Bloody hell, I hate insomnia.
Tweeting about it earlier reminded me of the stupidest thing anyone’s ever said to me re: the brain party that is not sleeping for days on end.
It was when I was working for the NHS, and on the worst sleep-deprivation-bender I’ve ever been on in my life. At this point it was four days and counting (on day six my boss walked into my office where I was sitting, unable to move, staring at the wall without blinking. She put me in the armchair in the staff room, went to the pharmacy, and then drugged me into sleeping in a cubicle. Apparently when I was staring at the wall my eyes were twitching so fast it looked like my eyeballs were vibrating. Insomnia is a potentially life-threatening medical condition, kids! Don’t let yourself get stressed out to the point that you don’t sleep for almost a week, okay?) and I ran into a nurse that I kind-of knew because it was 8am and I was standing at the coffee vending machine buying a cup, knocking it back like a delicious caffeinated shot, and buying another one. I drank four before she stopped me, and we chatted about why I was one step away from stealing a cannula and injecting coffee straight into my veins.
Which was when she said the stupidest thing anyone has ever said to me about insomnia:
“Oh, I wish I could get that, you must get so many things done with the extra time!”
I’m pretty sure I just stared at her until she left, because those are the words of someone who thinks that sleep deprivation is staying up all night partying. Or pulling an all-nighter to write an essay. Things that you might do several nights in a row, but you certainly wouldn’t expect yourself to be a functioning human the next day. Like, maybe for the first night I have the energy or brain power to do shit (mostly I read, or knit, or meditate, or do yoga or listen to audiobooks- you know, things that might HELP ME SLEEP), but by night two pretty much all I’m good for is staring at the ceiling and trying to set it on fire with the power of my hatred for the universe.
Obviously this is for the really bad bouts of insomnia, the ones where I literally do not sleep a single minute for more than two nights which is not a common form of insomnia, even for me. Mostly insomnia is “interrupted sleep” where you just don’t get more than a few hours spread over the whole night, usually for much longer than the more extreme version (you know, the one that can kill you). And you don’t get much free time to do shit with that version, you’re mostly wishing & hoping & thinking & praying about sleep.
Insomnia bad & unproductive.
Sleep good, but equally unproductive.
Pick sleep. #teamsleep