How you know The Work reigns supreme in this house…

Something really weird happened a few weeks ago. It’s been years since I sleepwalked. Years. My parents used to tell stories about how they’d find me at the kitchen table in the middle of the night, diligently emptying a fruit bowl. Let’s put aside the bizarre mental image of me rearranging fruit during the nocturnal hours and instead focus on the passage of time.

My sleep hasn’t been very restful since then. I’ve run the gamut, dancing with insomnia, nightmares, a bit of sleepwalking, even oversleeping. All in all I’ve managed to scrape by, and quite honestly I figured decent sleep was a pipe dream (forgive the pun). Which is why I was stunned when I started sleeping well about five months ago.

Yep. Right around the time I changed my eating habits and began taking supplements. I know I sound like I’m peddling the Kool-aid but the anecdotal evidence is solid. Crappy lifestyle me = sleep issues out the wazoo. Healthy living me = sleeping like a baby.

I’ve even started dreaming again. Not those terrifying chase dreams where you’re running as hard as you can but can’t escape the maniac chasing you. (Wait, that’s just me? Well then.) They’re, I don’t know, normal dreams. Stuff about everyday life or weird things that don’t make sense.

But I digress.

Coming out of a sleepwalking episode is a strange sensation. Kind of like pushing off the bottom of the pool – you’re swimming up toward the light and can sense a shimmering surface, but you can’t really see what’s beyond that other than wavy shapes and the promise of oxygen.

A few weeks ago I sleepwalked my way into BrightSide’s closet. It was the night I grabbed a 400 degree pan while cooking dinner, so my left hand was covered in neosporin and wrapped with gauze. This didn’t exactly help my escape efforts.

I remember the panicky sensation of feeling trapped. It was pitch dark, and for what seemed like an eternity I couldn’t figure out why I was sealed inside a black box. Eventually I swam close enough to the surface to realize I was in a room, then that it was a closet, then that it was BrightSide’s closet. This wasn’t like a PING! Now I get it! moment. More like an excruciatingly slow release on the panic valve. Because being trapped in a small dark space is one of my worst nightmares.

This is how I managed not to have a heart attack.

“What’s happening? Why…what…why…what’s going on? I need to get out how do I get out get out I need to get out – okay. Don’t panic. Breathe. Breathe. Just breathe. You must have got out of bed, but this isn’t the bathroom, it’s the [feel around]…closet. Those are BrightSide’s clothes. That means this is a door. Just look for the edge. [Slide gauzy hand across panels, hit skis propped in corner and catch them before they hit the floor.] Definitely BrightSide’s closet. So the doorknob must be…here? Here?? Where did the doorknob go? I Can’t Get Out! Breathe… [Tumblers finally fall into place.] Wait, so if this is the closet then that means the light switch should be right…over…here…”

I’m a little itchy just thinking about it.

So the next morning I share the story with BrightSide. Kind of a ha ha, you’ll never believe what happened but hey, at least I’m not dead on your closet floor, and what does he say to me?

“You should remember the feeling, though.”

Umm, why?

“Because maybe last night is preparing you for a situation you’re going to face, one where you feel trapped and might want to panic.”

For the love.