Oh, Irony...

Back in the summer of 2011, when Josh and I finally moved in together, I wrote a post about how difficult it was to adapt to sharing a bed with someone. Neither of us had gotten much sleep since our new set-up and it was a challenge to perfect the art of bed space allocation. Eventually, we got used to it and with Josh on TDY a few times a month I had the bed to myself quite often, so it wasn't really all that bad.

As I was reading through my old posts tonight, I came upon that one in particular and laughed at myself. I was actually LOLing, you guys. Seriously! Go back and read that post (it'll take you 30 seconds). It's funny to look back and see myself complaining about sharing my precious mattress with Joshua because, up until recently, I couldn't sleep without sharing it with him.

Personally, one of the hardest transitions from married life into divorced/single life was sleeping alone. Just as I had to learn to sleep with a snoring, 6'2" soldier in a queen sized bed, I had to unlearn it. Some nights were harder than others, particularly in the beginning, but eventually I came to terms with it.

The tricks to sleeping alone in a queen sized bed after you've had to share it for so long are as follows:

1. For the love of all that is holy, sleep on the OTHER SIDE. Once you and your partner no longer share a bed, you'll be rudely awakened when you roll over in the middle of the night and forget that his body isn't keeping the bed warm next to you. Stop this heartbreaking habit by sleeping on the other side  so that it almost feels like a new bed. Maybe even rearrange the furniture to switch things up. And don't forget to thank me later.

2. Treat yo' self. Change the bedding, add a few extra pillows (you know, to take up the empty space), change up your nightstand, purchase a sound machine (essential!), and treat yourself to some new PJs. This used to be our space, but now it's just you so make it your space. Buy as many pointless throw pillows and purple bed spreads as you damn well please. There's no one there to stop you. Muahahaha!

3. Embrace the opportunity to hog the bed. This was a hard one for me. I didn't want to hog the bed, god damnit! I wanted Josh to hog the bed with me. I wanted to be elbowed in the boob at 2:00 in the morning. I wanted his snoring to wake me up and remind my bladder that its full ten times a night. You never realize how precious these things are until they don't happen anymore. HA! Yeah frickin' right. At first the bed felt empty and lonely, but after a few months I started sleeping through the night like I had in high school. Worth. It.

When you're going through an emotional trauma, your body and mind need time to adjust, so do these things, but give yourself time to get used to your new routine. Feeling comfortable and content sleeping alone after divorce does not come easy. Cut yourself some slack and take it in strides. I used to avoid even going into the bedroom until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning because I hated knowing I would be sleeping alone. Honestly, some nights you won't sleep at all because something feels off. But in time, you'll roll over and doze off into dreamland without a second thought.

Have you suffered from insomnia after a traumatic life event? What did you do to cope and become comfortable sleeping alone?


Fran said...

You could also get one of those body pillows to take up some of the empty space - I used one of those while Lance was deployed and it was great. <3

Unknown said...

Dude, when I sleep alone, I sleep in the middle. Starman style ;-)

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