Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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Learner
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Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by Learner » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:24 pm

Without writing a novel here... I'm 23 years old and I recently moved out of my parents house. I did this because my dad is a REAL hassle to live with plus my parents are getting a divorce and I'm the only child. I didn't want to live in a hostile environment for 6 months while they wait for the divorce to go through. The other thing is I figured it was a good time to test it out so now I know I can totally sustain myself.

Needless to say, I am still happy that I moved out and it's been a great learning experience for me and a strengthening in presence as well. I currently live in a good-sized house with 3 other roommates of various ages between 20-40. We get along pretty well and they definitely are not bad roommates. However, I'm having an issue with my mind under certain circumstances here. They all work Monday-Friday jobs with weekends off. I work weekends with various week days off. During their weekends, many times they are up late making noise or drinking alcohol... Sometimes even smoking weed (this is just one roommate and her boyfriend who do this) in the back yard.

But I found that the noise isn't what keeps me up. In fact, I bought a white-noise sleep machine that basically drowns the noise out. But what happens is my mind starts obsessively thinking things like "I hope they don't get too loud," "What if they wake me up? I won't be able to get back to sleep," "Oh my God, I have to work early tomorrow! I have to be up in 6 hours!" etc... Then THIS is what keeps me up. For example, last night... My roommates were having a little party mainly in the back yard. You couldn't really hearr anything from my room. At 1230, because they had been drinking, they pounded on my door to try to get me to come and drink with them. I said no. They continued pounding for a minute or two then left. The next 3 hours they made no more noise that I could hear and they did not pound on my door again. HOWEVER, I got so "fired up" about the pounding and could not let it go that it took me until 3:30AM to get to sleep again.

I kept thinking thoughts like I mentioned above...

This kind of stuff happens basically every weekend here and I need to find a way to stop this. I've noticed many other people can get right back to sleep and don't get as bugged about this kind of thing. Please help me with some advice on how I can be more present to avoid this disturbance. Thank you! :)

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Zazen
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by Zazen » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:10 pm

Learner wrote:Without writing a novel here... I'm 23 years old and I recently moved out of my parents house. I did this because my dad is a REAL hassle to live with plus my parents are getting a divorce and I'm the only child. I didn't want to live in a hostile environment for 6 months while they wait for the divorce to go through. The other thing is I figured it was a good time to test it out so now I know I can totally sustain myself.

Needless to say, I am still happy that I moved out and it's been a great learning experience for me and a strengthening in presence as well. I currently live in a good-sized house with 3 other roommates of various ages between 20-40. We get along pretty well and they definitely are not bad roommates. However, I'm having an issue with my mind under certain circumstances here. They all work Monday-Friday jobs with weekends off. I work weekends with various week days off. During their weekends, many times they are up late making noise or drinking alcohol... Sometimes even smoking weed (this is just one roommate and her boyfriend who do this) in the back yard.

But I found that the noise isn't what keeps me up. In fact, I bought a white-noise sleep machine that basically drowns the noise out. But what happens is my mind starts obsessively thinking things like "I hope they don't get too loud," "What if they wake me up? I won't be able to get back to sleep," "Oh my God, I have to work early tomorrow! I have to be up in 6 hours!" etc... Then THIS is what keeps me up. For example, last night... My roommates were having a little party mainly in the back yard. You couldn't really hearr anything from my room. At 1230, because they had been drinking, they pounded on my door to try to get me to come and drink with them. I said no. They continued pounding for a minute or two then left. The next 3 hours they made no more noise that I could hear and they did not pound on my door again. HOWEVER, I got so "fired up" about the pounding and could not let it go that it took me until 3:30AM to get to sleep again.

I kept thinking thoughts like I mentioned above...

This kind of stuff happens basically every weekend here and I need to find a way to stop this. I've noticed many other people can get right back to sleep and don't get as bugged about this kind of thing. Please help me with some advice on how I can be more present to avoid this disturbance. Thank you! :)
Well, I wouldn't recommand silencing your mind in bed in the first place, but if you do- lie on your back and feel the inner body(even if you cannot fall asleep like that, you will see it's a big difference). The point is : shift you attention from thoughts on something else. Or try movement presence- go for a short slow walk.

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rideforever
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by rideforever » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:52 pm

I have had very similar experiences and I found after a lot of pain, that this works for me :

a) buy earplugs and use them

b) move out as soon as possible - forget about the white noise machine etc... this is just reinforcing a victim position by trying to stay in a situation you don't like - just start looking, hand in your notice, and move - don't waste 2 years living in a place that doesn't work for you and then move out ...

"I've noticed many other people can get right back to sleep" ... translation : I should be able to deal with this and if I can't I need to improve myself so I can be be like other people. i.e. a wounded position where you don't know how to prioritise your own needs

To even try to cope with the situation repeats some past experience of ignoring what you actually need now.

What you need now is your priority.

