Insomnia

I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in almost a week.

I have no real idea why. Intuitively, I’ve been experiencing this ever since changing my epilepsy meds. By I’m no neurologist, so what do I know?

But this insomnia may well drive me over the edge into babbling insanity. You know, more than usual. In short, I think I’m going mad. I now know why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. If I knew anything worth knowing, I’d tell you right now. Just let me sleep.

Last night was the worst yet. The sleep debt I’d accumulated through the week was weighing heavy on my little brain, so I took myself to bed at 9pm. I was shattered. Could barely keep my eyes open while ready. Seriously, it was an effort to focus.

Until I turned off the lights.

Then, I was buzzing. Wide awake as if I’d just come off a fairground ride. I lay there, in the darkness, listening to someone else sleep peacefully. Now that was torture. Catching sleep when it doesn’t want to be caught is a real bugger. It’s just out of reach. It’s like one of those floaters you sometimes get in your eye, just noticeable in your peripheral vision, but you can never look at it dead on… it dashes away.

The more I thought about sleep, the more awake I felt. The more I counted sheep, counter backwards, practiced deep breathing… you know, all the usual stuff… the more all I could think of was when I was going to find the time to watch Series 2 of Rome. Also, didn’t I have to register for University tomorrow? What time are the groceries being delivered? Did I remember to order mayonnaise. And so on, into a vortex of screaming yet banal thoughts.

“Arse,” I muttered to myself, demonstrating that Wildean wit for which I’ve become famous in these parts.

I tossed and turned and eventually started reading again. (On reflection, the book was about a post-apocolyptic world, so probably not too sleep-inducing). At 1am, I got out of bed and came back to my desk. I read some news, wandered through the blogosphere aimlessly and googled cures for insomnia. All useless, by the way.

At 2am, I felt sleepy again and hauled myself back to bed. I almost…. almost fell asleep when a car went screaming up the street outside and jerked me awake. Bastard. Last time I looked at the clock it was 3am and that’s all I remember until 6am this morning.

Being woken by the Today Programme after just 3 hours of sleep is not something I’d wish on many people. (Obviously, being a bitter little man, I can think of a few people I’d like this to happen to daily). That aside, my wake-up call was as painful as being dragged down the stairs naked, over broken glass, while a small vicious animal took bites out of my genitals.

And I say that without a hint of hyperbole.

My other half (who deserves a medal for putting up with me) brought me a cup of coffee and truly, just figuring out which orifice to pour it into was a challenge too far for my addled mind. In the shower, I washed my face with shampoo. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I was working from home today, since any attempt at actually shaving would have left me lying bleeding in the bath like one of Hannibal Lector’s victims.

Work definitely suffered today. I forgot many, if not all, of the big words I usually use (you know, like “psychology” and so forth) and aimed for single syllables wherever possible. I had to proof every single email very carefully after an early morning personal email went out looking like a cat had walked across the keyboard. And on more than one occasion, I found myself standing in front of the open fridge, having no idea what I was looking for, or indeed any recollection of walking into the kitchen in the first place.

Quite simply, I’m a liability and should not be let outside on my own right now.

I’m hoping that sleep will come to me tonight. At least a few hours to tide me over. Then maybe a nap on Saturday afternoon to perk me up. And who knows, maybe by Monday morning, I’ll have forgotten all about this miserable week of insomnia-induced madness.

The alternative?

Just too horrible to contemplate…

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