The problem with insomnia isn't the lack of sleep, it's the demons, that tuck themselves in next to you, careful to keep their arms and legs inside the ride at all times. They're the same ones that shake you awake with a jolt, the second your mind numbs near the edge of slumber. These late night denizens that love to scream insecurities in your brain when you try and drown them out with the dull sounds of a room, dimly lit by the static light and quiet hum of a Sony TV.
To make matters worse, as you fumble half awake through your days, you'll bump into sleep experts everywhere. These monsters apparently know everything there is to know about insomnia. They take the form of your mailman, your roommate or your mother. "Try going to bed earlier," they'll say. Followed by the plain vanilla suggestion of, "You shouldn't take so many sleep meds. What you really need is good honest sleep!"
Honest sleep! Whatever the fuck that means. There's no such thing as honest sleep for an insomniac. It's all stolen winks and half awake nightmares.
But you want to believe them, so you make the effort. Sure you don't dial back the sleep meds because that's actually suicide with the nocturnal creatures, but you go to bed early. You lighten up on the usual distractions of video games, email and writing... the things that normally wear you out and grind you down to lessen the sting of the razor sharp fangs from the nightfall hellions.
Then at 2:00am on some idle Thursday, you'll realize what a stupid son of a bitch you were for breaking your usual routine of wearing your mind out to the point of exhaustion.... and as you lay awake in bed, with wide, dry, red eyes letting demons sprinting through your brain you'll probably log onto facebook and let your fingers dribble out some rant that sounds like a cross between Hunter S Thompson and Chuck Palahniuk... all the while wishing you had just told people to fuck off, mind their own business and let you handle your own demons the way you know best.
I wish I was an alcoholic. At least they get to pass out at some point.
Image titled "Insomnia" found in creative commons search on Flickr. Credit to lunamom58