Sleep is both my most dreaded time of day, but also my most cherished. When you’ve got chronic pain, you become a slave to yourself. You push and pull yourself all over, knowing eventually you’ll reach some sort of breaking point, yet knowing your daughter still needs you for many years yet to come. She’s special needs, she’s developmentally behind, but she’s happy and healthy. It’s a constant battle in my mind, the concept of reaching out, asking for help. I’ve tried before, more times than I can count, and now I’m at the point where I’d rather just grin and bare it than have to cope with the disappointment and resentment of my please being ignored. People are cruel, they’ll lead you on, tell you they’re always but here, don’t be a stranger, hit me up sometimes, the usual social media excuses. Don’t lie like that to people who are truly struggling, if we trust you enough to reach out for help, and you deliberately disregard it entirely, then you’re the worst kind of person. How do I sleep with the weight of the world on my shoulders? With a daughter who needs me? With a husband who deserves better than me? Only time will tell how long I can continue to push through, to go without treatment for fear of addiction, judgment, or becoming too impaired to be alone with my daughter for the 50+ hours my husband works every week now. How do I shut off my brain’s constant chatter in the background of my mind, always making sure I can’t forget that there’s never enough money for everything we need. How do I find peace? How can I allow my muscles to release when all this tension consumes me and dooms me to feel more pain? What happens when the one position I can lay in somewhat comfortably enough to fall asleep, suddenly becomes uncomfortable? It wouldn’t be the first time, and I know it won’t be the last. But what about the fact that we can’t afford the expensive mattresses that I know could change my life by allowing me to feel real relief from this crumbling structure I’m stuck with? This country works against me, mid 20’s with no job, applying for social security, a program so flawed that we’ve been living in poverty while I’m consistently denied the help that I need and deserve. I’m so tired of not being able to sleep when I’m tired, so exhausted of focusing on staying still while laying down, despite what feels like dozens of itching and scratching bugs crawling all over NY skin, underneath my skin even. This is either a symptom of my paranoia or my body playing games it knows I can’t win. What’s the best outcome for me, my family, my life? What’s to show for all the pain I’ve put aside, all I’ve endured? Will it ever get better? How could it possibly when I’ll never feel better?