Forgiveness (almost) Friday: Pillow Talk

*Before you read any further under false pretenses, this does not, I repeat, this does not include any titillating content.  (Other than the very word titillating).  This post is literally about pillows.

(Song Dedication: I’m so Tired by The Beatles)

About two and a half weeks ago I splurged and bought some king size down filled pillows for my husband and I.  I spotted them in the grocery store, while shopping for food (as this is obviously the best place to purchase pillows) and was like hmmmm…maybe my chronic neck pain and migraines are as simple as a pillow change-up?  So I picked them up and squished them between my knowledgeable, discerning hands (?), looked at the (to-me) priceyness of them and concluded it was worth it.  They were sooooo squishy and apparently I like that.

The first week was touch and go.  I seemed to awaken every time I rolled over and was waking with an increasingly stiff neck as the mornings passed by.  During sleepy-time, I would often punch the squishy mass into submission, trying to prop my head up to a somewhat ergonomic position, only for the feathers to settle and my head to once again sink through the cloud of waterfowl plumage incased in 100% cotton.  I wanted this relationship to work, but I was starting to resent the lack of support.

The price tag was what really had me all hung up though.  $49.95 for one pillow?  In case you haven’t heard, money doesn’t grow on trees.  So I endeavoured to further time-commitment in my investment.  After another week passed and I was in the full-swing of sleep deprivation (maybe contributing to my double-header migraine Saturday?) I felt like I was drunk, and not the fun kind either, more like that time I had a birthday and leaned over from my table and threw up out the open window of a Greek Restaurant (that’s correct…I didn’t even get up to do it).  My self-regulation was non-existent; my brain had slowed considerably in it’s processing speed, I was grumpy and had cravings I had worked hard to curb months ago,  I lacked the energy to go do anything beyond lumbering about the house and sitting and reading Walking Through the Labyrinth by Christine Kinnie.  (Who btw, is a life warrior in her own right and only made me feel like I needed to suck my shit up a bit more after reading her memoir of living through abuse and raising 4 kids on her own and battling MCFD – I mean really Sarah, you’re tired…Christine gives a whole new meaning of being tired – and somehow showing grace and presence through it all!). Digression as usual, but true story.

So the past two weeks has been a slog, until I finally got real with myself.  I did this by leading myself through it in a conversation with Andrew one night finally asking him, “So how do you like the new pillow?”  He simply and unaffectedly replied, “I don’t.”  And there it was $100 bucks down the drain.  Head drop and shake.

As things so often do in my life (when I pay attention), I serendipitously came across an info-mericial about Dr. Amen’s research on Brain function and brain health, while I was all effed up with my sleep patterns one night.  I was in need of my next audiobook and ordered his title “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”.

He just so happened to be talking about things like the importance of sleep and your brain, ironically at 12:00 am on a Tuesday night when I should have been sleeping but was too mad at my pillow to be that close to it.  He shared stats about sleep and how if we don’t get enough, we experience decreased blood flow to the brain, disrupting thinking, memory and concentration. I was like What? I should pay attention?

Healthy sleep is absolutely essential to a brain healthy life. Sleep rejuvenates all the cells in your body, gives brain cells a chance to repair themselves, helps wash away toxins that build up during the day, and activates neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to inactivity.

Sounds kind of important no?!  My brain hadn’t had a freakin shower in over 2 weeks, just kind of little Italian showers in rest stop bathrooms on a cross country road trip…my brain was getting ripe.

After 2 weeks of terrible sleep and being terrible company to the people around me, I buckled.  At first resigning myself over to the previous, slightly below adequate synthetic pillow, only to awaken feeling a strange sense of failure (and no way was I going back to Disappointment Town, I had bought a one-way ticket out of there around Christmas time!) I decided to go in a new direction.  In all fairness, my husband had suggested I check out the furniture store downtown in the bedding department, and when I entered I was not ready for the options I would have to consider.  I did, after careful consideration and even requesting a lay down with the potential candidates on their beds downstairs, make my choice.  I walked out of there into the early spring sunshine with the mother of all pillows under my arm, a few hundred dollars lighter and my son now wishing for the sleeping death trap that is also known as a bunkbed.

I realized that what I thought previously was an expensive pillow, paled in pricing comparison to this new, Technogel Pillow designed and crafted with the latest cutting edge pillow technology from Italy.  (I didn’t know pillows even had technology said the girl who struggles with the push button ignition in her new car.) The damn fine support was one thing, but I had no idea that you could purchase a pillow that also gave you that cool-side-of-the-pillow freshness that usually only lasts about 2 mintues, engineered to last for hours?  Science Mr. White, Science!!

So this week (and the week prior), I would like to grant myself forgiveness for denying my brain health the sleep nutrients it so deserves.  I would like to forgive the exponential spending I incurred over a two week pillow plundering adventure.  And finally, I would like to forgive the naivety that I once again subscribed to in the hope of a magic-bullet quick fix for my deeper rooted health issues, to only compound my issues with sleep deprivation.  This is still a process and I guess after 5 months, like my Doctor, I was feeling like I should be better and I should be further along…should be ready to go back to work.  But in the wisdom of author Christine Kinnie I think it’s time to “replace my shoulds with other words like, could”…or would or in my own wisdom eff you superego, all in my own time and space and cushionary autonomy. 

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