Monday, April 22, 2013

What's the Best Part of Being an Insomniac?

Every now and then, I like to peep my traffic sources (Whaddup, Germany and Russia?! Thanks for reading!) and keyword searches that lead people to Ask An Insomniac (AAI). (Whatever--it's not a book, but I wanted to add the italics for DRAMATIZATION. Plus, I'm that not-tired tired that is sadly familiar to many of us. The proud, the few, the AWAKE ALL THE FUCKING TIME, DEAR SLEEP WAVES ALPHA THROUGH DELTA AND PHARMA, PLEASE HELP US .)

I came upon this today:

This is a sampling of some of the things that people search to get to this weird, weird blog. Big up all the real insomniacs who were too tired to spell or use proper punctuation (boxed in green). "Tounge," ". o," "insomniax," and "comborbities," I salute you. (Also hoping there isn't a Club Insomniax that I haven't been to yet.) Especially you, comborbities. Because--ask your doctor--but you may have comorbid insomnia and dyslexia. But this is a safe place, especially if you bring up Cuban sandwiches (!!!!!).

But this leads to today's question, "What's the best part of being an insomniac?"
I would like to assume that this is from a fellow insomniac, as I imagine him/her/ze crawling Grudge-style to the computer after days without sleep and hallucinating patterns the likes of which Tim Gunn is probably telling you suck, whilst secretly plotting to sell them to the sleeping masses (My longest stretch with NO sleep was 36 hours--the patterns are real, son. Well, in that they're not real, but they are).

OK, so perhaps I've already given you one idea for what the best part of being an insomniac is...if you work in fashion. Please send me freebies if I have inspired you, thanks.

So that's my assumption, worst-case scenario is that we're like in the danger hours during which shingles or encephalitis or IFIDONTFINDMYPILLOWINTHISROOMFULLOF...PILLOWS? occur. Equally bad is if it's someone who doesn't really have insomnia but is trying to coopt the struggle. That's right guys, there are insomnia hipsters out there, and they aim to diminish our experience.

People think it's cool to have insomnia. People think insomnia is not a real thing. Put these two widespread thoughts about insomnia out there, and you have a trendy, non-illness illness. :/

To the people who want to co-opt "productive insomnia" as an identity/struggle, your real struggle is not sounding full of shit to actual insomniacs while having to hope that a pack of insomniacs doesn't come for dat ass at 5:30am while you're "not sleeping productively" in your fucking den of lies.  

I've mentioned "productive insomnia" before and how anyone who tells you they have it is mid-manic episode (altho it could easily be drug-induced insomnia), but I've heard it again from people I know damn well have no trouble sleeping. No one has productive diabetes, no one has productive chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and no one has productive insomnia. 

(Who curses Sir Walter Raleigh aside from someone who hasn't slept?! Think about it)

This begs the question, "What illnesses have productive aspects?" Going back to diabetes, perhaps being in studies for medications that work or being in focus groups to better quality of life may be productive. Same goes for COPD. So, as we can see the "productive" aspects are merely byproducts of an illness with which one has to contend and to treat. Insomnia is also an illness. If I happen to draw something during an hour I can't sleep, it doesn't mean I'm being productive--it means I'm avoiding the effects of the illness. But chances are I have work the next day. So if you think that one hour of shitty drawing at 4 am is productive, just wait till the next 18 hours of my not doing shieeettt.

Wait till the very productive discussion that goes like this:
Coworker (in slow motion, from my perspective): "Gooooood mornnnnning, how are yoooouuuuu?"
Me: "Is. it. the. morning? I ju--"
Coworker (I'm catching on, her voice has picked up in speed): "Haha, you're so funny. It's only Tuesday, silly!"
Me: "Tuesday? Wait, were we here yesterday?"
Coworker: "No, you called me and asked me to tell the boss to tell her you were gonna be out. Something about the couch was talking to you and you couldn't 'handle it right now' and also you think you should use 2B pencils on Oscar Wilde, but maybe markers could give you the flexibility in color that you were looking for; you read me a hypothetical to-do list for city council members and asked me if there was anything I should add; you told me that Jimmy Fallon should stop frowning at all his guests and read me your letter to NBC; and you asked if I'd be interested in a coup d'etat."
Me: "Thanks. Do you want something from Starbucks?"
That's how productive my insomnia gets, people. It's all fun and games until you have to explain the coup situation to human resources.

One of my brands of insomnia means that I cannot get to sleep. Think "I'm So Tired" by The Beatles. Or "How Soon Is Now" (if I'm listening to it while I'm tired...I am human and I need to be REM'd...just like everybody else sleeps...)

Every insomniac is different, so any positives you can find are just that--positives. Let me know what some of yours are! Sometimes there's pleasure in knowing I'm the only person awake, but if I have to do a cost-benefit ratio, it never looks so good on the benefit side.

"See, I've already waited too long...and my hope is gone...." (=some nights. Once it hits 4 am, I know that night is a wrap)

1 comment:

  1. Does eating endless amounts of peanut butter for some protein right now count? And being kind of freaked out because I just saw "Breakfast at Tiffany's" again recently and had forgotten about the part about how the brother eats peanut butter and is "dotty"? Wait -- he's not dotty, just slow and simple and something something whatever-Audrey-said. OH MY GOD I'M NOT RECITING "BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S" VERBATIM. And intending to order my groceries online any second now but not actually doing it?