Thursday 20 May 2010


I suffer from insomnia. (I can almost hear the collective groans of commiseration from those of you that suffer from it as well). It’s not all the time, but I get bouts of it that can sometimes last for weeks. And well, currently being the size of a small boat doesn’t help matters either. It’s one of those things that I used to hear people discuss, and moan about (like acid reflux, back pain, migraines etc) and I’d think, ‘oh come on, it can’t be that bad, if you’re tired enough you’ll sleep, count some sheep, have some warm milk’….I have since eaten my words four hundred times over – and who in the hell ever thought that counting sheep was a good remedy? I’m exhausted, and feel like my brain is melting, and one is suggesting I hallucinate the appearance of sheep on my ceiling?

I have of course tried everything – barring hardcore pills which of course is ironic as they are probably the things that knock you into next week. The plain fact is, I’m not a pill girl and never will be. I’m one of those annoying people that if I take a pill, I put all my energy towards fighting the pill’s effect and end up feeling the reverse. Yes, us control freaks have serious issues with surrender. But there’s of course plenty else out there to sucker you in, in hopes of a good night sleep. I used to douse my pillow and bed sheets in so much lavender oil my eyes would water. If you don’t like the smell of lavender it’s a bit of a problem, but it does kind of work - either that or the amount I used was toxic and was actually poisoning me into a coma (I say who cares, a coma is sleep). Then there were the hot baths, hot drinks, yoga moves at 2 a.m., reading, reorganizing my closet, or simply laying there and staring at one spot incessantly until my eyes drooped, telling myself that the state of the world depended on me being utterly still. I have to be honest the state of the world in my hands never fared very well. 

Now, without heading into the graphic territory, there is one thing that usually does the trick, but it kind of depends on another person to help you out (then again). I think you know where I’m going with this…but sex is a good panacea for those sleepless nights. However, and how do I say this politely, it has to be of course the kind where you complete 'the mission' if you know what I mean. Otherwise you may as well pack up and go home.

The bitch of insomnia is it affects everything you do. In order to actually get up in the morning and feel like that you can do anything, one has had to have gone to sleep in the first place. A no-brainer, right??? And it can’t be very easy on those around you. My partner – a very patient, understanding man (I'd be patient and kind if I slept too, I promise!) – gets that ‘look’ when he knows I’ve had a bout of sleepless nights. It’s that look that says, ‘I love you, but I want to run away to some far off place and forget I ever met you.’ I am not a pleasure cruise without sleep, I’m big enough to admit it. In fact, I start to despise those that do sleep – sorry nothing personal - with their rested little effervescent faces bouncing around the planet. The worst is when you are explaining to someone what insomnia is and they just can’t wrap their refreshed little brains around it. “You mean, you just don’t sleep, nothing, not at all? God that must be the worst. The moment my head hits the pillow, I’m out cold.” Gee, thanks, cause that is exactly what I want to hear. Do you tell fat people you just can’t keep weight on? Seriously, not helpful!

I had one boss that used to get heavily involved in my insomnia. As he so politely put it, “you’re a pill Anka, when you don’t sleep I suffer.” So during one of my serious bouts he’d ask me every morning when I came in, if I slept? From the looks of me, it was obvious I didn’t – I’m NOT one of those women who look fine with no sleep. My face looks like something a truck backed over, I get huge bags under my eyes that you could carry your wallet in, and my olive skin turns this attractive shade of green. It’s a good look. Anyway, my boss would put up with me for a few hours as I forgot things, barked at him (we had a funny relationship where oddly he became more scared of me than I of him) get all weepy when the stapler stopped working, until finally he’d throw his pen down and bark, “GO HOME, and don’t come back until you’ve slept.” At least he was understanding.

.....I'm sorry, where was I?? I think I just nodded off. 

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