via In time before I awake..(Excerpt from 10,000 Sleepless Nights)
Dodging death sobers you…
via In time before I awake..(Excerpt from 10,000 Sleepless Nights)
Dodging death sobers you…
Optimism is often a remedy for reality. A salve the mind applies to treat our hardships and sooth us from life’s failures. Reality, as it so often does, musters it’s strength and will overwhelm optimisms effects. Then we often suffer both the pains that optimism could not abate, and the sting of the words of others who hasten to remind us; Optimism …was of no use, for reality is incurable.
Yet I pose a question.
What if Optimism is our reality?
What happens when the way we see the world, is positive, hopeful, and unrelentingly confident that good things will come.
What happens when optimism isn’t the treatment, or the cure, but the condition.
That is a reality that those who fail to see the value it has for us will have no remedy for.
This was written in May of 2012. The complications of my Sleep Apnea and its treatment were dominating my life.(much as it has since)
I did not only write this but was compelled to, by a belief.. in belief.
That was of one of optimism.
I will speak of an earnest truth, a truth of a fear, that when my days are done, none will be there to gather me.
It is such a strange thing, to be so aware of the end of my days, and know that crucial moment, at any time so near, and not trouble myself.
Instead I find my thoughts go to a worry that seems both pointless, and inconsequential, what will be done whith what remains of me.
Who will come and collect Me, will I be remembered..
Of those things that were me when I breathed what will become of them, will they know why I kept them.
Will it all scatter, and will I just fade, Unknown unto dust?
This is a part of me, my deepest fears, that took the form of my writing in 2009. At that time, as is the case now, I struggled with the knowledge that at any time my life could end,(The area of the stroke in the pons is a very dangerous one, and the arachnoid cyst doesn’t help that) and what I will leave behind to this world.
Ten Thousand Sleepless Nights at its core is about coming to terms with that fear, as much as can be with words committed to print. I do not hope it is my legacy, I just want people to know why I feared for my legacy in the first place.
Hindsight is both the most profound proof of man’s intelligence and the Bane of Mankind all at once. Our ability not to simply learn from a mistake, compounded by whatever sense of loss, doubt, or regret…. that propels our actions moving forward, But how we will justify almost anything based on the wounds to our Psyche that mistake has wrought.
To this I will speak of my own actions, as I find myself awash in the reflections of so much of my life in hindsight, and the specter of Sentimental Regret.
What is Sentimental Regret, well I will define it as it pertains to my own world. For me, it is that act of investing my heart and or to laden with guilt, those actions or choices(Many during the life of Sleep Deprivation) that I know.. I should have acted or chose differently.
“If I would have realized it was my last chance, I would have taken her Seriously”
” Had I known I would never see her alive again, I would have told my mother I love you”
“I could have done much more with my Life, Had my mind not been broken by no Sleep”
“Given what I feel Now, I would have had a child with Someone who would have wanted one with me”
These are a few of the most poignant examples of Sentiments of Regret and the damage done to my life, and others, not because I lacked the Hindsight to recognize them for the life altering effects they have had, and sill have on my life, but because of the fear, doubt, and.. Regret.. that truly kept me before them and after, to have done something… anything differently.
by Sam Bailey (Notes) on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 12:42am
Time…. How much?
Those that have known me.. could reflect on the acuity of this question, as It may relate to me..
I should be one that cherishes every moment, to bask in each succulent instance as I draw forth the marrow of Life with each passing breath.
I would do this. I would be the flame in the tallow of fates candle.
But I can not, because I beset with memories awash in regret and loss.
I weep for what was.. I wander the halls of my own recollections searching for That which I once was, before I knew of time.
I can not live, what remains mine to live, because always I am in the midst of life already lived, in the memories of how I lived it.
I would ask of Time, How much remains.. Not in the measure of what is left for me to claim, but how long till I am free of it… in remembrance of how poorly it has been spent.
I hope the answer comes soon, for always It is with me… that question of Time
It has taken years for me to grasp what was lost due to the Apnea. I wrote this in the midst of that struggle to understand what time had been taken from me. As I wrote it, I became suddenly aware of the time I was losing fixating on the Time I had Lost.
This “event” of writing reflects that awareness.
Ghosts of days gone by ,long feared remembrances that will come again and the truth they will lay at our feet. Bittersweet recollections of what we would have done if we could have been the way we wanted and not what we were. Memory.. the hammer and anvil..
On this day though.. I shall forge them anew.. and with each stroke. the smithy song will be heard to me.. and these memories now being cast will be a work that I will not fear.. but celebrate in their artistry
Understanding the pieces of ones own Deconstruction can be a life altering event unto itself. It occurred to me as I examined the parts of me to keep and the ones to replace.. there were some that simply did not exist. I had to “make” them.
This “event” of writing represents that
What is 10,000 Sleepless nights? A clever catch phrase perhaps? A cryptic reference?
10,000 Sleepless Nights is my odyssey of recollection and introspection into my own life.
