Yes, I know Emotional Sushi is an odd title for a blog post, but it is exactly the phrase that woke me at 2:00 a.m. My sleep pattern these days is horrendous. Maybe it’s just payback for the sanctimonious thoughts that ran through my head whenever I heard people complaining about suffering from insomnia. [I’m sorry – I was a sleep snob. I’m paying for it now…]
Until my husband’s heart attack, I soundly slept at least 7 or 8 hours a night, save a few-minute blind stumble to the bathroom somewhere in the wee morning hours after which I would immediately fall back to sleep upon returning to my bed. I never understood what could possibly wake and keep people awake at night.
Now I’m lucky if I get a total of 5 or 6 hours of broken, tossing-and-turning slumber. At times I’ll awaken feeling as though it has been hours since I dozed off, only to find that 45 minutes has passed. Other nights, I’ll wake a dozen times, feeling less refreshed with each stirring. Then after a series of restless nights, my body finally forces me into a deep sleep where I won’t budge for 4 or 5 hours at a time. Those are the good nights.
Last night was one of the really rough ones. You’d think spending a day wandering around a theme park for hours on end would have worn me out physically and I would have had one of those good nights from sheer physical exhaustion. No such luck. Instead, I woke with the phrase “emotional sushi” running through my head at 2:00 a.m. and spent the next hour staring at the stars out of my bedroom window.
What my addled brain and I worked out during that time, is that grief is “emotional sushi”; the same basic ingredients (emotions) are present each day, but they may be rolled up differently. Sometimes it’s the sadness that is most present, while other days it’s the beautiful memories, and still other times it’s the anger and bitterness.
All the emotions are there every day, but what you see on the outside is only the emotion that is in control at that moment. All the others are there just below the surface, waiting their turn to come out and show off their unique skills. It seems that each day has a star player, that one emotion that seems to step into the spotlight. Sometimes they switch roles randomly in the middle of the day, just to keep me on my toes, much like a sushi chef whipping up an ever-changing menu, swapping out your current roll before you’ve even begun to appreciate its flavor.
I suppose my mind could have woken me with any number of other possible references, but my brain doesn’t function like a normal person on its best day. Add several weeks of sleep deprivation and you get this craziness.
I think you get the point, however. I’m constantly trying to process my ever-changing emotions, acknowledge what I’m feeling at any given time, and appreciate that it is the many emotions that will allow me to not only grieve for what I’ve lost, but be thankful for what it was while I had it.
Just know that however I happen to be rolled that day, I’m still me, and I’m still feeling everything. Everything. No wonder I can’t sleep.
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