It is 1.48 am. My sleep has been a mess for months now. I started trying about 2 hours ago with a book and a hot chocolate. At midnight, I moved to my sofa. Now I am panicking and it feels like I can’t breathe. Before tomorrow has even started, we’ve got off on the wrong foot.
I am going to try and write it out tonight because I wonder if tipping my head onto paper might help. I am under no illusion as to the source of my insomnia: it’s the nonstop chattering in my head that’s keeping me awake, the circular thoughts that come when you’re too tired to do the things that normally keep them away. It is incessant.
It is also confusing. The tireder I get, the harder it is to decipher between the worries – and the thoughts – and the random stuff that’s weaving its way in between. And so, I find myself tangled up in half-finished sentences and ideas. Jumping frustratingly from one theme to the next, and just making the situation worse because there’s no resolution anywhere.
Sometimes I try going through the alphabet with different topics. A is for Austen; B is for Bronte; C is for Camus; D for Dickinson. Other times, I repeat the names of the people that are important in my life. When I am calmer, I let my imagination roam and find myself writing myself to sleep. More often, I resort to counting the calories that I have eaten that day. Counting seems to help, though the object is clearly unhelpful.
My GP has given me a list of 13 tips for sleeping. They don’t include anything that has succeeded in switching off my head although some hardcore sleeping drugs we tried for a while seemed to work. I’m not sure that hardcore sleeping drugs is the solution that I am looking for though, and they don’t really address the over-thinking, nor the intense loneliness that kicks in when darkness falls and the rest of the world goes to sleep. This is the other part that I find excruciating. I feel less alone in the daytime then I have for years; at night though, it’s just me again, and I am scared.