Binging the all-nighter’s away.

There’s something about the transition from dark to light that is extremely powerful. For the second night this week I’ve stayed up all night. Both times involuntarily, both due to an inability to shut off.

Maybe I’m back to the point where I feel like I’m in a slump and not productive enough. It’s hard to close the book on a day when it feels incomplete.

I used to love staying up all night, my best hours were in the darkest of night. Most people were sleeping and I’d be up, writing. Then I’d crawl into bed in the soft morning light and doze off and sleep well into the afternoon when the streets would be buzzing with activity.

When I lived in New York I was in a steady schedule of staying up late and waking up later. That mostly had to do with the amount of alcohol I was consuming. It’s a lifestyle. When it got to the point that it became my lifestyle I was in such a dark place that I had to seek therapy.

I started seeing a social worker in the hospital across the street from my apartment. Luckily, I was matched with a magnificent woman who I really connected with. I was able to get a lot of good stuff out of what would be our 2 years together. A lot of it stuck with me, she really helped me nail some things going on in my life at the time.

One of the things she would point out was my dependence on substance to get through my life. We discovered that I was incapable of being alone so I turned to outside substance to ease the demons within. When I started therapy it was that I couldn’t be alone without being loaded to the point of passing out. I remember discussing the fact that I could never sleep. At night it turned ugly, me against myself. Playing and replaying things I’ve done, things I wanted to do… all of which I had no power to change from my bed.

I’d wake up in the morning with a lot less weight on my shoulders than when I laid down. The morning seemed to dissolve those demons, those fears, those awkward moments I created. It’s still the same way, sort of. I don’t need a substance to get me through the night. Now, I just endure the feelings. Process them as best as I am able until I can just put them aside.

On nights like last, when it gets to the point where I realize tossing and turning was adding to the problem, I forced myself up and out of bed and checked two things of my to-do list. Now I’m writing a blog; A creative purge to induce exhaustion.

Depression. Anxiety. Neurosis. These are all forms of darkness. The light, at the end of the struggle comes well after the fight. There is no way to preemptively invite the light into being. It’s a natural occurrence, like night into day. The only way to help yourself is to accept it for what it is and find tools to facilitate and aid the change over.

For me, I’ve learned that reaching out is a great way. The facets of reaching out mostly relate to doing so whole heartedly. I have to genuinely care about the person or outcome I am reaching out for. Even if it’s a unparalleled problem, giving some of yourself away to help some one else gets you one step closer to being out of the rabbit hole.

It’s probably not a coincidence that this week I’ve had such trouble sleeping. There is a lot going through this pretty little head of mine. I can’t say this enough – how completely lost I am right now. It affects so many different aspects of my day-to-day life, yet it doesn’t hold me back from a lot. That’s always a good sign. I’m just transitioning, again – still.

A dear friend told me his secrets for helping others and how it makes him feel so alive. It’s helped him find meaning. From where I’m sitting, it’s hard to imagine me being of any help to anybody. However, maybe I am. Maybe my blogs are? I may have something to say to the world that people relate to. People will want to pick up my book and read it. Then once they do they will get to the last chapter or so and think “No, I don’t want this to end. This company, this story, this life I lead too, but written and lived by someone else.”

That is the light I am looking for. It didn’t come with this morning’s sunrise. Maybe tomorrow’s? Now that I am surrounded by the light of day (granted a pretty grey day thus far) I can take it and run with it. A day full of options, full of moves I can make to forward myself in some way. If yesterday wasn’t the creative accomplishment I was looking for – today could be. I mean, it’s only 9:30 and I’ve already blogged.

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