The West Wing. That’s my go-to feel good show right now. It’s hopeful, it’s smart, it’s something other than what we have going on right now.
I watch it mainly while I have insomnia, which is a lot here recently. Flares and book hangovers and general anxiety help make sleep the impossible dream.
My sleep has changed over the years. Long ago, I used to revel in the daydreams that transformed into real dreams. I loved starting a story in my mind and seeing where REM led me (the sleep cycle, not the band, though listening to them while sleeping may or may not be a good idea). When I woke up, I’d remember my dreams and relive them for a while before starting my day.
Then I had a kid. And sleep became a precious resource. I slept when she slept and still dragged through the day as if sleep were just a memory. I had to teach myself to move beyond the daydreams to the actual sleep. I trained my brain to shut off as soon as I hit the pillow. Often, I’d be snoring just seconds after I went to bed. This continued on with my second kid. Pillow = snores.
Things went that way for years. Then my fibromyalgia made an appearance. Pain meant exhaustion and also an inability to sleep. Anxiety was a thing that happened anyway. Had for years, but the most it would do was keep me up once in a while. With the introduction of chronic pain, days go by when sleep is all I can think about, yet not within my grasp.
I could go to the doctor and get something, but I’m not a fan. I’ve tried different things and wake up lethargic, in a terrible mood, and with a headache. It is what it is.
Enter The West Wing. No, it’s not a cure. But it helps me feel better when I can’t sleep.
Like right now. At 3 in the morning.
A bowl of cereal helps, too.