This is My Brain on Insomnia

I have terrible insomnia.  It’s one of the worst things in my life, truthfully.  Nothing has the ability to drive me quite so mad.  A lot of people offer me rather simple advice- honestly, if I hear “Don’t have caffeine!” one more time… I like that folks care but I’ve had insomnia for years.  It’s not a caffeine issue.  Sometimes people joke about all the things I must be able to accomplish, but it doesn’t work that way.  I wish I could be productive when all I feel is overwhelming exhaustion, so intense migraines start up and I’ll see is spots, bursts of light in the darkness. And still, my body refuses to just turn off.  Hours pass and nothing helps, all the yoga, meditation, lack of electronics in the bedroom, chamomile teas, sleeping positions, and ocean sounds in the world have yet to cure my insomnia.  It’s utterly maddening.  I mean, truly.  At some point, usually around three am, I start questioning my own sanity, my fragile sense of reality.

I spend most of my hours awake, scrawling things down in the three (three!) Journals for Insomniacs my brilliant friends have given me, but when I look over those pages in the morning….  My handwriting doesn’t even resemble my own and it’s as if I never learned anything about writing.  My words are entirely unintelligible, and my sentences devolved far beyond fragmentation.  (I still have no idea where I was trying to go with, “Of to when is stop Timothy”)  If it’s not complete nonsense, it’s just depressing.  I have an incredibly high rate of early morning existential crises.  Recently, I filled an entire page ranting about how I’m completely doomed in life because I have all of Sylvia Plath’s crazy and none of her talent.  I think that was all one sentence, too.  A one page, one sentence, ridiculous rant.  …Insomnia does really weird and unhealthy things to my brain and body.

I really don’t know how I function.  Tomorrow, for instance, I have a full eight hour work day…I have an hour off for lunch, but I spend that entire break in class.  Then, I’ll come home and stay up until midnight trying to finish inane assignments. I’ll be so tired and I won’t be able to sleep, and it will keep building until I’ve made it through the entire 120 hour school week with less than twenty hours of sleep.  That’s like, only fifteen percent of my life hours spent sleeping.  I don’t actually know if that’s fifteen percent.  I’m rather wretched at mathematics when it’s not three in the morning.   I also don’t know what percent of the week you should spend sleeping.  More than I am now.

I’m going to regret this post.  I regret everything that happens during a round of insomnia.  I turned PC Hammer on (yeah, I named my computer PC Hammer.  I think I’m terribly clever and highly hilarious… nobody else seems to think the same) to tell you a different, pressing story.  I was in my bed, obsessing over this thing that I just HAD to write out for you.  That’s another feature of my insomnia- I get stuck in intense thought loops and I’ll get a sentence I can’t shake until I get out of bed and scratch it down somewhere.  Anyway, I had this highly poetic and inspiring and thing I just had to share with you, and it had to be here on this blog, but when I started typing I felt the need to explain exactly why I was typing at two thirty, and that’s obviously devolved into an entirely nonsensical rant about nothing in particular.

Maddening and unproductive are the main tenants of my insomnia.  I’ll have an beautifully crafted, complete, meaningful essay in my head, but it floats off the moment I try to capture it.  Ephemeral is a word someone mentioned today, because I like to talk to the sort of people who like words like ephemeral, and it seems like that’s applicable in this situation.  The word, not the people.  Though, I don’t know, maybe they are applicable.  Maybe if I didn’t hang out with pretentious-hipster-tragic-artist types, I wouldn’t have this stress to create, to do better, to be good enough and I could finally get some sleep.  But I think the problem is that I like those kids, and I value/secretly aspire to be one of those pretentious-hipster-tragic-artist types, even when I know it’s all epic bullshittery.  The world is too awesome for all their/our sadness.

Right.  So.  I know I should delete all of this, but I’m about to hit the Publish button instead.  I do sincerely apologize.  In my defense, I don’t think clearly when I’m insomnia-ing.  (Shoddy defense, isn’t it?  The junk food made me do it!!!)  I also apologize if there are any “Of to when is stop Timothy” situations in here.  I do try to proofread my insomniac writings, but I’ve never had any success.  So.  I hope all of you are sleeping peacefully.  I hope I will be, soon.

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