Home > Life Change > A Life Change I Can’t Seem to Make

A Life Change I Can’t Seem to Make

Counting Sheep

At least it's better than snakes

Since high school, I have battled insomnia.  Given that is presently 4:40 in the morning and I’ve been up for nearly 24 hours, it’s fair to say that tonight’s scuffle is not a successful one for me.  I have an Ambien prescription though it’s effects on me are hit or miss–one night a pill doesn’t even yield a yawn, a different night and a pill means I’ll sleep like Sonny Von Bulow, except of course that I wake up albeit after 14 hours.

A simple search for insomnia on WebMD.com yields this result.  Short-term insomnia is described as resulting from stress and usually lasts no more than a month.  Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, can last–well, I’ll let you know when it stops–and can be a sign of depression.

I’ve been depressed before–honest to God chemically, mentally in the bottom of a black barrel for months, even years at a stretch.  As part of my life changes, I underwent cognitive behavioral therapy, which I can honestly say saved my life.  Rewiring my head also taught me to realize the danger signs of oncoming depression.  And I don’t see any of them right now.  I do however see a clock that now reads 4:49 am.

So why the hell can’t I sleep?  I’m averaging two all-nighters a week as of late; combined with an already busy schedule that starts early and ends late, my body and mind are starting to show signs of wear.  When I was depressed, sleep was blocked many nights by vivid, horrific images of rattlesnakes–I KNOW, how fucked up is that?  Terrifying and paranoia inducing to say the least, and that’s before applying any Freudian dream analysis.

No snakes now, praise be to the Deist being in whom I put what little faith I have left.  Just my fevered mind pinging about like a ferret on speed, clicking off an unceasing list of incomplete tasks and half-witted ideas.  So here I sit, another night of keyboard clicks faintly audible over a loop of  trance music on Pandora.  5:28 am.  It’s going to be a hell of a day.

Categories: Life Change Tags: ,
  1. November 28, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I can relate. On the days where I can actually pull off 8-10 hours of sleep, it’s not without waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason 6 or more times and still feeling like shit the rest of the day, until it’s rewound all over again. I can only sleep peacefully when I’m sick (without a runny nose) and feel somewhat better at the end.

    • December 1, 2010 at 12:28 am

      Contrary to doctor’s advice, anything you’d read, common sense, etc., I have found that exercising about 2 hours before I head for bed actually works. Given that this usually means I’m out running on the street at night, it’s not the safest thing to do–perhaps I should carry scissors while I’m at it. I hurt my foot about 7 weeks ago and haven’t been able to run since. Perhaps that explains my current insomnia. Have you tried the exercise route?

      • December 1, 2010 at 2:14 am

        Strategically timed exercise never really helped me, but I still take evening walks once in a while. Doing a great deal of exercise, however, has some benefits, but I have a hard time fitting it into my schedule since I have college to attend to. I can play some basketball and take a run every now and then, but nothing like the 3-4 straight hours of exhausting exercise that I used to get while going to high school.

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