Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Horizontal Philosopher

I do a lot of lying in bed.   Sometimes I sleep for 12 hours at a time and sometimes I can't get any sleep at all.  Sometimes I am just too physically exhausted to get up or else if I manage getting up and getting dressed that wears me out and I end up back in bed.  I am explaining this not in order to complain about my lot, but to make it clear why I have a lot of time for thinking.  With my sort of brain thinking can be a bit dangerous so I often try to distract myself with books, magazines and internet.  Why dangerous, you ask?  Because, like Hamlet, I am an over thinker.  An obsessive thinker.  Although where Hamlet cannot take action for all his thinking, I end up thinking all the more because I cannot take action.

Sophie, my cat, often tries to help me with this dilemma.  She has tried various treatments such as sitting on my head in order to affect the brain, lying across my neck in order to reduce air flow, which may actually be an attempt to kill me and thus be queen, and I sometimes see her stirring her paw in my water glass, where no doubt she has put some sort of magical catnip  curative potion. When all of those fail, she tries getting up onto a dresser and shoving my fragile possessions off it and onto the floor in order to provoke a response that might involve my getting out of the bed.  But still my brain persists in mulling over things, wandering past things only to do a double take and return, or falling into an unmarked grave and pondering poor Yorick.  Alas, I knew him well.  Or at least I pondered his actions enough to think I did.

Sometimes, while I lie there with active brain and passive limbs,  I think upon myself and all my foibles, neuroses, hopes and dreams, and at other times I think of other people.  All this then leads me to wonder, which is worse to be thinking of myself so much, though admittedly the thoughts are inclined to be critical, or to analyse the actions and behaviours of others as all we hobbyist psychoanalysts are inclined to do?  And then the cat steps on my head on her roundabout way to the bedroom windowsill.  She wants me out of the bed and on the sofa.  It's noon.  That, according to her, is where I am supposed to be. All is not right with her world and her own little brain is obsessing on this.

It has been half an hour since I woke.  Lying here for that amount of time usually makes it clear if I am going to be able to get up and dress or not.  I want to paint.  Even to doodle.  But it takes more energy from me, both mentally and physically than reading or writing or thinking do and I have to find the energy to feed myself decently today.  I also have to conserve energy for an anticipated visit from a friend tomorrow.  I'm excited.  It means putting on something nice, making coffee for someone other than myself.  But I have no food to offer.  Here goes my brain with something new to worry about and off it goes, following that odd path the brain takes, making associations and dragging out memories.

Scroll on down to the previous post to see my  Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style entry.

18 comments:

  1. Hi, Shawna, and thanks for your comment on my blog. I've been seeing your name a lot lately, so I thought I'd just show up unannounced and ask for a glass of wine. I have a lot of reading to do!

    I could easily stay in bed for 12 hours (and I do on weekends, reading and blogging and drinking my coffee) and I have no excuse. It's just comfy. If you put your mind to good use, it doesn't matter where you do your thinking. Your cat should be more understanding of that. :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Val. sometimes accidentally reply in the wrong comment box and it appears I did so and my reply to you is just below this. Now you are so special you get two replies!

      Could you please have a talk with my cat?

      Delete
  2. I will pour some wine right away. Red or white? Oh wait, I only have red. The cat has given up and is now sleeping on the bed with me.

    I have been lurking quietly on your blog and am still working my way back in time with it too. I look forward to it and to future posts! Thanks for coming by and commenting. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh I'm sure I could sleep for 12 hours too ... if only Husbands, sons and dogs would stop waking me up.
    I hope you don't mind me asking ... but what is the illness you suffer from? It sounds like some form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ... but I'm no doctor.
    If you'd rather not say then just ignore me ... that's fine :0)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That reminds me of the one ... "Do you ever wake up grumpy?"
      "Yes, but sometimes I just leave him sleeping" ;-)

