When it gets past the late night hours and turns into early morning and I can feel in my body that sleep ain’t coming for me, I used to feel a white hot rage. I was angry and I was so so so tired, I used to cry. Tears flowing I’d scream at my own brain, why are you being such a arsehole? Why deny me the release of sleep? Why? And I would hate my husband, for sleeping so deeply beside me that he snored. I’d hate anyone that could fall asleep easy and stay that way. I was so jealous I would spit at the sunrise and scream at the birds who welcomed it. But it didn’t help. I got weary right down to my soul. I began to think that if I died, at least I’d get some god damn rest. Rest In Peace? Fuck, what about just the rest part?
I’ve studied. I know how long a human body can survive without sleep and it’s not as long as you might think. I know that driving tired is worse than driving drunk. I know that your memory suffers, damaging changes occur in your brain and your body just begins to zombie-fy (actual scientific term there, you’re welcome). What took me longer than I’d like to admit is the realization that none of that knowledge helped one damn bit. I finally figured out that biologically, eventually, without any real say from me, my body WILL conk out. I will get that blessed rest. I might sleep 1 night out of 7. I might be lucky enough to feel it coming, clear my schedule and get 15 hours straight stored away. I might sleep 10 nights in a row. Or I might not. But I will sleep. Nature dictates it.
So now I laugh. I do. I have a little giggle. Because insomnia can’t beat me. It just can’t. I’ve been battling insomnia since I was a teenager, and I realised the only way to win was not to fight it. I’m lucky even, to have these hours free and clear, all to myself. Everyone else is asleep, there’s literally nothing I need to be doing. So I do whatever I want. I log on, I binge watch entire seasons of my favourite shows, I read books, I listen to podcasts, I play endless rounds of addictive games and I try not to laugh too loud at memes. I catch up on social media, read blogs, study things that interest me and go visit all my favourite You Tubers.
I’m actually glad now that my husband is snoring, because at least it means he’s safe in bed and breathing. I spend time with my cats. Yep, I’m that lady. At least they know how to pass long nights, go hang out with mumma and listen to LeVar Burton read stories to us. I check on my little old dog, help her stay comfortable and share my midnight snacks with her. If my kids get up in the night, I don’t resent it. I’m already awake and can steer them back into the land of nod like it’s easy. Half the time I fall asleep doing it. Every painful ache in my body reminds me that I’m still here to feel it, and I’d like to think there’s a reason for that.
So if I had one thing to say to insomnia these days, far from screaming obscenities at the moon, I’d say thank you. Thanks for the extra hours. For all my beautiful online friends across the oceans who are awake when my local ones are not. Thanks for my hobbies, my ‘me’ time and for letting me learn to love my own company. I may add a little ‘oh, and fuck you very much’, but I usually save that for around night 3. I’m no saint after all. It’s a spectrum.
Love your life peeps,