30am, I decided to go to the gym. Most times, I just walk on a treadmill, but in delirium, I decided to run. I ran for 5 minutes straight. I remained on the treadmill for 35 minutes and upon completion, I had run/walked a little over 2 miles. I hoped this would tire me out, but it only invigorated me. I did squats got in my car and departed, for a 4am drive through the city. By the time I arrived at work, I was tired enough to hide behind my desk for a 20-minute nap…..but I didn’t.

Today, I took a half day. I went to the gym and consciously decided, I was going to run. I began running for 7 minutes. At the end of 32 minutes, I had run/walked a little over 2 miles. 16-minute miles are nothing to brag about. In comparison to even the average runner (maybe walker), I am slow. BUT my body ran. It ran and it felt wonderful and it hurt. It is unfamiliar and fascinating.

I don’t really have goals or expectations for my body. I have worked towards a lifestyle that serves my body best. I have made some progress. I am hoping I can remain consistent. Today was just a day, where I just finished running, breathless and sweaty and smiled.

“Damn, I got some body.”

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Echos of Insomnia

If you struggle with insomnia, you know four in the morning is the longest most silent hour in all twenty-four. If you are quiet enough, the silence resonates the magnificent presence of God.

God who is vast.

God who is real.

God who is strong.

God who is sure.

God whose silence deadens hearts.

God whose words bring life.

God who at 4AM knows, I am delirious. So we sit together in silence.

God who is with me. God who delights in me. God who loves when “I do”, but also loves when “I be”.

God may I find your glory in the day; may I find your presence in the night.

3 Voices

There are voices I hear. I have heard them since I was twelve years old. It was always at night. He told me wretched things. I laid trembling, with covers raised over my head. Lest, I peek for a second and open myself to a full attack. Quickly, I would turn on the light in the hallway, with hope that the radiance of the light would serve as defense against this violent assail. I placed a Bible under my pillow. So, when sleep finally came the voice wouldn’t terrorize me in my dreams.

Disturbing isn’t it? If there was room for mental health in Nigerian culture, I would have been diagnosed. Night and sleep became fearful. I laid wide awake hiding in view of my aggressor. Knowing, insomnia was my sole defense. This voice was not my own, but another’s. The owner of that voice was evil. His malfeasance was deep, for there was no good in him. His demented affliction was malicious and vile. His voice preyed on my adolescent insecurity and romanced it. Quickly the two became one, sharing features: my voice with his words.

His voice softened, but his message endured. I stopped being scared and listened. My voice made the message sound like mine. The words sounded too familiar to be questioned as lies. They were true. They had to be true, because it was me saying these evil things to myself. I followed that voice and its messages all through out middle school and adolescence. The message? “You are not ___________.” Fill in the blank: beautiful, smart, friendly, skinny, funny, good, desirable, clean, lovely, wanted, needed. Like an addict, the voice knew that with each and every message, it needed to steadily increase my dosage for the same high of misery. “You are unworthy. You are unloved. You are bad, there is nothing good in you.” The messages increased to fearful levels. “Why are you even here? No one wants you. No one loves you. No one will ever love you.” As I type, my soul quivers at the familiarity of this feeling. I remember my response to these thoughts. I was dark. There was no joy in me. The voice was not separate from me. It was me. My identity was in the darkness I felt, and it clearly displayed itself in my actions.

For five years I was guided by this voice in all of its rage-filled melancholy. It was not until college, I began to address this voice. Simultaneously, I was introduced to another voice. His Voice was nothing like mine. It was authoritative and gentle. It was the voice an outdoors man who tries to free a frantic animal from its trap. His Voice was (and is) comforting, safe, and dominating. As this Voice spoke to me often the demented monster of my voice would scream louder, attempting to drown out His. There is something about His Voice. Even in the cacophony of  chaotic clamor, His Voice is beautiful. It is the C major to my D minor. The more I heard His, the less I heard mine. I fell in love with His Voice. I followed His Voice.

Soon divorce papers were filed, and I got my voice back. As, I looked at the abusive refrain I sang to myself, the true nature of the voice in the night returned with a new message. “Do you really think your voice can sing with His? Do you really think your voice can even sing His song?” Like an badgered woman returning to her abuser, I listened. For this voice knew there were two ways he could control me. I could sing with him, or I could not sing at all. I was silent. I was scared if I sang His Voice, the voice in the night would heckle me.

But His Voice comforted me. Oft in my weakness, during the night, I’d feel His Hand on my cheek. His Hand would graze toward my chin and lift my face to His. He is breathtaking in may ways, but as I marveled at Him, I could not elude the sureness of His Voice. This sureness was rooted in the truth of His Words. I could trust His Words; I could trust His Voice.

I sang with His Voice. However, the voice in the night still comments. “Do you think you are really pleasing to God?” In the moments when my voice sounds discordant. He says, “Has God really forgiven you?” Sometimes, I stop singing trying to respond back to the voice in the night. However, His Voice has taught me that His Song is my response to the voice in the night’s accusations. So, in all my feeble predilection, I continue singing His Song, and the wretched voice in the night cowers back into the corner and dissolves into the night. As my head rests tranquilly in His Hand, and He sings His Song over me.

5AM is a Great Time for Clearing One’s Mind

Oh, it a rare night of insomnia. However, they are not so rare. Perhaps, once twice a week I don’t sleep through the night. Sometimes, I will sleep an hour or two, but many times it is several hours of thoughts tilt-a-whirling in my brain. 7 months, 25 weeks, 50 days, 400 lost hours of rest. How, I miss it.

How I miss all my luxuries. How, I empathize with my teens. I love them. I love them like I love my babies at Casa. Teenagers are nothing but my babies full-grown. Yesterday was a good day with them. I don’t know how that happened, but I can be transparent. I was able to tell them that honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know a lot.