One day when everything is hunky-dory you will be able to sleep like a baby in the middle of a football match. But that is not today. Today you need what you need today.

c) carefully choose the next place

d) perform any emotional /anger / trauma release techniques in your new quiet place to slow empty out your conditioning
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

18andlife
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by 18andlife » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:32 am

I work all graveyard shifts and I sleep in a rather noisy environment during the day, so I know the feeling Learer. Here are a few things I have noticed:

Ear plugs and the white noise from a fan does help, as does darkness or an eye guard. One other thing I have noticed is that when I get woken up I can get back to sleep as long as I know what the noise is. Once I establish (and put it in terms) that "yes there is a noise, it's ..... ,but it's not a threat" I can get back to sleep more easily even if it's something really loud.

I know that this is a self-realization forum and thus we try and identify the false personas we adopt in our day to day lives and unmask them, and in your roommate-related case people who might recommend that you do so may have a valid point. But keep in mind that for practical purposes we can use personas to our advantage also.

During our lives we have various personas: the persona you are at work, the persona you are at play, they persona you are at home, etc. The thing is: when those roles get mixed-up it's usually not for the best. For example: if you bring the persona you are at play in to your workplace you will probably not be too effective, and vice versa.

In that sense, you can create a "persona you are when you are trying to get to sleep" and make it a point to notice when you are bringing any of your other personas into your place of rest. Your own roommate persona or your own work persona doesn't belong in your place of rest, and I bet you'll find that if you bring them there the result won't be sleep.

Sometimes, in a practical sense, it is okay to use illusion to your advatage rather than to unmask it.

For me, my sleep persona (or more accurately the persona I adopt when I am attempting to get to sleep) revolves around very repetitive thoughts of very neutral situations. For exmple: even though in waking-life I don't play sports, I think of training for an upcoming sporting event, or even though in waking-life I don't give lectures, I think of giving a lecture on a neutral subject to a neutral group of people. Since I have nothing invested in such thoughts I can let my waking-mind gradually disengage and grind to a hault. The result more often than not being sleep.

Learner
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by Learner » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:16 am

Thanks for the replies! Rideforever, the only issue with B (which seems to be the meat of your post) is that it took me long enough to get settled here and other than this one issue, which comes up at the most once a week, the roommates are fine. They don't steal, they don't do anything else bad and I feel like if I moved, id end up with possibly worse rooommates OR thered be something ELSE about the situation I wouldn't like. There ARE a lot of plusses about this place too. Plus, I feel like Tolle would suggest acceptance in this case (nonresistance) because the whole point of what he teaches is getting along with circumstances, its not changing them or running from them. I just don't feel like running from every situation is going to go well for me.

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rideforever
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by rideforever » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:51 am

Hey - I understand what you are saying.

However my experience of me (maybe it's different for you) is that the feeling that I "should stay and make it work" was part of the conditioning itself. The feeling that there aren't any nice places out there likewise.

I used to have this thing on the train. Sometimes someone would sit next to me and whip out a hamburger or some smelly food or talk loudly on their phone ... and I would say to myself - just stay and be present, remain calm - it's like this wherever you go.

I used to say that ... but then I tried moving. I just experimented. And it worked. I felt great. Just moving made me feel great. Mostly I ended up somewhere quieter, sometimes not ... but just moving felt good - I wasn't trapped in my conditioning any more.

The end of the road may be peace in all situations - but often that is achieved through plenty of time in calm and quiet situations - hence monasteries and mountains where most people have got themselves realised.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

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DavidB
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by DavidB » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:00 am

You have three choices, remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.

You have chosen to accept it totally, but having made that choice, you have found that the total acceptance of the current situation is more difficult than you might have hoped. You are accepting of the situation (the potential noise and occasional disturbances), but now the obsessive compulsive thoughts associated with the situation are entering into your consciousness, which is what is now keeping you awake.

Dealing with obsessive compulsive thinking is not always easy, it takes time and effort to master. The obsessive thoughts emerge on their own, based upon past conditioning. You will find that the more you work on silencing these obsessive thoughts, the less they will intrude, and the easier it will be to maintain that peace.

There is nothing wrong with your strategy, it is fine, it just takes time, persistence and compassion.


I have an example of my own I could share.

I have tinnitus in both ears. When I try to sleep at night, because of the quiet associated with that late at night and the general quietness of the house, the tinnitus is perceived as about the loudest it will be at any time of the day.

If I focus on the tinnitus, it isn't the constant ringing that bothers me, it is the automatic negative feelings and associated irritability that will keep me awake. If I instead accept the ringing totally, without judgement, without criticism and without analysis, the automatic thoughts and feelings will subside and I will be asleep in a matter of minutes.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Donna
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Re: Please Help - Roommates & Sleep

Post by Donna » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:41 pm

In regards to making the choice in accepting your situation:

If you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at...change.

~ Wayne Dyer
:-)

Consider this a learning experience in choosing a place to live...next time you may remember to ask more questions on the living habits of your roommates.

About the thinking of stuff over and over again....hmmm...are you keeping your thoughts inside on the issue without expressing concern with roommates? Sort of like...keeping the peace...I wonder... is this connected with your home life? Seems interesting that you mentioned that, because otherwise it'd seem irrelevant to your roommate issue. Your thoughts on that, Learner?
~*~*~*~* I love to live and live to love. *~*~*~*~

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