Elizabeth Velasquez suggested I write my second personal essay about my insomnia, and while I’ve never met this goddess-of-a-god-damn-great-poet in person I have to say I am pleased by the input and yep, thanks are in order.
Anyway, so I am officially 24 years old now as of last Saturday and I’m excited to continue seeing what my life has in store for me and hopefully it is this new age that will rid me of the worrisome troubles of being a self-created insomniac.
When I was in the 8th grade back in 2006, I watched the first three Saw movies back to back. Now, this was not my first time watching horrors, but it was frowned upon in my house, so of course I couldn’t readily experience my gory joy. It was a Sunday morning and my mom was at some church thing and my dad was out I guess; I don’t know. What I remember explicitly is my dad telling me that there were some action DVDs he had gotten the night before called RAW. So being bored, I quickly popped the first of the DVDs in and found out immediately that it was in fact SAW; obviously the DVD guy couldn’t write S or R clearly to save his life. Completely enamored of course, I continued watching. Cringing when necessary. Closing my eyes. And of course, popping in the next DVD when it was time. It was therefore an awesome day.
I remember falling asleep because obviously the next day was school and thinking that oh, I’d gotten over nightmares like I had when I watched Mouse Hunt that first time as kid, and woke up screaming because that cat was the ugliest thing on the planet. Or when I watched Halloweentown on Disney and woke up seeing the warlock’s face on my bedroom fan and couldn’t even scream because I was so afraid. I thought nah, I’d be good, because obviously I was in high school and a “big kid” now.
I was wrong.
I remember struggling to wake up when the scene from Saw III with a girl in a contraption had to dunk her hand in a vat of acid to remove a key in order to free herself or her chest would be ripped open. Now she does get the key and opens the lock on the device, but it is still triggered and she is torn open. I remember dreaming that over and over and over. Even after waking up, I couldn’t close my eyes because the scene would just replay. Obviously, I had to stay awake for the rest of the night. Obviously, I was tired the next day at school. Obviously, I swore never to watch another horror movie ever again.
That’s how it started. Making obvious promises to my teen self. Staying awake all night when I didn’t keep my promises and so the trend began. Force myself not to sleep so I could enjoy a good horror flick, because obviously I couldn’t resist. It got to the point where I fell out of love with horror movies because they didn’t produce that true “scare factor” I craved anymore. The nightmares didn’t stop however, they just changed course. If I ever fell asleep early (like before midnight) I’d have certified nightmares regardless of what I watched or if I prayed. It didn’t matter. Obviously, I went to bed later and later to prevent the nightmares; a trend that continued throughout high school.
By the time I started college in 2010 sleeping pills were my friend, because even though now the nightmares ceased (regardless of the time I slept) my body hated me and I couldn’t sleep before midnight now anyway. I guess I could’ve been Pavlov’s assistant because night time classically conditioned me to mess myself up.
So now, I am a 24 year old human who has stopped taking sleeping pills because they don’t help anymore, not really anyway. Natural remedies do nothing for me. Not even the whole liquor thing does it for me really, even though it does help me to pass out. The alcohol obviously perks up the cells in my body after I have fallen asleep however, and they team up because they hate me and I sleep deeply yes, but I then wake up at the ass crack of dawn or even before and sleep has left me to fend for myself for the rest of the day.
I should probably resign myself to accepting insomnia as my own best friend, not imaginary though because obviously it is real. And no, it is not just my mind at this point. Meditation, medicinal herbs etc. etc. doctor remedies have done nothing to slake the thirst of my sleepless and obviously retired Sandman.
Morpheus is obviously racist.
Two down, fifty to go…