Normally I don’t take articles from Cracked.com too seriously but this one hit home in a special way. So. Fucking. Spot. On.
You see, I have insomnia.
Most of the time when I tell people I’ve gotten maybe 12 hours of sleep the entire week, they probe me for explanations or simply tell me to just go to bed earlier. Or maybe, try stretching, yoga, chamomile tea, melatonin, warmed milk. Whatever they suggest I do, I probably tried it last night. Sometimes they offer me empathy.
“Yeah, a couple nights ago I had really bad insomnia. Like, I got three hours of sleep and work sucked ass the next day.”
“Well, how do you feel now?” – I ask.
“Oh, I came home and took a nap for, like, two hours, had dinner, then went back to sleep until morning.”
Is it really that easy for everyone else? Is that why they make fun of me or react with disbelief when I tell them that I normally sleep for 10-12 hours each day on the weekends, normally not waking until about 3:00 pm?
Try having it be a daily struggle.
Endless tossing until 5:00 in the morning, feeling overheated and antsy. Take the covers off and you’re too cold. Pull the blanket back on and you dampen the sheets with your own sweat. No matter how you turn, shuffle, or contort your body, there’s somehow always an itch, a twitch, a weird pain somewhere just annoying enough to compel you to flip, waking yourself up all over again.
Sitting upright at 4:00, feeling partially defeated, wondering if it would be worth it to try taking another sleeping pill or to pull another swig even after having slept just four hours the night before.
“Oh, you get to wake up at 9? That’s must be so nice!”
Not if you’ve been passing out moments before sunrise in a chemically-induced haze for the third time this week. Why? I don’t fucking know. I really never know or can control when my body feels like sleeping or being wide awake and anything that happens to me before 1:00 pm is pretty much miserable – a blur of resentment, nausea, inability to focus on anything for more than two minutes, and wondering why the fuck this bitch talking to me right now is so damn energetic. IT’S 8:30 IN THE FUCKING MORNING. I SHOULD BE IN BED RIGHT NOW. STOP TALKING TO ME.
And truthfully for the four to five nights of the week I do manage to achieve some semblance of somnolence, I don’t “sleep” as much as pass the fuck out from complete exhaustion, and, oh, mixing sleeping pills with alcohol. I lay helpless and distraught. I have no control over my own body. How is it that I just took six sleeping pills and yet feel nothing?
I grab my phone and check the time.
“I have to be up in four hours”
I check Facebook.
“I have to be up in 3 hours”
I check Instagram, OkCupid, Tinder, okay, Facebook again. A round of Angry Birds? PvZ? What the fuck am I doing?
“Fuck, I have to be up in an hour!”
At a certain point I know I’ve lost.
“Fuck it. Just fuck it.”
I arduously crank the knobs in the shower wanting to die.
On nights like these, I think about Michael Jackson – how he abused propofol until he basically put himself to sleep forever. And then I imagine how handy it must have been to have such a high-powered general anesthetic like that on hand, fantasizing about using it on myself with the same ardor and titillation a bullied kid might daydream of the day he finally brings a gun to school.
Bedtime for me is a time of anxiety, uncertainty, and ultimately, dread.
Save the odd night or two, you lie down most nights and simply drift off without thought.
That, my friend is a luxury.
You don’t fucking have insomnia.