In September 2007, I learned that I had suffered a stroke of the pons, sometime in my distant past. The cause and timing are uncertain, though other things point to my childhood. What is certain, is that the area effected is a part of the brainstem where breathing is regulated. In my case, it has caused me very Severe Apnea.
How bad? How big a deal really?
That is the context that I want to best convey.
I have a A.H.I. or the apnea-hypopnea index, of 81.4
What does that number mean?
“AHI, or the apnea-hypopnea index, is a numerical measure that accounts for the number of pauses in your breathing per hour of sleep. It is used to assess the severity of an individual’s sleep apnea. The AHI overlaps with the respiratory disturbance index (RDI), though the latter differs as it includes other minor breathing difficulties. The AHI is part of the report from a standard sleep study for sleep apnea.”*
“The AHI is used to classify the severity of your sleep apnea, according to the following criteria:
(*)By Brandon Peters, M.D.
So here is the context.. I wake up..or am disturbed from sleep 650+ times in a 8 hour night.
There is a typically a total absence of R.E.M. Sleep
“REM sleep Rapid eye movement sleep, desynchronized sleep, paradoxical sleep Neurology A 5 to 20 min segment of a normal sleep cycle, characterized by irregular heart rate and respiration, BP, EEG similar to awake and alert state, involuntary or jerky muscle movement, and higher threshold for arousal; the usual high-amplitude slow brain waves seen by EEG are replaced by rapid eye movement and rapid, low-voltage irregular EEG activity.” *
(*) McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
There are so many things to list on the effects what an absence of R.E.M. have on the mind and body I could spend days listing them, and still be only touching the surface.
Here is a good link to try and convey.
So That is the context.
By best guess. I have had Apnea for decades, and the severity of it, and the effects of the same, along with it.
30 years.. or more.. without sleep.
or about.. 10,000 Sleepless Nights.
That is where it gets it’s name.
There are so many times when life just races along past us and before we know it, the best of moments that were to be memories have left us behind. Then there are times where its all happening so fast that we just can’t keep up, that we long for each second to multiply for us, just give a little more to grab the rings and catch our breaths. Then, every now and again, often when we least expect, life and time commiserate on the nature of their passings and in those precious instances, we can catch a glimpse at all that life can be, has been, all at once.
Every heartbeat is an eternity, each breath the coming and going of the tide, the blink of our eyes the rising and setting of the sun.
We can be all, do all.. and dreams and what they hold are all ours to unleash.
Then, time once again takes up its march, and life falls in lockstep right beside it till the day it reaches its point of departure from the other.
Neither aware of the instant it showed us, and the lifetime we found in it.
by Sam Bailey (Notes) on Saturday, June 13, 2009
I have voiced some and thought often about the end of all things Me, and the stir of doubt and fear all about me rises like the dust before the desert rain.
I have spoke of legacies lost, souls unbidden, dreams unclear, and waxed esoterically about the here and now having been then and there..
Amidst all this… one thing has been left unsaid.
I am… a man who can change the world with his words.
It is bathed in arrogance, such a proclamation, that one can only see an Ego’s fresh shine…
But….. Any that hear me.. any that read Me…even those whom are bent upon a moment to launch a shattering rebuke.. are faced with the certainty that truth wields..
and… if they have courage, will listen, then think.
I am beset with countless flaws… and the means and ways of Me are just as likely to incite anger than render Mirth, and many just wonder and some just stare…
But I can say that one thing is certain…. they are aware Of Me.
I went through a Cancer Scare in 2009, this was written in the midst of that. I had left a very troubled and painful marriage, and had only just began to comprehend what the Apnea and sleep deprivation had cost me. This moment led to the momentum that became 10,000 Sleepless Nights.
by Sam Bailey on Saturday, April 25, 2009
(It may all seem A bit romanticized, but If you read till the end, you will see why.)
I am a soul vexed by sleep’s misgivings. In my life I have known so much sorrow from its abandonment of me, and I have accrued a great debt of empty nights by sleep’s fickle denial.
But there are times when sleep is mine to have, and in those precious moments the dreaming soul of me, flies free and strong.
My unconscious realm becomes its canvas, my wanting and doubts become It’s colors and brush. In the background is the symphony of my memories.. their power and depth inspiring all forms of creation, and my spirit defines each masterpiece of the surreal stroke by stroke.
So rare, are these times, when sleep will lay with me, and the artist of my dreams can work, that I can not help but wonder, for my conscious mind will walk the gallery of those works left behind, if any will ever be completed?
IN time, Before I awake..
Not looking for sympathy,, but this is the truth
284 days.. that’s the low estimate… for what.. Weight loss? Stock options?, Financial Windfall? Lease ending? Retirement?
This is a fairly accurate measure of the amount of my life, most commonly at night.. that I have went without breathing.
No.. not an exaggeration, or some trick on math.. 284 days give or take a week or so.. This is how bad my apnea was.. for so long, before it was discovered. now more than 5 years ago.
I live everyday with what that has done to my body, my mind, for so long.
10,000 Sleepless Nights is not just about how much sleep I lost.. is about the 284 days of breath that I never took. and the days and nights to come that are mine to take.
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