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Formation and Realisation
What is insomnia? Most people assume that insomnia is the complete lack of sleep. Fortunately, it's not quite like that -- it's a bit more forgiving. Insomnia means having a hard time falling asleep (By having a hard time I mean spending hours locked in your bed, eyes shut, hoping to catch that sweet, sweet sensation of sleepiness) It is a sickness, and it can be quite a serious one. But the worst part about Insomnia: it is deceptively hidden. You only notice once it's very far along. I'm sure you've had nights when you just wanted to finish that game, movie, or episode -- only to find yourself awake at 3 am. But it's okay, you think. It's not a problem, people do this all the time, right? And, inadvertently, you do it again. And again. Every night, in a streak you are slowly starting to worry about. You think you're in control, though. You just want to spend some more time awake, sleeping is just a waste of time, anyway. You can always go to sleep at, say, 11 p.m. and fall asleep with no problems. Definitely. And you lie to yourself and keep going on, staying awake until 3 or 4 in the morning. Maybe sometimes skipping sleep entirely, it's not like you can't sleep the next day. And this keeps going on, until you realise the hard, cold truth. You can't actually go to sleep at 11 p.m. -- In fact, it takes you several hours to finally fall asleep -- And it's been going on for days, weeks maybe. You are an insomniac.
Resolution and Desperation
It can't be as bad as you imagine, right? It's just lack of sleep. There's no need to worry, all you have to do is get in bed earlier than you're use to and close your eyes. You will, eventually fall asleep, maybe later than you're use to. If you do it every night, things will surely get better. But they don't. All you do is lay in bed for hours on end, only to fall asleep when it's much too late, at 4-5 a.m. Or not at all.
Thing is, most people think that the worst part of insomnia is how it makes you so tired. It does, it drains your energy until you can barely move during the day. But that's not the worst thing. No -- certainly not -- the worst thing is that you have to spend every night in your bed, alone, with nothing but your mind. You're locked in a prison cell with nobody but yourself, and you have to endure your thoughts, which get crazier and crazier every night. All you can do is think, and think, and think again. For hours. Every night. Alone. Can't let go of those thoughts. If only you could yell and scream to damn the people that can sleep, while you endure your silent torment. It's a maddening experience and it reflects on your daily life, as you get more introverted and anti-social. The human psyche can turn dark and deranged, but you don't even notice it happening. But it does, and everybody else notices.
You can't really do anything else while trying to sleep but think. Reading a book, using the laptop or watching TV will only prolong your staying awake. If you want to sleep, there's no choice but to listen to your thoughts all night long, until morning, when your eyes truly shut. Hopefully.
While your nightly life is totally upside down, insomnia also affects you when you're awake. Not only your does personality change, but you become stressed, tired and unable to cope with anything. Going to school or work becomes a herculean effort. You care less about your looks, you can't get rid of your dark circles under the eyes anyway. And you can't complain to your friends about this. It's just insomnia, it will go away. Not a big problem -- that's what they think. And you hang to those words desperately, even though you realised long ago that these are nothing more than lies. You know your life has fallen apart. You can't work or study well anymore, you're too tired. Too tired to go out with friends. Too tired to make food. Too tired for everything, apparently. But not too tired for sleep.
And then you snap. You have to do it. It's your last choice: sleeping pills. You dread them, you fear them, you know how much they can wreck your already fragile body. But you have to do it. So you buy a box (they're not cheap, mind you) and take one before you sleep. Bliss! In 5-10 minutes you can feel the effect. That lovely numbness fills your body and gets to your brain, and you sleep! You feel it happening, and you're so happy. You wake up in the morning euphoric and rested. It is the best thing to happen in your entire life, and you should've thought of this earlier. Those sleeping pills make you so happy. You slowly regain your social life, you start caring about your looks too, everything seems to be going back to normal. And you're happy.
You start having sleeping problems again. You desperately look at that pill, why isn't it working? You have no option but to take two at a time. And you do it and it works, and everything is alright. But it happens again. Your body gets used to the sleeping pills and your only option is to raise the dosage. You get to 4 pills a night. Four fucking pills a night! You tear through those boxes of pills like they were candy. Your body cannot take that much. You are constantly pale -- you feel extremely tired during the day -- even though you sleep well through the night. You even wake up one night puking blood. You feel horrible pains throughout your body on the daily. You're an absolute wreck.
You have sleeping problems again. This is too much. You can't go on. Can't raise the dose to five pills per night. It's time to end this. It's a fate you never thought you'd have. But you will. You have to. You want to.
Reaching out to get the box of pills you realise how big it is. It's incredible how you had to buy one every week. There are still some pills in there, around ten. You cram them all down your throat, down a bit of water and wait. And it's such a strange feeling. So many thoughts you've never thought are buzzing in your head. You have a slight moment of regret, but you can't back down now. It's over. Death is certain. It will be your last sleep. And you fade into rest.
Then you wake up. Shocked. It takes one minute to realise that you're still alive, you're not in some kind of afterlife. It's still night outside. You check the phone, it's been two days since you took the pills. And then you suddenly realise the immense pain your body. You throw up a generous amount of blood on your sheets. You're alive, definitely alive, but how you wish you weren't.
So, here are you now. In that old, rusty chair, in the kitchen. Your clothes are covered in blood and coffee. So is the floor, but also with bits of broken cups everywhere. Just broke your last 5 minutes ago. Or was it an hour? You don't know, and you don't care. You drink the coffee directly from the kettle. Sure, it burns, but you don't feel it anymore. Then you crunch those old coffee beans, pouring some coffee again to get the beans go down easier. Your stomach burns and you can't see much anymore. You can only wait to die of sleep deprivation. This was your only choice -- Your only option -- It should only take around eleven days.