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Pillow On My Head

I’m a firstborn and amongst other things, I am a very light sleeper. Every sound, movement, or sliver of light stand to endanger my sleep. It’s not a frivolous worry. I’m easily roused, in the dark of the night, by a neighborhood dog barking, a car honking, or a water tap dripping. It’s a curse that can only be broken with earplugs… or a pillow.

During the war, I stopped wearing earplugs. I needed to be alert in the event of a missile attack. The only warning was the sound of the air raid sirens and I needed to have all my senses available. We were awoken in the night a few times. It was during the war that I started covering my head with a pillow. Most nights, I cover my whole head and leave only a tiny space open, for air. It would be a scary sight to happen upon, I admit, however it’s the only way I can sleep. Now that the war is over, it’s conceivably time to break out the earplugs once again.

During chemotherapy treatment, I rarely had trouble sleeping, in fact, it was difficult staying awake. One time, I went to bed on a Friday and only woke up on Sunday! Anxiety enjoys the cover of darkness and especially relishes the silence that a soft pillow provides. Sleep disruption is a disorder that plagues the healthiest of people and is probably the cause of most of the grouchiness on the planet. We all have reasons for worry, anxiety, and some sleepless nights here and there. Humans are the only members of the animal kingdom that experience insomnia. It’s a Human condition. I say this with the complete conviction of someone who has always shared my life with cats and dogs and other mammals. They never stay awake longer than a few hours. How do animals drift away anytime, anywhere? We have a lot to learn from them.

Every morning, I jump out of bed and when I’m especially tired, I promise myself that I will be back again, in bed, as soon as I drop each child off safely at school and kindergarten… but of course I never do. Daytime is for accomplishment. I fear what I would miss. And so, another day of tasks and chores, dates and appointments ensues. Let the countdown begin… my pillow awaits. Only 12 hours or more to go.

Posted by Ahava Emunah Lange on September 17, 2014

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