Wednesday, 5 January 2011

I Can't Get No Sleep

Deep in the bosom of the gentle night
Is when I search for the light
Pick up my pen and start to write
I struggle, fight dark forces
In the clear moon light
Without fear... insomnia
I can't get no sleep
Deeper still, that night I write by candle light
I find insight, fundamental movement, uh
So when it's black this insomniac take an original tack
Keep the beast in my nature under ceaseless attack
I gets no sleep
I can't get no sleep
I only smoke weed when I need to
And I need to get some rest
I confess, I burnt a hole in the mattress
Yes, yes, it was me, I plead guilty...
But there's no relief
I'm wide awake in my kitchen
It's dark and I'm lonely

Oh, if I could only get some sleep,
Creaky noises make my skin creep

I need to get some sleep
I can't get no sleep....

I've gone through occasional bouts of insomnia ever since I was a teenager. In the past few years they have lasted longer and been more frequent. This is why I've started this blog now, and why the address is 'The Fall of...' I can feel my grip on the world slipping, and I have twice in the past year (never before) been afraid, properly afraid, for my sanity. Before that I had no idea what it might feel like, what thinking would be like, if I went insane. I have now been close enough to smell it.
I'm pretty confident I can stay on the right side of the fence; I've only been close when I've had a fever combined with a lack of self-medication, and of course combined with insomnia. By self-medication I mean smoking skunk and/or drinking. If I stop smoking and cut down on drink for about 3 or 4 weeks, my mind starts dancing around – I think and talk fast, and feel mentally sharp. It is a good feeling to feel mentally sharp and have more social energy, and the extra physical fitness from not smoking weed is also very much valued (I'm fairly sporty).
The trouble is that after about 4 months of this – and there is an increase in the mental sharpness over that time – I will most certainly enter a stage of really bad insomnia caused by having great difficulty stopping thinking for long enough to fall asleep.
At that point I start to self medicate, and the cycle starts again.
Due to the escalation of the cycle frequency and much worse insomnia over the past few years it is time to try something different. Not quite sure what yet, but I've got a couple of months to decide...


Anonymous said...

I fear for my sanity during bouts of cabin fever. Being sick with long-term illnesses like bronchitis or a particularly bad flu, or recovering from a surgery at home, those can take me to the edge. This last year I went from having bronchitis that lasted two weeks to a surgery that took about a week and a half to fully heal. The only people I interacted with were delivery men for food and such, and I was starting to go quite eccentric. I drank a lot of rum during that time, and even though it slowed me down to a crawl, it felt like it beat back the crazy.

Unlike most cases of cabin fever though, I didn't want to leave. I liked my cave too much. One day I had something of an 'episode' and decided I was going to get outside the next few days or be carted off to the funny farm...

ResCogitans said...

yeah i like being on my own for periods, but it's amazingly difficult to go more than a few days without interacting with someone. as part of my last holiday i cycled from ottawa to toronto, carrying a tent etc. a lot was through isolated areas (i didn't bring a map and just took interesting roads my compass said were in the right direction) but i still ended up in conversations when i needed to replenish food/water. i've wondered about applying to do a stint as a lighthouse keeper etc. but i think i'd feel as confined on my own as i do when confined to a sociable mask...
longest i've been without speaking a word to anyone is probably only 3 days - probably 2 days more than most!
BTW i hope it was a good dark rum mixed with a spicy ginger beer! mmmm

Anonymous said...

Sailor Jerry's spiced rum.

I've probably gone at least a week without talking to someone. That's when the screws start flying out, haha.