      Delete
  4. You are bang on Dr Angel. It is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, more properly called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I've had it for decades but the past few years have been a really bad flare up. I don't mind your asking. I do not wish to bore people, but I am also somewhat driven to make it better known and understood. Thank you for asking. Feel free to ask anything.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. "I do a lot of lying in bed" ... I am generally quite truthful. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I write fictions while in bed and it's all lies!
      xo

      Delete
  6. I feel ya! It must be such a pain in the ass to constantly feel weak and I understand having the need to put you brain to work. The brain needs what it needs and it needs something exciting, something new, even if it's a simple going out with a friend. I usually tend to go all crazy if I lack stimulus. If I do the same routine everyday (even though I love the routine) my brain just shuts down.
    Btw, I don't know much about chronic fatigue, but I read there were various treatments. Are you doing some of them (if you don't mind me asking of course :D) ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind you asking at all and thanks for suggesting that there are treatments. The situation is that there are band aid solutions for some of the symptoms and also that individuals with the illness vary a little bit. There are an assortment of treatments which have helped some people but usually temporarily. Some people recover more fully from the illness than others do. I have lived with it for decades and have usually been in a slightly better place than I am now; this is a relapse of sorts. But it also requires life style management to avoid a relapse. There is also the possibility that the people who fully recover after a short time with it have something different. So much is still not really known about the cause. I follow the lifestyle management course of treatment and have some options for treating some of the symptoms.
      xo

      Delete
  7. It is Monday, 12 clock noon and I'm still lying in bed :-)
    since many years, I need a bed day in the week, otherwise I get nervous. in my late twenties, I spent whole weeks in bed. until I absolutely had nothing to eat in the house .... I had to think much a lot.
    now i try to hold balance between brain carneval and active live - because my lying in bed is not physical (mostly) the whole house&garden thing is a good therapy.
    enjoy your bedtime and tell your cat she should go out and catch some mice ;-)
    greeting from pillow to pillow xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gardening is wonderful therapy and I miss it for that reason, though physically could not do it any more. My cat would have loved a garden too but she is an indoor cat as we live in a third floor apartment. There are no mice but she is a highly skilled house fly catcher.
      I love your term "brain carnival"! It's quite funny and quite apt. I am prone to anxiety too, essentially a sort of performance anxiety because I am so aware of my limitations. Most people with M.E. have some degree of it and probably many people with chronic illnesses do too.

      I hope your bed Monday has been helpful and restorative to you!
      xo

      Delete
  8. If I don't have something external (book, tv) to keep my mind off everything else, I will lie in bed for hours making lists, thinking about everything and anything!!! I hope your coffee date goes well!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you see Beate's term 'brain carnival'? I love that. Those darn brains of ours!

      Delete
  9. Conserving your energy for tomorrow...I know it well! I love your musings on the cat. They are so entertaining and company when you are in bed. Not sure about the strangling and the poisoning though :-) we have a Manx cat who needs a beautiful dark background to lie on to show off his light orange fur to advantage, so any dark jacket you have accidentally left on the bed is fair game!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In one of your posts- or was it your bio, I've forgotten-you wrote about being exhausted by social efforts and needing to rest and recover. I related to that. Your cat is very clever to display himself so effectively. Clearly he is an artist. My cat is a dark tabby and I have very pale carpet not of my own choosing in my home. She decorates it lavishly.

      Delete
  10. I used to spend more time in bed, but kids put paid to that... I am lucky to function pretty well on a 6-7 hour sleep, and rarely have trouble sleeping. I know there are real issues on my mind if ever I can't sleep; in the past, I experienced a period of depression with attendant sleep disturbance, and found it intolerable, to be sooooo tired yet still not sleep.
    Nothing wrong with thinking a lot, as long as it doesn't stop you resting and doesn't increase anxiety. And cats, even when they are walking all over you, are always good company! Hope you enjoy your time with your friend, Shawna. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you had a period of depression but glad you got through it. It can be very difficult. My cat, despite her quirks, is at least consistent which is sometimes one of the most valuable things in a companion, though being warm and soft and cuddly is good too.
      xo

      Delete

I love visitors and I love comments. I will try my best to respond to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.