Another sleepless night… I was so very, very tired around 9:30 PM so I fell into bed. I managed to sleep until 11:30 PM and have been wide awake ever since. It is 4:15 AM and I have my alarm set to wake me up at 6 AM so I can get ready for my appointments and get my daughter off to school. No point trying to sleep anymore tonight seeing as how I’m just going to have to get right back up again in a couple hours.
So, when I awoke at 11:30 PM I didn’t know what to do. Sean was asleep, Zoey was asleep (I know she technically wasn’t, but she was supposed to be) and even the dog was asleep so I couldn’t be too noisy. I didn’t feel like sitting alone in the basement rec room and I wasn’t comfortable watching TV upstairs with Sean right below and Zoey down the hall so I started colouring.
I have determined I love colouring. It all started way back in early September (it’s November now, LOL)… I saw many friends posting on social media about these adult colouring books. Now, don’t get the wrong idea – if you haven’t heard of these they’re not “adult” adult, they’re colouring books for adults that do not necessarily consist of cartoons to colour in but things like mandalas and flowers and geometric patterns. Anyway, so I was going through a very rough emotional time and my depression was just awful and I was seriously considering calling 911 (local emergency number) to have me committed because I wasn’t sure I could keep myself safe from myself. These colouring books say they are for relaxing and are good for anxiety so I scraped together $20 and took a trip to the book store. I purchased the nicest, most in-expensive colouring book I could find and a set of pencil crayons. It took my full $20.
When I was finally able to stop crying over my stupidity (money was a big issue so I felt massive guilt for not spending that $20 on groceries or something for the house) long enough to see the page I started to colour. I’m not good at colouring, never have been, and can’t stay in the lines if my life depended on it. This kept running through my head every time I went out of the lines and, of course, it also meant that I’d go out of the lines more often because I was frustrated with myself for going out in the first place. These thoughts led me to think to myself how could someone possibly market this colouring thing as a great anxiety coping tool? I mean I was so very, very upset over the thoughts going through my head at breakneck speeds that I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about and how is sitting quietly alone with my thoughts supposed to help? It doesn’t take my mind off matters, it actually intensifies them because there are no distractions. I stopped colouring for a while.
At the end of September I was FINALLY able to have a hysterectomy. The constant horrific pain I had been barely living with for months was (hopefully) going to be cured! In getting ready for the hospital I mentioned to Sean and his sister Jo that I was going to take my little colouring book with me to keep me occupied in the hospital. I was told I’d be in for 3 long days and needed something other than reading to keep me busy. I had mentioned there was this really nice colouring book at the store I had wanted but just couldn’t afford. I wasn’t trying to be manipulative; it was just mentioned in passing but they ended up buying it and a better set of pencil crayons for me! While in the hospital I started colouring in my new book. I just picked one of the first pictures I liked and just randomly picked up a colour and started. I enjoyed it. I was very dopey so I didn’t get much done, and it turns out because of the method they used for my hysterectomy I was home from the hospital 26 hours after I went in for surgery.
Surgery went well, BTW. In hospital I was hardly in any pain and was in good spirits. Coming home I was super excited. The next day I was back at the ER because the pain was horrific and I was still super nauseous from the anesthetics and I was quite worried. The emergency surgeon I saw was disgusted because I wasn’t given any after-care instructions in regards to my surgery, I wasn’t told what types of pain to expect and I was told to take extra strength Tylenol if I had any pain and to see my gynecologist/surgeon for a follow up in 6 weeks. Turns out the pain I was in was perfectly normal (as was the nausea), Tylenol (even extra strength) was not nearly strong enough so he prescribed Percocet and normally you should see your surgeon one week after for a follow up to make sure everything is healing properly. So back home I went, took my Percs, slept probably for just about a week straight, and spent that whole week when awake fighting nausea. Eventually I felt better and now I feel great.
Anyway, so back to colouring. Now, when I’m bored, I pull out one of my two colouring books. I’ve also got Zoey hooked and we will sit for hours and colour together if we can. Colouring seems to be my go-to activity when I can’t sleep, which is cool since I’m back to sleeping only an hour or two at a time (if I sleep 3 hours or more I’m likely to do a jig out of sheer happiness and shock). I’m still not good at staying in the lines and I’ve upgraded from pencil crayons to markers but I no longer dread being left alone with my thoughts. I’m able to be “mindful” and to focus solely on the colours and the picture. I love patterns and symmetry. One negative is if I make a mistake that’s too obvious or “unfixable” I get so upset and can’t finish the picture. So far I have 2 or 3 unfinished pieces that will likely never get finished. I’ve also learned that I don’t like pictures with animals or people or things that are almost required to be a certain colour. I like the mandalas and the pictures with patterns and shapes and especially the ones with flowers. I fully intend to grab more books and more colours and to keep doing this regularly. It is actually very calming and relaxing – just like they claim – you just have to get through the first couple tries and let yourself be absorbed in the material.
4:53 AM now… and I’m tired. Blast. Maybe I’ll lie down for an hour.