Clowns will eat me.


It is something like my sixteenth day of no sleep. Well, not really. Let me amend: It is something like my sixteenth day of two to three hours of fitful sleep, punctuated both by bad dreams and ungodly noises around me. I say “something like,” because this doesn’t feel like a day at all, and the idea of “sixteen” is similarly nebulous. When did I last sleep through the night? Oh, you know, that one time. It seems that the more exhausted I become, the more sensitive my hearing becomes — an inverse ratio of auditory acumen to slumbering prowess that leaves me desperately unhappy. Earplugs are right out, as are headphones and eighty-four pillows; I need to be able to hear Connor.

At this point I can hear dogs three blocks away, the cat walking in the driveway, every snore and turn of both Michael (next to me) and Connor (in his room, door shut, several walls away). I can hear the neighbors get up to pee. I can hear the neighbors get up and blast rap music at 5:30. Boomp boomp boomp boomp… BA BOOMP boomp boomp boomp… Over and over until I am insane, hatefully shrewish and filled with spite: Fuck you, Mr. Big Rap Guy, it is NOT EVEN 6:00 AM. ON A SATURDAY. And fuck you, Michael “I Refuse To Blow My Nose” Pino, I hope you realize that sex is not an inalienable right because you are never getting any ever again.

This is so crazy and it’s not even made better by my new pseudo-fancy coffee. (Gevalia: It Ain’t Great, But It Also Ain’t Folger’s. Or, perhaps, Gevalia: You Win Some, You Lose Some.) Okay, well, maybe it would be made better by my new pseudo-fancy coffee, if I could get out of this chair and go make some. My new schmancy-pants coffeemaker (a $99 value, free with purchase of pseudo-fancy coffee) arrived with a broken carafe, so nothing is programmed to happen automatically — I am stuck with measuring and pouring and flipping a switch all by myself, and it is just too much. No coffee for me, although my heart yearns. It’s too bad, because yesterday I was perilously close to writing a rhapsodic entry about the new coffee/machine combo, and instead there is now this dreck.

I don’t know how to sleep anymore. I am angry at everything — Michael, for snoring and talking and flinging himself about in his sleep; Connor, for insisting that sunrise is time to get up; the new neighbors, for their incomprehensible routine which entails thumping bass lines before dawn, company arriving at 6:30, and allowing their yippy little dog and similarly yippy little brat to frolic about under my window from dawn to dusk. I am angry at the cats, because they walk and purr and eat and drink. Sometimes they meow, play with jingly toys, or fight; these are the times I seriously consider selling them to the sketchy Chinese restaurant on the square. I am angry at the wind and the snow, which yes, I can hear falling, no matter what you say. I am angry at passing cars, even those which do not pass my house but instead pass the stores half a mile away. I am angry at the few birds who have returned from their vacations, angry at the elementary school two blocks away, and angry at anyone who has ever breathed heavily through his or her mouth in an attempt to “breathe quietly.” (A hint: Mouthbreathing is not noticeably more soothing than the snoring and muttering that caused me to whap you, so please just go blow your nose.)

I am mostly angry at myself, because this revision of Princess/Pea dichotomy is unbearable. Nobody lives like this. Nobody can hear snow falling, nobody can hear a two-year-old move his leg under the covers in another room! Nobody takes four hours to fall asleep when they have been awake for twenty-eight, and if somebody were to do so, they would certainly not pussy around with this light-sleeping, hyper-aware bullshit. This is inhuman. When it sank in that I would not be getting any more sleep this morning (I was awakened by Michael at 5:35, deluded myself until 7:00) I shouted at Michael, called him an inconsiderate dick who doesn’t give a shit if I have a breakdown as long as he gets his precious nine hours a night, and stormed into the living room to cry. This is not how normal, functioning adults live. This is obviously affecting everything from my relationships to my toilet bowl; I haven’t scrubbed anything with bleach in at least two weeks.

Tell me, dear readers: How do you do it? How do you fall asleep and stay asleep? I will settle for six hours a night — five, if they are unbroken and deep. I will settle for neither ushering in a new day nor seeing it break; if I never see another gorgeous winter sunrise it will be okay by me. I can’t even joke about this anymore. I want my head to unfuzz and lose weight, I want my body to stop moving as if through molasses, stop aching, and move both freely and with a semblance of speed. I want to sleep in.

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8 Responses to Clowns will eat me.

