Archives For Insomnia

Good morning, friends!! How the fuck are you? I have missed you all THIS MUCH (outstretch your arms on either side of you and measure the amount of much between your hands).

As many of you may recall, I have a touch of insomnia. I went to bed one night, hoping that I would be able to fall asleep quickly. When I woke up, it was May. Remind me not to mix Nyquil with my gin anymore. It’s delicious and has a lovely color, but it packs a greater wallop than I expected.

So anyway, since I’ve been awake I’ve been catching up on everything that’s happened since January. I had no idea the world was in such turmoil. It’s so sad to hear about current events, and it’s chilling to see how history is repeating itself. For crying out loud, did Gwyneth Paltrow learn nothing from her time with Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck?

Not much is new with me, aside from feeling really well rested and having especially unappealing bed head. Oh, but get this [Editor’s note: Shameless bragging coming up]: While I was sleeping, I was selected as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year, for this post—which, by the way, was also Freshly Pressed!

You may recognize some other names on the list of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year, so let’s stand and give them all a round of applause. Seriously, stand up. You over there, I see you. Get your ass out of that chair, bro. Don’t make me come over there.

For those of you who have joined us since that Freshly Pressed post, a hearty welcome! Please help yourself to a drink. We’re out of Nyquil mixer, though.

And to all of you, sorry I’ve been asleep for so long. But you’d be surprised how easily a batch of Nyquil & gin shooters goes down. I’m still catching up on replying to comments but I’ll get to you all very shortly.

Now enough about me. Tell me about you. What’s new with you? What have you been doing for the past 4 months? How do you feel? You know I care deeply about your welfare.

Next up: Something Blue, Something Red, Something Hot, Something Dead. I think you know what I’m talking about.

Alone in the dark

August 5, 2013 — 159 Comments

Over the past few weeks I experienced a particularly nasty bout of insomnia (which, fortunately, has resolved). It happens to me from time to time, for no particular reason. When it happens, I have plenty of extra time to think about all kinds of stuff. You may have seen this New Yorker cartoon:

Insomnia Jeopardy

I have played many, many games of Insomnia Jeopardy, and I’ve added a few more categories:

  • Every regret I’ve ever had
  • How much better my life would be if only X, Y, and Z
  • Why X, Y, and Z haven’t happened yet
  • All the things I meant to do that day but didn’t get around to
  • How will I die?
  • Is there anything in the house to eat that doesn’t involve preparation?

I used to get insomnia as a kid too. Even in those days I worried about a lot of things, including but not limited to:

  • Fire
  • Volcanoes
  • Spontaneous human combustion (actually, I still worry about this)
  • Sharks
  • Monsters
  • UFOs
  • Jack the Ripper

(Bear in mind that I watched a lot of In Search Of… with Leonard Nimoy.)

I’ve always had an odd relationship with the dark. I’m a night owl. I’m not afraid of the dark and I actually like it. Except if I can’t sleep, and especially if I’m the only one awake. Then I hate it. HATE IT.

When I was little, I’d lie there in the dark, afraid that I was the only person awake in the entire neighborhood. That terrified me. So I’d look out the window at the buildings across the street. If I saw a light on, or if I saw someone’s television flickering through the curtains, I felt much better. I felt less alone. If nobody’s lights were on, I’d panic. WHAT IF I’M THE ONLY ONE AWAKE??? I guess it never occurred to me that if something horrible happened, I could (and should) wake up my parents. Instead, I periodically peeked through the blinds to see if anyone had turned on a light. I’m happy to report that not once did I spontaneously combust. And nothing else horrible happened—not on my watch. No volcanic activity, UFO landings, shark attacks, monster sightings, 67-alarm fires, or murders by Jack the Ripper. I might have been only a little girl but dammit, I was vigilant.

I don’t really know why I still dread being the only one awake. I’m not afraid to be alone in general. There’s just something about being up while everyone else is sleeping that really unsettles me. During this latest bout of insomnia, I sat on the balcony every night and conducted a visual sweep of my surroundings, looking for signs of life, longing for the quiet companionship of fellow nocturnals. As usual, if I saw a light in a window or someone walking down the street, I was enormously relieved. Solidarity, friend. I’m here too. One night there were no lights on. No cars, no pedestrians, nothing. It was about 4am. That familiar panic bubbled up. Then I remembered the 24-hour deli and the hospital two blocks away. See, it’s okay. There’s always someone awake nearby.

And then I went back to bed and hoped I wouldn’t spontaneously combust.