The definition of insomnia is habitual sleeplessness.
I have suffered from insomnia for the majority of my life. In this article, I present a recent journal entry, where I describe my relationship with sleep.
July 21, 2017
I can’t sleep. Sad, because I am really tired. I mean really tired.
I was up late last night writing, busying the Internet with thoughts. Just one more thought. I keep telling myself; just a little more, and then I will shut the laptop and happily drift off to slumber land.
I wish it were that easy. It’s never been easy. It won’t stop. I mean the thoughts; they just keep coming. I am trying to keep my eyes shut, but the thoughts keep crashing into the front of my cranium, with wild force. My eyes fly open from the blunt force trauma.
I have to grab my computer to get all this out. I have to puke all these thoughts over a virtual piece of paper. Then I will finally be free to sleep.
I tell myself this every night. And every night my thoughts just bleed out like a cut artery. Then every morning my bled body is turned into a zombie.
Learning to read at a very young age was out of necessity rather than ambition. When you can’t sleep, even at the very young age of 6, you have to find something to do. It always seemed pointless to just lay there with the never-ending floating thoughts. I kept a flashlight by my bed and would read under a tent of covers.
Unfortunately for my sister, we shared a room. She would often grow irritated with the ritualistic evening light and send me to another portion of the house.
I have so many memories of lying on the living room couch reading until my eyes became too heavy to remain open. Finally, I would drift to sleep. Deep sleep was never attained because I always made it back to my room the next morning with my night’s activities undetected.
My Every Night Battle
There is no need for flashlights and tent covers at my age. I can just type in a dark room, on my laptop, spilling thoughts, until my eyes get so heavy that I eventually drift off to sleep. The chatter quiets to the mull of a city street at midnight, but ready to restart as soon as the sun breaks the horizon.
There is an outlet for all this mental chatter. I should count myself lucky. As far back as I can remember, as young as 10, I began journaling. At the time, journaling was intuitive. In retrospect, it was the best therapy I never had to pay for.
The endless chatter is both my curse and blessing. I’ve spent a lifetime battling insomnia. On the positive side, my writing has been prolific. The cure to the chatter is pharmaceutical intervention. Unfortunately, this intervention flat lines my creative energy. I’ve tried it both ways. I prefer the chatter. Currently, I am experimenting with natural remedies.
I shared this journal to reach out to those who suffer from insomnia. It is an everyday battle and has required a lifetime of experimentation.