Having insomnia is like having the flu, but no one thinks you’re sick. When you have insomnia, people who’ve never had it have a hard time understanding exactly why you don’t just go to bed and get some sleep. Or they offer suggestions like, “It’s probably your caffeine intake” because OBVIOUSLY people who can’t sleep for weeks at a time are just being irresponsible and don’t realize not sleeping is all their own fault.
It’s also hard for others, since insomnia doesn’t show all of it’s side-effects at once. They build over time, like an infected blister. Insomnia has many, many stages, but I’ve hit some of the big ones for you here so you can start to understand how it feels.
The first day is the day you convince yourself you just couldn’t sleep well. That it was a one time thing. That it didn’t mean anything! But in the back of your mind, you can’t help but wonder, “Am I going to see him again?” Every time this thought creeps in, you tell yourself, “NO! NO way is Mr. Insomnia coming back to MY bed tonight!”
But of course he keeps coming back, and after a few days, you find you’re mental faculties are, well, slipping just a little bit.
Like when you go to start working and your computer just won’t work and so you yell over the partitions for the NSSSA and whine for him to come fix it. And even though he does, you find yourself thinking he thought that maybe it was a waste of his movement quota for the day.
Forgetting to check if the computer was even ON could happen to anyone.
Once you start missing things that are obvious, the sense of unreasonable irritation sets in. Like when your cheerful coworker, who is only being nice ends up being stabbed 50 times, in your head.
Unreasonable Irritation only makes way for unrighteous anger and inappropriate handling of that anger. Like when you rename the Prince in Sleeping Beauty to “He Who Must Die” and then tell your child it’s called artistic license, so stop complaining that I ruined the story.
After a week or so, your brain hits a plateau where absolutely anything is possible, and suddenly your brain is producing dozens of amazingly brilliant ideas every single day. Of course, your write down your best ones so that once you finally get a little sleep you can get started on changing the lives of everyone in the whole world.
After ten days you find your emotions are uncontrollable. No matter the situation, you can be in tears from it for hours.
On the other hand, you also find things that are not really funny at all absolutely hysterical and will repeat the joke that made you laugh to your friend possibly 17 times in the same conversation.
By the second week, your brain starts to trick you into believing that you see things that aren’t at all right.
Then before you know it, you’re stuck between finally giving in to the oblivion of drugs, which you’ve avoided up until now because you hate feeling drugged for hours on end, or taking the obvious route and becoming a walk-on on The Walking Dead.
Either way, you’ll come out ahead at the end.
I’m pretty sure, anyway. I’m still waiting to hear back on how much I’ll get paid for appearing on The Walking Dead.