Bah. Sleep? Like that ever happens when I go to bed. I’m sick of lying awake staring at the back of my eyelids, thinking in circles about everything and anything that occurs to me, planning things that may or may not ever happen.
I would say that I wish I was a kid again, and could just close my eyes and fall asleep, except that it rarely worked that way when I was a kid, either. I was almost always awake for a while after I went to sleep. When I went to bed before it was dark out (living in the yellow house on Annette Street,) I would stand by my bedroom window and read by the light of the setting sun until I couldn’t see the pages anymore. When I had a flashlight that still had some juice left after girl guide camp, I would hide under the covers and flip it on until it died completely. I remember eventually shaking the flashlight every few seconds, trying desperately to keep the light. I didn’t dare turn my light on, when I tried that, mom would walk by my room and see the light on under my door, and of course tell me to go to sleep. I remember lying in bed thinking that if I could just hold my breath long enough, I would pass out from lack of oxygen and then I’d start breathing again but I’d be asleep. I tried it quite a few times, but it never worked… I couldn’t hold my breath long enough, my body would force me to breathe.
When I got older, living on the farm in Iroquois, my room was in the basement, far away from everything else. Mom couldn’t see my light on, so I would stay up until I was too tired to concentrate anymore, just so I could go to sleep without having to listen to my mind go in circles. I used to go through so many books that way.
I went from one extreme to the other when I was in college. For some time, I slept all the time… I was sleeping 14 hours a night, going to school, falling asleep in class, coming home and napping, then getting up for food, and then going back to sleep again. It was mostly a side-effect of depression then… or maybe I was making for years of not being able to sleep. Then it turned around completely, and I couldn’t sleep at all. I would be up until all hours of the night, writing endlessly about everything that my mind was throwing at me.
I did that for a few months in winter of 99, too. I would get maybe four or five hours of sleep, and then go to work. I couldn’t sleep at night, no matter how hard I tried. It wasn’t long before I got very very sick. I kept going to work, I had some sort of misformed work ethic that said I should go to work even if I was passing out on the way there. My boss never sent me home, either… it’s not like it wasn’t obvious how sick I was. I really hope I didn’t make any of the store’s customers sick. I couldn’t afford to take time off anyhow.
When I got this 9-5 job of sitting at a computer all day, in November of 99, I started to develop a real sleep schedule. I would go to sleep, and fall asleep, and wake up and go to work. Granted, I still always slept on the streetcar (I’m good at waking up 2 or 3 stops before the one I need) and I was never really coherent before 11am, but at least I was sleeping at night…
Then I got less and less happy with the job, and my sleeping schedule just disappeared. Now, I can’t go to sleep when I’m tired anymore… I have to be exhausted. I have to read until I feel like I’m passing out, or lurk online until 4am. I’ve been trying to go to bed early and get a real night’s sleep, but I’m back to lying in bed with my thoughts going in circles, moving around trying to get comfortable, opening my eyes and looking at the brick wall in my bedroom… until I get too frustrated and get back out of bed to watch tv or read or do computer stuff.
I’m tired, and this is frustrating.