Where for art thou sleep?

I don’t seem alone at the moment in having a pretty patchy record with sleep. Now that the weather has become more humid it’s definitely a harder commodity to come by.

Nevertheless – after all of my walking on Sunday (nearly 17.5 miles) when my head hit the pillow at around 9pm I fully expected a blissfully deep slumber.

I was absolutely shattered.

The universe had other ideas mind you – and by midnight I was wide awake yet again. This was partially because of the temperature but also because I was still preoccupied about a few things.

One in particular is very much on the near horizon and I find that I’m unusually nervous about an event where a lot of attention will be on me.

Although I don’t normally find talking to new people difficult the build-up for this particular moment is one that’s taken ages.

I’ve been patiently biding my time waiting for it to come around for almost three months now – and I’m beginning to realise that this extended interval is probably why in solitary moments I’ve been so worried.

For most stressful events in life I find you get a relatively short notice period. The ‘hammer’ just drops unexpectedly and the period you have to worry about it in advance is minimal.

You just have to deal with it as best you can and move on.

In contrast the details and information relating to this one have been almost glacial in their gradual arrival – and it wasn’t until late last week (Friday) that I finally found out everything I needed to know about this event and what it would entail.

To make matters worse I can’t really go into further detail about it even now.

One of the interesting things about feeling this way though is how I’m managing it.

Sure – it’s now 2am and ONCE AGAIN I’m wide awake, but aside from that the moments that have bookended my insomnia have been dealt with in very different ways to how I used to handle such instances.

In the past, stress, or an inability to switch off used to entail lots of alcohol and lots of food.

If I’m honest the latter can still be a reaction to feeling this way – and early Monday morning (when I was sitting in the near dark of my kitchen at 3am) I couldn’t help but pick at the contents of my fridge for an hour.

Thankfully however it contained only vegetables, unsweetened almond milk and cottage cheese.

The alcohol is gone from my life. Two and a half years since I stopped drinking this has been replaced ENTIRELY by exercise.

Although my excessive walking hasn’t completely turned off my mind in the way that booze sometimes did (when I completely passed out after my third bottle of wine thoughts of any kind were impossible) it’s managing to keep me on an even keel in every other respect.

I’d be lost without it.

The heat of the last few days alone would have meant that in the past my sleep apnea (something that is no longer a problem) would have almost totally consumed me.

When the sunshine previously fell on 35st me I drowned in sweat, burned – or stayed indoors to slowly marinade in my own juices and alcohol.

I typically woke up with lots of regret and a steaming hangover back then.

These days, instead of a dull ache where my brain allegedly sat and clammy skin I have a new, relentlessly outdoorsy persona and a complexion that reflects this.

When I compare ‘old Dave’ to ‘new and improved Davey’ (despite all I’ve written on the subject) I’m still stunned at the changes that losing 20st can bring.

I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of looking back at who I was and marvelling not only at how it happened but how different I look and feel now.

There’s no denying though that it’s a battle at times – and often the most debilitating fights are fought in the dead of night when tiredness takes over and perspective is found to be in short supply.

In moments like this (which are thankfully rare) negative thoughts creep in and despite all of the irrefutable evidence of my successes I’m sometimes still moved to question whether I’m deserving of good things in life.

Deep down I often feel that I failed at so much, let so many people down for so many years and squandered almost every gift I possessed.

For the longest time because of what I’d become I genuinely wanted to die and the selfishness of that feeling still haunts me today.

That’s not who I am now though – and although I might feel regret that’s not the ‘real’ me.

Not any more.

The ‘real’ Davey is continually pacing back and forth in the background of a negative thought like a caged tiger, just waiting for it to get light again so that once more he can take control, get up and start walking.

It doesn’t matter where to, it doesn’t matter what happens on the way – and it rarely matters what happens when I get there.

I just feel a constant need to do it.

I do it so obsessively because I can, because I remember how it felt not to be able to stand, let alone walk – and because when I do I feel empowered instead of trapped by life or physical limitations.

Instead of confinement I’m free – and when I’m sitting these days It’s just to admire the view, and no longer because I can’t get out of my chair.

As I got into my car to start out on a journey last night a special lady took a picture of me from my rear passenger seat.

When we first met, I drove the very same vehicle and back then my stomach touched the steering wheel.

My weight had actually also broken it a few years down the line.

Now, as I pulled away from her driveway (with a different wheel I might add) I felt pretty damn good.

So internet – if I could only get some sleep too then life would be perfect.

Davey

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