To Fall Asleep

It’s 10 o’clock on a Tuesday night and I had just finished watching some murder mystery type of show I had saved on our DVR. Likely a CSI or SVU. It’s so sad those shows aren’t on TV anymore. I could watch on Netflix or Amazon Video if I really wanted to see them again, but there are so many amazing series to see now. I’m a newbie to streaming video #latetotheparty #perusual

I also loved that series called Lie to Me. Ever see it? It ran from 2009 to 2011 featuring an expert in lie detection. He would be hired by various companies, even government agencies, to assess whether or not a client or suspect was telling the truth. He was exceptionally good at reading body language and facial expressions, usually involuntary, which he used to crack his cases. Fascinating shit. I am riveted by psychological thrillers like this. Any storyline that has anything to do with studying behavior in people is totally my jam.

Too bad there isn’t an expert on self-lies. You know, someone who can read your thoughts at any various point in time and, while slapping you in the face exclaim, “You idiot! Stop telling yourself that crap! It’s bullshit and you know it. Stop lying to yourself!”

I sure could have used such an expert on that random Tuesday night after wrapping up another CSI. Not to stop me from watching more TV. But to stop me from pouring another glass of wine. Oh wait, make that “just half a glass,” since that’s what I told myself. “A half glass isn’t that bad, Brooke. You deserve it after the day you’ve had.”

LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! #cueeyeballroll

I really can’t tell you anything special about this Tuesday night. Actually, it could have been Wednesday night. Or Sunday night. Because I did this every night. It was the total status quo in my house. Drink about 2 glasses before-during-and-right-after-dinner (that timespan varied every day depending on when I started). I would get Peyton to sleep, then Jim would head back to bed to read around 9pm and I’d settle on the couch with my 3rd glass of wine. By the time Ted Danson was spinning in his office chair sipping on whiskey after solving a tough case, I’d finished the entire bottle.

But it was getting late by 10 o’clock. Or was it early? Shit, depends on who you ask. Regardless, I usually opened another bottle because I felt like it. Because holy mother of all that is awesome, feeling buzzed is the best. Why would I want that feeling to end? Especially if I wasn’t exhausted and could fall asleep quickly?

Wait, what? What did I just say about not falling asleep quickly? You were about to pour yourself more wine, Brooke, just do it already…

My days had never been as bad as I usually told myself. I also wasn’t deserving of that half glass of wine because I was celebrating a victory of some sort. Now that I think about it, I wonder which lie I told myself more. I always had a reason. I always had an excuse. I always had a need.

What was I really trying to escape? What was I running away from? Why was I constantly pushing myself to the brink of being wasted every night of the week?

I was running away from myself. Running from fear. Trying like hell to stay away from my own thoughts. Because I would do anything to distract me from thinking. Scrolling the newsfeeds. Immersing myself into murder mystery drama on television. Texting friends. Searching for funny memes on Pinterest. Drinking more wine #justhalfaglassthough

I’ve come to realize that one of the reasons why I loved drinking so much was because I would be able to pass out quicker. Meaning I wouldn’t have to lie awake and be alone with my own thoughts. Because it takes a person with anxiety freaking FOREVER to fall asleep, man.

Do you know how many things I can think about in 2 minutes while laying down to fall asleep? At least 100. Not joking. Fleeting thoughts, images, memories flying at you so fast your brain can hardly process any of them. It’s like somebody screaming “squirrel!” at you every second. How in the world are you supposed to calm your brain down and fall asleep when there’s some asshat yelling at you about squirrels inside your head?

Many years ago in one of my sessions with my therapist, she told me to leave a notepad by my bedside table so that when I’m falling asleep and I can’t turn my brain off, I can start writing down every thought I have. Write the thoughts down so that I wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting them. Write them down so that I could be sure to add them to my to-do-list in the morning. Write them down so that I could somehow free them from the brain-prison they were stuck in.

I preferred alcohol over the notepad.

Reason #429 why I abused alcohol: to fall asleep.





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