9: Mind Organization

I have immense sleep issues. I can easily say that is due to anxiety. Doctors like to treat the symptoms. Therefore, for the last 12 years, I have been on medication to treat anxiety to help reach better sleep. However, they don’t work consistently and I never get full restful sleep. I know I’ve got to treat the root of the problem. That problem is simply a compulsive state of mind. When I lay down at night, the vortex of thoughts begins and they can be extremely difficult to curtail. I’ve flirted with meditation but have never stuck with the practice. I’ve done a wealth of research and am ready to commit to a better program to organize my mind.

I have wholly related to some Sam Harris thoughts on the matter. My anxiety is nothing but a matter of being lost in thought. Harris described it perfectly when he stated, “conversations with yourself incessantly.” The thoughts have the ability to overtake the being. I am now attempting to use meditation to break the spell of being lost in thought. Strangely, I identify completely with the Stoic mantra. I’ve been reading all those works since I was 18. The Stoic ethos boils down to: “Only Worry About What You Can Control.” I accept that. I agree with that…yet for some reason, I can’t live it.

Admittedly, I have had a few very rough weeks with sleep lately. The compounding of which can seem crippling at times. Monday, I took a power nap guided meditation and a “before bed” meditation. The power nap did successfully clear my mind, but I did not fall asleep. However, I never nap. My body’s adenosine levels are anything but normal. I’m most tired in a day around 8 am and 3 pm. I’m usually pretty wired at noon…and all of the night. I’ve never in my life just fallen asleep on a couch instead of making it to bed. The “before bed” meditation was a success and very encouraging!

*Update: Sadly the following night was another bad one but I am still very encouraged and will be working towards resolve.

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