Sleeping Men Tell No Lies

by The Discovering Alcoholic on May 19, 2007

“If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. ~Dale Carnegie”

Earlier this week I had to get up at 3:30 AM and get ready to make a 6 AM flight to Fort Lauderdale for a business meeting. I made the flight, but barely. Yes, my alarm clock did go off, but as usual I hit the snooze a few times and left myself with just enough time to stop the flight attendant from closing the door to the jetway. If not for my loving and resourceful wife (not afraid to punch a sleeping husband), I would have never made it.

So what happened in that psychogenic fugue state between the time my alarm went off and the time I hit the snooze button? Well it seems to me that it is during this strange period between sleep and full alertness that my default patterns are dominant. Immediately upon being aroused from sleep by my blaring radio alarm it would seem logical that it would take a few minutes for my brain to get into gear and that I would arise on instinct. HA! Instead of the lumbering thought patterns normally processed by a sleepy eyed innocent, my alcoholic brain jumps into overdrive taking the rare opportunity to be free of the reins of recovery.

Much like the feverish rationalizations of an alcoholic planning a relapse, my mind races through a series of inane scenarios that bring me to a glorious conclusion; I can sleep for fifteen more minutes. Inexplicably, I am one hundred times smarter when I am thinking like an alcoholic. I have figured out how I can shave time off my morning preparations! Use the electric razor instead of the blade, skip eating, and just drive faster–oh dear, it is just so obvious how I must have miscalculated when originally setting my alarm clock and I do so deserve an extra fifteen minutes of sleep. Fifteen minutes later, alarm blares and snooze button gets pounded, the whole process repeats itself but the rationalizations get more fantastic.

Reality sets in with the sharp pain of my wife’s kidney punch and sharp rebuke, and all the intricate, complex plans I have made while thinking like an alcoholic melt when exposed to the light of the real world… I am running late.

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