Last night I just wasn't sleeping. It was getting later and later and I wasn't getting sleepy at all. When I knew I was going to see 4 AM I made a decision. I decided my ankle was strong enough for me to sleep.
That probably doesn't make sense. But it does. See, back in the spring when everything blew up I started taking a tiny dose of valium PRN. After a few days it became a nighttime thing, the only way I could sleep without terrible nightmares and since the nightmares keep me very much awake, the only way I could sleep at all. And it worked. For so many years we've tried to find the magic medicine that let me sleep and it turns out that valium is it. Controversial, yes. Not to be prescribed like this until everything else on earth is exhausted, yes. Nearly certain to be taken away cruelly if I'm hospitalized again, probably unless Dr Brain thinks to make it clear that she doesn't want it to go (the hospital dr hates benzos although less so for me than for a lot of other people, probably because I have a different diagnosis than most people on that unit who are usually depressed and also because I've been on them for nearly 13 years now and my body is pretty used to them. I get sick if I miss them so there is definitely dependence and I'm fine with that. I'm less fine with the valium but if it nets me sleep when I can't sleep then I'm much more ok with it.
Since my surgery I've refused to take the valium because I've been too afraid that I'd wake up and be too groggy and manage to hurt myself. For the past couple of months I've said that I would try it soon but then it always was too scary.
Last night I gave in. And when I got some sound sleep, without nightmares or waking up every hour or two for 15 minutes I woke up feeling a little better. Still depressed, still tied and still far from feeling good but at least I felt rested for the first time in months. Tonight I'm going to take it earlier. I know how this goes, I will use it and over the next couple months my dose will increase but for some reason it never goes past a point that Dr. Brain feels is oK.
It's not the ideal but it's what you do when nothing else works. And I am so glad that I trust my ankle enough to do this. Realistically I should have been fine a few months ago given that I don't generally get up when I've had valium but I was afraid of the the time I might, like if my cat needed something in the night (she often does) or if I was sleepwalking (one of my many talents). But if I'm ready to be discharged from PT I think at my next session then I am ready to trust that my ankle can handle walking without my constant care.
I think today helped also because I didn't continue my fight with Dr. Mind in my head. It's not a real fight, we're only fighting in my mind and we'll work it out Monday I imagine but I've been really upset and focused on that and today I was thinking of other things.
One thing this depression has yet to do is take away all happiness. Right now my almost 19.5 year old cat is on my lap purring and I'm enjoying her heft. After Thanksgiving she ate all the turkey leftovers I had (which was a lot because my mom doesn't like turkey much and I eat it as lunch meat since I can't have lunch meat without getting migraines). So I bought a 12 lb turkey on sale and cooked it and she ate most of that. And now her scrawny little body has the heft of 6.5 lbs. I can feel body fat on her and not just bones like when she was down to 5.5 lbs just a couple months ago. This girl has decided to go for 20 years old. I can't believe she's still fighting but she obviously doesn't intend to give up on this life thing without a fight, no matter how old she gets. I'm proud of both of us for getting her to this point.