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For a house with two writers, pens can be awfully difficult to find. But I have four cats, meaning they are probably under the couch, the bed, the refrigerator, or some such other inaccessible place.

I'm a little worried that when we move and have to slide the fridge out to clear out fallen debris, there will be tiny, sentient hybrid creatures making nests under there. They'll be lined with hair bands, bottle caps, and itty bitty, sharp, baby pen covers just waiting to devour me.



I stumbled onto a small solution to a small problem that was so obvious that I could have smacked myself for not realizing it sooner. Sometimes Jesse's and I's sleep schedules WILL match up, and we find ourselves waking up within an hour or two of each other. I often find what he watches when he gets up to be jarring. Loud music. Talk shows with laugh tracks. Vines videos. Things that rattle me so early in the morning.

And then I realized we have headphones. While I can't turn it up loud enough to drown out his noise (that'd be too much for me), I can at least put on things that I find soothing or comfortable to help cancel out what he listens to.

Granted, somedays this will mean having the headphones on almost all day, because a lot of what he watches is jarring to me. But hey, he's not the only one who is allowed to listen to what he wants to, all day, every day.

I don't think I'll ever understand the person who has to have SOMETHING on from the literal moment they get up to the moment they go to sleep (which is damn near everyone I know). Hell, the entire first week after I broke up with David, I didn't listen to a single song, a single tv show, play a single video game. That entire week was spent in pure silence.

I used to say that people were just probably afraid of silence - and maybe some are. But that's a pretentious statement for me to make, as if I am elevated above those who "need noise". It just may be that they don't NEED the silence.

Maybe their heads are already peacefully quiet and thus they don't need the extra quiet time like I do.

But not too much quiet time, I'm finding out. It's taken four trips to the psych wards, but I've discovered a trigger, a major one, to the destructive urges. Too much alone time, too much alone time in a quiet, dark apartment. When working, I had 2 or 3 hours of alone time a day and that was enough. With insomnia, that stretches out into 5, 6, or 7 hours of alone time in a dark and cold apartment.

So the goal is to work on finding the right sleeping schedule (ahahaha, I mean the right sleeping meds) to give me no more than 3 hours of alone time. I've also gotten the green light from Jesse to turn on a light in the morning to help cope with this trigger.

It's a studio apartment, so I've always tried to keep it dark when he sleeps. (There's no bedroom or living room for me to shut a door between him and I.) But if a light helps, he says, then it helps. So I turn on a light and the darkness - both literal and metaphorically - edges just a little further back into the shadows.

Weirdly enough, this is a trigger only in the mornings. I can handle vast amounts of alone time in the afternoons or evenings and come out the other side just fine. It's just in the mornings where it begins to take me to dangerous places.

Trigger work in general is another concept I must return to. It's been a long, long time since I've had to dive into that whole mess. One of the Group Therapists in the psych ward said that new trauma can create new triggers or else strengthen older triggers, something that I'd not really considered before.

Some of the triggers can be modified through environment, such as turning on lights in the morning or developing a sleep schedule that doesn't leave me dangling five hours before sunrise. Sometimes I have to learn how to let the housekeeping go for a couple of days. (This is EXCEPTIONALLY difficult for me, as an unkempt house can, by itself, lead to a full blown melt-down.) Or I have to grit my teeth and let Jesse do chores in what I consider "the wrong way" and instead be grateful that the chores are getting done at all. These are triggers that can be worked on pro-actively.

Others cannot and must simply be dealt with as they come up. I'm still sorting out which triggers are which. But I'm definitely recognizing their role into what cassette tape starts playing in my head and what to do to jam up the whole process altogether.

(And ahahaha, I said "cassette tape". Date yerself much, Teressa? AAHAHAHAHA!)

And JohnnyD, I found something last night. Something in one of my journals from 1999. I'm going to take a picture of it and write about it here soon, hopefully today. It's about a few things, but in the end, it was me begging you to believe in me and you telling me that you did.

We may have been young, but it saved my life then, and every time I come across it, it saves my life again.
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