I only say that because I have wicked insomnia, but it sounds about right.
David Benioff writes in City of Thieves, “I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.”
My floorboards are filthy. Most nights I can find sleep easily enough. Most nights. I’m also anxious, mostly about my own mortality, unrest in Syria, and federal taxes. I shit you not. I have odd anxiety triggers. So yeah. While I can typically slip into slumber, I cannot maintain it. It’s the kind of sleep in which I wake every hour, convinced that I haven’t slept at all. I amble to the bathroom. I fumble in the kitchen for another glass of water. I remember the dreams of the restless hours, like daytime thinking but distorted.
While I’ve lived with the waking for over a month now, I only survived because I was certain that the cycle would cease, that I’d return to some kinda normalcy. That didn’t happen and weeks upon weeks of this staccato waking culminated in a very desperate, sleepy person. This week I considered smoking a bowl before bed. Fortunately I no longer have or know a dealer, so acquiring marijuana was mildly problematic. So I made an appointment and talked to my doctor. He prescribed Trazadone, something supposedly non-addictive and not a Benzo because I’m… terrified of addiction. And then I read the side effects of this shite, determined they were waaaaay scarier than insomnia, and threw out the bottle. Today I bought melatonin, St. John’s Wort, and 5-HTP, which is supposed to help both with serotonin and with sleepytimzzz. Incidentally it also helps cure obesity in rats, so that’s a… win?
And tonight, with my homeopathic medicine in hand, I feel better. I don’t know if I’ll sleep. I do know that I feel less neurotic about forcing it. If it doesn’t come, I will be ok. Eventually, it’ll come. The secret to sleep, I think, isn’t being able to relax. The secret is learning how to stop the babble, the incessant chatter that goes round and round, like a child’s nightlight that spins silhouetted shadow and light onto a wall.
Right? Like everything else, it’s about letting go. I can’t control it, but I’m taking right action. So now, we wait. We wait and we see, and….