  1. xo says:

    How do I sleep? One of the meds I take for chronic pain (elavil – $8/month or less thru costco pharmacy) zonks me out. Sometimes more effectively than others (i.e. if I’m decidedly not sleepy, it doesn’t do much, but if I’m sorta sleepy, it can get me heavy enough to get to sleep). But even when it doesn’t make me drowsy, it eliminates in large part the cause of my insomnia, so it’s win-win. Also find that I sleep better when I do physically tiring things during the day. For example, when I’m having a really bad pain day and just lay around, I can’t sleep well that night even if most of the pain has subsided by nightfall. The balance between “enough exercise to benefit my emotional wellbeing at the cost of my physical wellbeing” and “enough rest to benefit my physical wellbeing at cost to my emotional wellbeing” is endless and challenging. Getting a semi-effective pain management regimen has really changed my life, though. I mean, I can’t afford a specialist, but I have a free clinic GP who is good about maintenance and preventative care.

    I hope you find some resolution. Sleeplessness ranks up there with hypoglycemia as one of the leading causes of depression, anxiety, and general craptastic craziness in my book. One thing I did for a while was “meditate” (relax, listen to soothing music, get as close to sleeping while conscious as I could) when I couldn’t actually sleep. It doesn’t replace sleep, but it can help somewhat when one is in a place where it works.

  2. xo says:

    Also, if you don’t want me commenting on like every post just say so and I will resume my lurker status.

  3. Red wine.
    I would crawl in bed and toss and turn till after one. Within an hour or two my two year old or 6month old would be waking for drinks, diaper change, or both. My husband finally took over two year old duty. For a while I thought I was literally losing it No joke. Massage, yoga, and meditation works, but who the hell has time for that? Not a working mother of two, I’ll tell you that much. I took my many sleep-deprived induced complaints (on the verge of a psychoatic break-down) to my doctor. He offered the prescription of a glass of Red Wine before dozing off. Of course, the only way it’s going to keep the kids asleep-which is the real problem-is if I slip it into some bottles. (I kid!)
    Good luck. I’ve been there and hope you find your Z’s soon!

  4. sarawr says:

    @Barefoot — I’d totally try the red wine, except that historically alcohol has kind of fucked my sleep cycles right up. I am kind of amused by the idea of slipping some to Michael, though. Would it make him snore more, do you think, or less? Of course, I have also considered an ACME anvil dropped on my head by a wacky cartoon bird, so the situation might be desperate enough in another week for any amount of boozing.

    @xo — Are you kidding? I love comments. Bring on the comments! And someday, you will have email from me. Yes, you will.

  5. Mer says:

    I have four solutions that work for me (minus large doses of booze, because you balked at that one).

    1. Chamomille tea. Yes, it’s a stereotype for the lesbian to reccomend herbal tea for any complaint, but this shit works. It works better in combination with any other method.

    2. (generic) Benedryl. More often than not, hospitals give benedryl to inpatients who can’t sleep. It’s as effective as OTC sleeping pills and like a quarter of the price. Slip a few to your husband, too, and see if he doesn’t snore less that night. (If I’m really fucked for sleep, i take four benedryls with a large glass of scotch. Keep in mind, though, that I’m dependant on anti-histamines to, yanno, live, and I’m twice the size of the average woman. Plan accordingly.)

    3. Pot. Works for me. Only you can decide if it’s for you.

    4. Masturbation. Probably my favorite suggestion, partly because it’s fun, partly because it’s free, partly because it’s natural, but mostly because most people don’t masturbate nearly enough. From the sound of it, you need all the mood-enhancers you can, and a little self-love will get those happy chemicals in your brain a flowing. No, it doesn’t count if you have sex with your husband, either.

    My prescription? Have the chamomille tea, with a natural sweetener, before bed, masturbate once a day or as frequently as physically possible (chaffing does happen), *at least* triple the amount of sex you’re having with your husband, take two bennies before bed, and feed two to your husband. If you’re going to drop one of those, lose the pills.

  6. Anne says:

    Camomile tea, valerian, ear plugs, white noise, getting a lot of exercise in the day (but not in the evening), not drinking more than 1 or two coffees per day and never after 4pm, progressive muscular relaxation, massage.

    All these things have worked and continue to work for me.

  7. reddollshoes says:

    Well, I go straight for sleeping pills but my sleep history is sort of chronically fucked. I wouldn’t combine that with red wine though — sometimes the combination knocks me out, sometimes I’m up all night and the next night.

  8. […] garden. The advent of fall. Onion bagels. The fancy-pants coffee maker I’ve had for months and barely used. New books. Fully paid, in-no-way-delinquent bills. I am one smug motherfucker right […]

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