Balloon Head

Erin Schaden
4 min readMar 16, 2021


I know I have likely over beat the drum of the fucking light change but FUCK! It might kill me…I am so susceptible to the change in light that it totally messes up my sleep. I know it is not the end of the world…but at 2 am on a Tuesday with a long parenting and work day in front of me, it feels very much like the end of me…

Ok, not really…but I am not happy about the fact that I had trouble falling asleep, didn’t sleep soundly and now am up at 2 am…

I will go through my day now tired, crabby and likely not really in my head. My head will be buoyantly tethered to my body in a balloony sphere that feels attached to me if only by a thin thread…


Tuesday may not be the best day…fair warning to all I encounter today.

Nevertheless, I am going to work to overcome my lack of sleep and not allow my day to float away with me attached. It is still a day in my life that I will never get back. So I might as well make the best of it.

I apologize in advance for my likely unbecoming behavior that is likely to follow…despite better intentions.

I wish I could be one of those people that didn’t need so much sleep. But I do. I never knew how much of a hangover was dehydration and lack of sleep. I have had some seriously dry hangovers in recovery because I pushed myself too far by not getting enough sleep.

My son is up too this morning, both of us haunting the house with our sleepless selves…him wanting to talk and me wanting to not talk. I find the quiet aloneness of a sleepless night comforting, him not so much. So we wrestle for balance where we can both get our needs met. His idle chatter about everything and nothing both annoying and endearing.

He has gone back to his room now and I am again alone with my thoughts and words. Tapping out stuff that I am pretty sure doesn’t even make sense…but I write on anyway, hoping that something profound comes to me in my foggy state.

And the thoughts swirl and churn inside my head not unlike the helium gas that lifts a balloon’s lifeless rubber body into shape. Lifting it up and erect, causing it float instead of lie. And I feel it. The thoughts that race and spin inside me, whipping themselves into some sort of noxious frenzy of molecules that elude sleep and send my mind racing…yet I am calm. My body stationary. Idle. Unconcerned by what my mind is throwing about. My body knows that it will never, ever keep up with my mind, so why bother?

Despite my irritation at being awake while other slumber, I like the dark quiet that spills over my house. Allowing me time to think, to sit, to write, to rest…I enjoy the reprieve from routine and will laugh when the alarm goes off later. You have nothing on me today alarm…I beat you by several hours.

I also beat my sponsor in that I will have sent her my gratitude list, step work and daily writing long before she has had a chance to give me a run for my money. Our daily competition declaring me the clear victor today…

My head will be aloof today, loosely tied to me. And I suppose that is ok. Perhaps my lack of sleep will allow me to see something that I can’t see when I am properly rested. Perhaps I will take a nap…if I can. Although, I am not really a napper…unless I have a very good reason to go to bed during daylight hours. I doubt seriously that I will have any reason today that will fall into that category. But one can hope!

I will endeavor to hit the ground running and focus on what I can add to this day since I have been given more waking hours in this day than most. And I will try to use it to benefit others as best I can…and I will try very hard not to be an asshole to my kids who always suffer my HALT being out of whack the most.

And I will be grateful for when the time change stops disrupting my slumber…for those days when I can just sleep until the alarm goes off and feel like my head sits squarely on my shoulders.

Today I will try to see what else I can see with my floating head. What new vantage or perspective can I gain from my altered state. Whatever it might be, please allow me to use the information for others benefit because without a strong desire to take this life and turn it towards service, I fall back into the selfish persona that almost killed herself. And I have worked way too hard to turn back now.

I just re-read what I wrote and I have no idea what I am even talking about…so I am going to stop. Leave it for another day where my head is reaffixed to my body, rested, not sleep deprived. And I will do my best to care for me today so that I can care for those I love also. Trusting that tomorrow is another day, another chance to do it better than I did today.



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.