Insomnia

It’s two in the morning. What am I still doing up? In a couple of hours, I have to start my day. If I don’t get to sleep, I will have been up a full twenty-four hours. The kettle, I unplugged it, didn’t I? I’m sure I did. Did I turn off the stove? I did. I’m sure of it. I can’t seem to get that song out of my head. Think about something else. Don’t think! Sleep!

Insomnia
Insomnia

This is Freedom Friday. This is how I escaped the abyss.

One day blends into the next. There is no difference. Today’s a semblance of good day. I don’t look like a character out of a Tim Burton movie—spiked hair, sunken eyes and pale skin. I can get things done. The birds chirping aren’t a bother either. Why do birds chirp? Why don’t dogs chirp?

Two years ago, I averaged two hours sleep a night.

My reflection in the window of the department store scares me. I run. I glance over my shoulder but no one is there. Everyone looks the same. Why are they laughing at me? Who is that? Is he the one following me? I sit on a bench staring. My thoughts continue to race. Tonight, will be a good night. I will sleep.

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands
Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands

The doctor asks if I am suffering from stress. I ask, doesn’t everyone? I’m in perfect physical condition. Then why can’t I sleep? Perhaps a prescription? No, no drugs.

Where are my car keys? What did I do with my keys? I lost my keys. Why can’t I remember where I put them? Here they are. I hate my chores. I don’t want to take out the garbage. I don’t want to mow the lawn. And I do not want to have a smile on my face when all I feel is emptiness. I just want to lie down in a dark room, close my eyes and fall into a coma for a month.

She asks, is everything all right? I say, yes.

I must have tossed on my pillow a dozen times. I can’t get comfortable. What is wrong with this bed? Lie still. Breathe slowly. Now close your eyes. I can’t. Damned clock. Stop telling me how much time I have left before I’m supposed to wake up!

A year later, I had to put a stop to it.

She asks, is everything all right? I say, no, I can’t sleep again. What’s wrong? I just—can’t sleep. Pray. What? Pray about it.

I pray, asking for release.

The lamb smells good. I broiled it in a marinade of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. I thought it would go well with the sautéed red and green peppers, and onions. That salad is to die for, too. Fresh cucumbers and onions give it a pleasurable crunch. I can’t wait to try my new Merlot I made a month ago. I’ve been saving it for tonight’s special meal. Everything smells so good.

I relax downstairs by the fireplace watching Edward Scissorhands, one of my favorite Tim Burton movies. I allow my mind to wander on the day. How sweet the birds sounded chirping this morning. How funny I looked passing that department store window this afternoon. How the car purred heading home. Although the lawn didn’t need mowing, I had taken out the trash. My smile grows. I so much enjoy watching this film.

The bedroom door clicks behind me. I pull the shades and dim the nightstand light. I turn the alarm clock to face the wall. After slipping into a T-shirt and brushing my teeth, I sit and read. Shakespeare sure has a way of making a story unfold. My eyes begin to droop. It’s time.

I pray.

The bed feels comfortable. I turn off the light and close my eyes.

Silence. Darkness.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Have you ever had to battle insomnia?

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19 thoughts on “Insomnia

  1. I love the writing style used in this article. I felt like I was there. Plodding through the sleeplessness with you. Sometimes I feel like an insomniac, but I think I just drink too much coffee and tea. I should be asleep right now, as I have to wake up in a few hours, but instead I’m reading about not sleeping.

  2. I identify with this all too well. Loved your writing style on this one! I’m always impressed by the way you experiment on your blog. At least the world got some good writing from you out of your sacrifices of sleep 🙂

  3. I am so much impressed by your article…I always suffer through it in phases..sometimes it gets better and then comes back me being a night owl…lovely post dear,..very well written

  4. The funny thing is, I read this after staying up all night long. I absolutely love that movie. The original Edward, when the name still had some respect. 🙂 Love your blog and have now become a dedicated follower.

  5. I have never had a problem falling asleep. in fact, according to my Fitbit I fall asleep in 8 minutes!! I could sleep through anything. I love to sleep, I can’t imagine what it is like to not be able to sleep. I’d go nuts.

  6. I’m going through one of those phases right now. I don’t ever have the 2 hours of sleep..maybe 3-4 hours at the extreme because my body eventually gives in. Its mostly due to stress..most probably work-related or just overly active brain. Sometimes I just give up and watch a movie and eventually doze off 🙂

    • Interesting you should say that. Whenever I’m watching a movie with my wife, I end up missing most of it because I doze off. However, when I watch on my own, I’m wide awake. It must have to do with security, comfort or something like that. But stress is a big, big sleep killer. Better thinking about something else before heading to bed, but in my case, that didn’t even work.

      Thank goodness it’s over and done with!

      • I do the same thing! My boyfriend always thinks that I don’t enjoy the movie but thats usually not the case…
        You know what works to counter insomnia for me? Listening to my cat purr…its hynotizing… 🙂

      • Also, it’s not ’cause the movie’s bad, I think ’cause we feel safe, we doze off. I’m always having to rewatch a movie ’cause of missing the ending!

        Yes, cats are a marvel of serenity. Love petting them under their chin, they purr even more!

  7. I first became an insomniac when I was eight years old. I have lived with it since then. My only respite is when it’s really cold in the winter. BUT, perhaps knowing this, my contrary brain is now not letting me sleep even though we splurged and bought a special A/C unit just for the bedroom.

    Thankfully, my night terror phase is over. I write. 🙂 But my brain never shuts up. lol

    Also, thankfully, I needed to be able to live without sleep, since my younger son had a sleep disorder for his first five years and he didn’t sleep much, either. I figure God was just prepping me to live like that.

    My sanity, though, is questionable. 😉

    • Amazing when we can come up with some solution to our problems. I can attest that I also like it cold going to bed. There’s something about being warm under the covers when it’s frosty cold outside and in!

      Yuk to night terrors. Not very nice to go through them.

      Sounds also you were in the midst of preparation for something.

      Isn’t everyone’s sanity questionable?

  8. I go through phases of insomnia – usually when I’m stressed about something. I used to get up and play guitar or video games (usually RTS games like Starcraft or Rome: Total War, as I find FPS-type games too stimulating when I can’t sleep), now I just try to read.

    • I remember also playing RPG games during those nights I couldn’t fall asleep. I can’t forget how I loved the LEGO series Star Wars games, especially Episodes 4-6. On some occasions, I’d play them all night.

      Thankfully, I cured my insomnia a year ago. I’ve had nothing but a solid 6-7 hours of sleep a night during the week, and 7-9 hours on the weekend. I really enjoy my sleep now. I look forward to it. Oh, and reading is amazing before hitting the sack!

  9. Oh yes all the time thanks to kidlets. Though never all night like that. Second post in a week talking about this though the other was about night terrors. I think you both need to listen to Michael Buble before you go to bed 😉

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