Fuck you, Insomnia

It’s something that I’ve not had to deal with for a very long time. Since I was back in college, truth be told. It all started a few days ago and I tried ignoring it, marking it down as an anomaly but slowly those same old feelings are creeping back again, and again. Whether it’s my back pains, the problems swirling around my head or my unhealthy lifestyle I don’t know. All I know is that I LONG to sleep once more.

Here’s something I wrote about Insomnia several years ago, back when it was at its worst. All characters are completely fictional.


Tick tock, tick tock.
I lie there listening, alone, awake.
The seconds slipping through my fingers like sand through an hourglass.
I stare at my clock’s long black hands barely distinguishable from the surrounding darkness of the night.
Two Twenty-Four.
Too late to stay up, too early to get up.
In limbo, between this week and the next.
The more I listen the louder it gets, burrowing deep into my consciousness, pounding at my skull like the bells of Big Ben.
Below me I can hear the insufferable drawl of the man from number eight.
He’s asleep, why aren’t I?
Who am I kidding; I know why I’m still awake, I’m trying to delay the sunrise and the inevitable monotony that will follow, the next day, the next week.
Prolonging the time before I have to return to work, for what is waiting for me there.
Through my eyelids I feel the glare of the standby light, its red eye staring at me as I lie awake.
I sit up, wiping away the sleep which has ironically begun to form in the corners of my eyes.
The room that greets me is the picture of sadness; my room.
Cheap clothes lie strewn lazily over the back of chairs, more awkward even, than when I drape them over my own skeletal frame.
One coffee mug, left, forgotten.
White-washed walls stand bare and impersonal existing as nothing more than a blank canvas.
The cupboards lay empty, the result of a weekend wasted; fretting, worrying, starving.
On the far wall a neatly stacked shelf of my medication staring at me with spiteful eyes.
A man with too much time on his hands.
But the seconds keep ticking away.
Tick tock, tick tock.
I lie back down, unable to bear the sight of my lonely existence anymore.
My eyes close to shut it out, for now at least.
I can hear the cars crawling along outside.
Night commuters.
Urban foxes raiding the city under the cover of darkness.
On their way to a late shift perhaps.
He’ll be there.
They all will.
I let out a long sigh, the sort that only seems necessary late at night.
The kind that lifts the weight off your chest and make you feel light as a feather before the inescapable intake brings all your problems crashing back down on you, pressing harder than before.
I shift over onto my side, left, and pull the duvet up tight around me trying to hide myself from the reality I have created, to lock it up and throw away the key, to erase the memory.
But how can I? It has been eating away at me all weekend, poisoning my every thought, spreading like a cancer.
Insomnia I think it’s called, the inability to sleep.
Irritating, when you begin to think about the process of sleeping you never can.
‘Clear your mind of all thoughts’.
A concept that is unhelpful in every other aspect of human life. Once you clear your mind the voice in your head, the devil on your shoulder always whispers ‘Am I asleep?’ Of course, I am not.
Tick tock, tick tock.
‘Hey, do you fancy going for a drink after work?’
Those words will haunt me for some time.
That was the best I could think of.
Weeks of practicing in the mirror and this was all I could muster.
Somewhat of a shot in the foot to enquire with such clichéd drivel.
I could feel my pride and integrity draining away.
Just like the last time.
What’s more I didn’t ask her, I addressed her breasts.
Out came this torrent of abuse, like a tidal wave crashing down over a mud hut.
A big, pathetic, stupid mud hut.
All eyes were on me.
Just like the last time.
It seemed as if every being in the office was present.
How can I face them?
I zoned out – to protect myself more than anything.
I’m not very good with criticism.
‘Anyway, I’m with Colin.’
That’s what she said.
Public Schoolboy Colin.
The owner’s son.
The smug pompous git.
I never liked him, the v-necked sweater that squeezed his corpulent stomach so tightly you could see the fibres protesting, never appealed to me.
How could I have been so stupid?
I should have seen the signs: the looks exchanged; they would leave the office together.
Maybe I was just acting under the false premise that it was just one great big coincidence, that there was no relationship.
I offered myself up like a lamb to slaughter.
Final nail in the proverbial coffin.
I was to be buried alive.
Sacrificed as the office scapegoat.
Or at least I will be when I get there tomorrow.
Three Fourteen.
I need to get some sleep.
Tick tock, tick tock.
Four Twelve.
I get up, again.
Incapable of sleep.
Sickness grabs at my stomach.
I run to the sink, my whole body retching, but nothing comes.
The red mist which I have been fighting against descends.
How can I live on like this?
What do I have to live for?
All these questions for which I have no answers.
I throw myself to the floor, a mess of emotion, tears rolling down my cheeks.
Through watery eyes I look up and there it is – the one thing which I have been trying to live without – the drugs.
I clamber to my feet crippled with despair heading for the shelf.
With shaking hands I unscrew the lid of the bottle labelled ‘Lithium Carbonate – One pill daily’.
Sobbing to myself I slowly finger the pills out of the bottle until I have five lying in my hand.
In to my mouth one by one until my palm is empty.
Staggering back to my bed I lie down.
The objects in the room lose their focus as the colours around me gently blend into a soft grey.
I feel myself drifting, closer and closer to my peace.
My eyelids heavy, my breathing slower.
Slipping gradually into my dark abyss, all my problems just ebbing away.

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