I was unable to sleep recently because my husband was snoring. He refused, however, to believe me when I told him despite the video evidence that was easy to gather in these days of the Ipad, which I played to him the next day.
‘I remember,’ I accused him, ‘that one of the reasons I thought you were such a catch, is because you did not snore.’
‘Same here with you,’ he replied.
Fair enough. Over the last two weeks things have been unpleasant and stressful at work and I have had a few wines in the evening. For long periods of the year – and paradoxically especially when things are stressful – I do not drink at all, because eventually managing the fatigue that follows an evening of food and wine as opposed to an evening of food, ends up being its own stressor, so I stop. Recently though, I have had that awful panicked feeling when faced with the prospect of having to go into work to do the same stuff again that I do not want to do. The same feeling that I have got everytime and just before I have decided to move careers or country. The feeling that I am trapped doing something that is going nowhere and that I need to get out before it suffocates me.
I have decided to manage this blip in contentedness by hurling myself off the wagon and buying a case of wine. Bad for my health as I know this is, I think it has helped to ease me through this hiccup and I am getting to the stage once again when I do not want to drink wine or anything else any more. In the meantime, I fall asleep, only to be woken by a prodding at my back and my husband telling me I am snoring.
Unlike my husband, I know I have been snoring, I can hear the final snore I emit before his back jab wakes me up and I apologise, shift position and fall straight back asleep until I start snoring again.
When I was younger, I used to be very frightened of going to sleep. I realised at some point, that I had no idea of the mechanism that falling asleep involved. It was just a thing. You went to bed and then at some point you went to sleep, but you could never quite remember the point of falling into sleep, and therefore, I reasoned, there was no way that while asleep you could find your way back to being conscious again.
This preyed upon me and worried me so much eventually, that I became scared to go to sleep, like I would be entering some weird labyrinth and not be able to find my way home. I lay in bed night after night crying, while my parents, refusing the indulge this hysteria, ignored me in a very British way until I eventually ‘got over it’. I did not get over it actually, I just heard my mother exclaim one evening, ‘Let’s hit the sack, boys’ when getting ready for bed and it put a whole new spin on the idea of going to sleep for me. It made me think of Heidi and her gruff grandpa making her a mattress of sack and straw that she would lie down on after a supper of warm goats’ milk (I had never had goats’ milk at this stage). It became a welcome embrace, rather then something to be feared.
I will let you in to a secret, I have drunk some wine tonight, so there may be some snoring, but soon, very soon, I will be back to cocoa and listening to my husband snore.