I feel like I am ready for my own place. All I want is a door to slam in someone’s face and a bed. I dream of both, when I dream. Even the beds of others are uncomfortable. The truth? Well the truth is that I feel dirty. I cannot remember the last time I showered. Humiliating isn’t it? I don’t want to just use someone’s shower. I just want to stand under the downpour and pretend it is rain. I want to sit in the tub as water falls and weep. How badly I want to cry sometimes. Until, my eyes are parched and my soul quenched. I am not hopeless, but human. I am full of faith, but made of flesh. Have I not needs? How, I cry sometimes. As I park my car knowing this is my sole solitude of the day.

My heart sinks to think the holidays will be spent on a couch. I must prepare for these things. I know my faith waivers. Even now, my heart is set on celebrating a first coming of a returning King. Come now long-expected Jesus. Come Jesus. Your kingdom come. I can barely see past my own tears. I am tired of occupying someone else’s space. Great is my fretfulness. These things are hard to communicate orally. Nevertheless, they must make their escape.

I have no place to call home. I have no place to call my own. I’m homeless. I am dirty. I am homeless.

Right now all I want is a husband. I want someone to take care of me. I want to be held tightly and feel secure. I want him to be the protector. I want to be cared for. I want that baritone (or base or tenor) voiced reassurance that everything will be okay. I will be okay; often I am unsure. I want to feel delicate; I don’t want to be strong every second of the day. I am strong for my kids. I am strong as not to concern my friends. I am not that strong nor weak simply human.

Being far away from my family is scary. I miss my mom. I just want cry in her arms. I want to feel like a child. I am still, but a child. I want her to wrap me in her love. I want to breathe and inhale the perfume of her heritage and heart. I miss her and there is nothing I can do. I miss my brother and sister. I miss their support. I miss the way they knew me. I miss celebrating their birthdays. I miss talking to my sister and seeing her face. I miss my brothers humor. I hate that their lives go on without me there. When they mention names, I cannot recollect faces. I am an absentee daughter and absentee sister.

I am not sorrowful, simply weak.

I cannot type anymore as my eyes have lost their ability to focus. It is now 5:43am with 1 hour and 27 minutes until I arise.

Insomnia Posts are the Most Crazy of Them All

Some people like to work because they want to feel productive. Other people enjoy work because they like being busy. Me, I like working because it makes me exhausted. On my second day of not working I am already bored because I am not exhausted. For some people sleep is a natural and lovely process. For me it is a war with my brain to shut itself down and go to sleep.

So, what do I do in my insomnia. Think. I think way too much and never over anything productive of course. Because who in the WORLD is productive at one o’clock in the morning (except the several thousand procrastinating college students across the world). Current thoughts are about England. I may or may not be going to Europe next week and I am kind of stoked. I have a heart bent on adventure and exploration. So, this is naturally right up my ally. I’ve never traveled to another country by myself so, I am kind of scared. But who cares. What is a little fear? I laugh in the face of danger. Not really, I do more of an awkward chuckle at danger. Even if I am scared, what an opportunity. There is a world so much bigger than a town in Georgia and a big city in Texas. There is life completely beaming elsewhere. Doesn’t it fascinate anyone that across the world there are people living their lives? I may meet those people next week? I may walk into a pub for shepherd’s pie or fish and chips and walk out with a story or a friend.

I just think it is quite beautiful how God allows for lives to intersect. He could allow us all to be like ants traveling to and from the hill. Gathering food and functioning, but we are more like pollen. We can be blown so far away from our origin and grow. Ugh, I am not condemning it, but I don’t know how people never want to leave their hometowns. Easy is not interesting to me. Easy is boring.

Think about it. There are women who are my age, who are starting families. FAMILIES. Guys, I am 23. In society and especially Christian society, I think there is this prevailing notion that God wants the same routine for all His children. This routine goes as follows:

  1. Born
  2. Kindergarten
  3. Elementary School
  4. Middle School
  5. High School
  6. College/Workforce
  7. Graduate/Stabilize Job
  8. Marriage
  9. Kids (longest part I’m assuming)
  10. Retire
  11. Die

Again, I am not against this, but this is not for me. Actually, I don’t think it is for a lot of people. I think a lot of people buy into it and end up unhappy because they are not where they want to be. If it makes everyone feel better. I’m not where I want to be either. However, I would rather wander a bit and figure out what I am supposed to do than simply do something because it is what is easier or expected of me. For as much as I say, no guy would ever be able to handle being married to me, I could in fact be married right at this moment. I could be married tomorrow or a year from now or ten years from now or never. Why does everything always seem to come back to this boyfriend issue? I could have a boyfriend right now if I want, but having a “special someone” would not satiate the desire I have for something else. What that something else is? I dunno? Maybe adventure or purpose or achievement or some fourth item to put on the list.

All in all, I think I am open to letting life happen. I am open to meeting new people and experiencing new things. I am especially open to England and meeting Tom Hiddleston.

(start of Tom Hiddleston rant) Ya’ll, don’t even understand. I NEVER EVER EVER have celebrity crushes. Tom Hiddleston is my only exception. Literally my love for him began as a joke. I would just scream out Loki randomly when I was around my coworkers. Then the more I listened to his beautiful British voice and watched him be a velociraptor on YouTube it spawned a genuine appreciation for his life on this earth….also I think he is my soulmate…..(end rant immediately and run away awkwardly)

Lord, just let my life happen. I am not overly concerned about being single or having a boyfriend. I don’t care about being “on track” in my life. If I could ask for one thing Lord, please Jesus, just let me have an adventure. Take me anywhere and everywhere. Place me in the most interesting and awkward situations. Let all I do come back for Your glory. While, I have fears, You comfort me. You are always been there. You will always be.