Insomnia is a funny thing. Since I'm in my (ahem) 40s, people always say to me, like we're soul mates or something, "Oh my God, I heard it's a 40s thing, and I'm so glad I'm not the only one."
To which I try (depending on how much sleep I've had) to smile politely and say, "Yeah. That must be it."
In other words, I lie. Yep. Right to your face. Because for me, it's not a 40s thing. I have long been the only one.
I have always, as long as I can remember, had insomnia. Night demons, I used to think of them, when the ghoulies and ghosties raise a ruckus in my mind. And when I mean always, I do mean always, since I was young kid. I remember distinctly laying in my bed until all the adults in my house (I was the youngest) went to sleep. At sleepovers and camp I used to lay awake for an hour or more than the last girl standing. On school nights I read after bedtime by closet or flashlight, depending on the vigilance of my parents.The summer I turned 13 I wrote my first book and made a great deal of art, staying up until 2 or 3 in the am. I was on sleeping medication when I was pregnant, I slept so little it really wasn't safe for me to drive. After the babies were born, due to some postpartum depression, I was almost beyond functioning. (I might go to sleep but the kiddos do like to eat every 4 hours or so in the early weeks.) To this day, most nights I read or watch TV until I'm beyond exhaustion and thought.
Except it's got a new twist: After I fall asleep, I twitch back awake.
And then, I'm Awake.
That happened at about 11 last night. Miracles of miracles, I was asleep and then I heard a noise that jerked me out of it. Finally at 1 I went to get iGor and read a bit (finished DARK AND DISORDERLY, fun read) and started on a drier revision how-to text. That seemed to do the trick.
But I was up at 7 (the same thing happens to me in the morning: wake me up in daylight hours and it's unlikely I'll get back to sleep). I don't nap. It takes me so long to fall asleep I rarely get the time to actually go to sleep.
Anyway, I don't know that there's much to be done. I know it affects my thought, my memory, my reasoning, my moods, my appetite. (Right now I'm in a downswing on appetite. Don't want much.) It also enables me to stay up later than most folks on occasion. I've had late night experiences I wouldn't trade, and been haunted by demons I think I'll never escape, learned how to function on a few hours. Insomnia is so much a part of my identity, of who I am, I'm not sure what I'd do if I did sleep.
Today, though, it's about pulling myself out of the seething cocktail of exhaustion, annoyance, self-pity, and self-loathing and get out of the house. Sitting here bitching about it (and probably reading about it too) just makes me more tired.