Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Into the Mines

Ever since I got back from my cross-country drive on December 23rd, I've been having a terrible time sleeping. The schedule I adopted in order to make time -- in which I'd drive until my eyes tired, sleep sitting in the driver's seat for somewhere between fifteen minutes and two hours, then head back out on the road -- has been hard to shake. I've tried alcohol, ambien, antihistamine, but none have seemed to help.

Now I'm giving melatonin a shot. Last night was my second night using it and, though I still didn't get to bed early, I do think that I might have slept more deeply during the time when I was asleep. At the very least, I feel more level-headed than I have in a while. I can't say "refreshed", exactly, but believe that I might finally be on the pathway to that state of mind.

The main reason isn't melatonin, though. After much-needed prodding from friends, I've decided to let go, finally, of a mode of being that has been making me and those around me miserable. I guess it's presumptuous to write "decided", as if it were as simple as that. But I felt a powerful shift inside me. I'm still sad about a lot of things. I'm still beset by regrets that seem overwhelming on a good day. The difference is in the way I'm processing those unhappy thoughts.

It seems a little too textbook to say that I'm learning to make the passage from melancholia to mourning. Since those are the terms that best fit my understanding of the shift, however, I'm going to use them until I find better ones. You see, although I was sad and regretful before, I tended to divert those feelings into plans for restoring my life to what it once was. If I could just hang on a little longer, I told myself, wait out the storm, I'd get back to a good place.

The epiphany I had the day before yesterday had multiple parts, some of which I can't share here. Taken together, though, they added up to the conclusion that the way back I'd been counting on for so long was barred for good, like the entrance to the Mines of Moria after that hideous sea creature destroys it. If I'm going to survive, I'll have to do it by moving forward into the dark, balrogs be damned.
Tags: autobiography, everyday, health, scenes from a

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