It strikes, unexpectedly but much like a bolt of lightning. More often than not, I am the type of insomniac that falls asleep shortly after reading a chapter or two in my latest literary endeavor. And, suddenly, at 2 or 3 or 4 am, I am AWAKE.
Awake in a way that I rarely feel during “conscious hours.” My sweet dog gets tired of my thrashing about in my attempt to force a state of unconsciousness and moves away with this distinct “Mom, I need sleep and you’re ruining my mojo” kind of attitude. As if she doesn’t spend more time sleeping than any human I’ve ever known.
Eventually, after 10 times of turning over every which way, I resign myself to grabbing my phone and reading as many free articles as I can get on The New Yorker — never enough but just enough to make me inspired by their quick wit, cutting linguistics, and marvelous syntax. Once I’ve hit the paywall, I abandon ship, attempting to find my next distraction while my sweet husband with his mouthguard and silky eye mask–for maximum darkness–snores next to me.
I move on to the next blackhole of the internet: Pinterest. After I’ve redecorated my home, my entire wardrobe, and my hairstyle for the next 5 years, I abandon ship again. And, I’m faced with every insomniac’s decision tree: Do I continue to just lay here staring at the popcorn ceiling of my bedroom? (Sidenote: people really hate popcorn ceilings) Do I read and risk waking up the brood that is currently on my bed? Do I get up and go to the living room–knowing surely I’ll get sucked into episode 27 of my latest Netflix obsession? Do I meditate? I don’t have my damn headphones, should I get up and get them?
It’s 5 am and at this ungodly hour there isn’t much to do. I can’t exercise if I wanted to (ew). The noise of the bakery next door to us gets louder, soon the construction of our new back parking lot (! note the excitement) will begin promptly at 8 am.
So, in 3 hours, will I move from insomnia to just being simply “awake early”? Will my burning eyes decide they won’t mind to close and stay closed for just a wee bit longer? And ever present in the insomniac mind is: How am I going to feel / make it through tomorrow? Because as awake as I am now, I will be exhausted tomorrow when the rest of life as I know it wakes up and zooms around me.
How can you push for something so elusive that only your body can provide when its decided it’s ready?
Being an insomniac requires a whole lotta faith and willingness to surrender. Surrender to the idea that it’s temporary. Surrender to the idea that you may not feel your best tomorrow (read: like shit). Surrender that sometimes there is no deep rooted explanation for random insomnia. And, surrender that sometimes it just sucks and the next night will probably be better but maybe not.
Now that I’ve increased the chances of sleep aid addiction by 25% singlehandedly through my 5 am ramblings, I will abandon ship here and turn to my left side, breathe deeply, and remember above all to be kind to myself.
Read my other post about insomnia HERE.