I have not slept properly since the past four days. I sleep like a baby but then around 4/5 am-I wake up with a jolt. I dont exactly know if I wake up with an anxiety attack or just an overactive mind. But when I wake up, my mind is so clouded and hyperactive that it does not feel like I slept at all. And then I am barely able to sleep again, and hence the sleeplessness.
This first happened in my second year of university. I did not sleep for four weeks properly. I was overworked, burnt out and trying to do something I had never fathomed doing-trying to ask out my crush. For four weeks, I stalked him obsessively. Tried to stay awake at night just to be able to chat with him. Made elaborate plans of courting him, flirted with him in innuendos. I felt like I was back in high school. My OCD mind would not let me stop thinking about him. My therapist said I had an unconscious stress which was waking me up. I shrugged. As if there werent enough conscious stresses-now I have to find this invisible demon too. Khair, once I asked my crush out and he rejected me-I got my sleep back and it stopped.
But I had an even worse phase of insomnia months before my graduation. So much so that I was prescribed mild sleeping pills by a doctor. It was then that my therapist got me in the habit of doing yoga before bed, meditating, not using my phone and taking a hot shower before bed. I promised to stick to that. I promised to work on meditation and emptying my mind but I gave up eventually-out of tiredness and sick of what feels like an artificiality to me.
And well, its back. And now I have to pledge to stick to my therapists advice. I am tired and angry. There is nothing more comforting than sleep. As Shakespeare said, “The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” He got it right. I love sleeping. I have been sleeping at the exact same time and waking up at the exact same time since childhood. Now I am suspecting its because of autism, but I love sleeping. I will skip sleepovers and overnight concerts for sleeping. The only thing which freaks me out about my dream job-film director-is the sleep aspect. And I hate how my mental health interferes with the one thing which is dear to me. Fuck you OCD.
Anyways, here’s to better mental health and better sleep.
Picture: Vincent Van Gogh, “Noon: Rest from Work” (after Jean-François Millet), 1890