"Insomnia is a kind of torture. Because while the world is fast asleep, you're up all alone, your mind buzzing with every random thought in the universe. And sometimes the thoughts will reach a standstill, and your mind goes blank. You become more aware of the silence. And it's during that moment that you realise how alone you are." - anonymous
For most people, sleep is just that. Sleep. You snuggle down under your blankets, turn off the light and within a few minutes you're out. For me, it's not so easy. Ever since I was seven I've had trouble doing what seems to be second-nature to nearly everyone else. Believe me when I say it, I've tried pretty much everything.
All to no avail.
The most sleep I seem to be able to get each night is at best a couple of hours, and worse - well, I don't sleep. It wasn't always such a problem, occasionally it even got me out of going to school. But when I reached uni, I really could've done with the extra hours. Don't get me wrong, being able to pull an easy all-nighter to revise has its benefits, but when you're so sleep deprived that you start seeing your fifty-year-old lecturer as a giant cup of coffee - you know you really have a problem.
So, just because I could and had nothing better to do, I made it a game. Me against the state of consciousness. If I win, a few essential hours of unconsciousness greet me with open arms. If I lose, I end up walking into my classes the following day with a massive coffee and a foul mood to match.
It didn't really make much difference, but at least it made my disorder a hell of a lot more entertaining.
I thought I was alone. In fact, I was alone. My parents lived out of town and I only ever visited them during the semester breaks, I'm not complaining about that. But due to my consistent foul mood I had trouble meeting people who actually wanted to spend time with me. I know it sounds weird, but who knew a girl could change all that?
Actually, truth be told it wasn't really a girl so much as a pop-up punk concert and a spilt drink. But it sounded far more poetic the first time round.
That's the thing with people though, isn't it? They just love to sugar-coat everything, as if covering up the truth with a bunch of meaningless words will somehow make the world a little prettier. A little more poetic and a little less tragic. But tragedy has it's way of always pulling through, and if there's one thing I know how to do, is deal with it.
But looking back on it all, I really should've treated some people better. They didn't deserve what I'd done to them, I didn't exactly intend for it to all crash and burn the way it did, but I didn't exactly intend to hurt anyone, however that didn't stop me. As what I had understood as my life, slowly crumbled into a mess of old memories and useless routines, she had shown me how to live, but in the process of learning I'd completely abandoned people without an explanation.
It just shows you how quickly someone can whip you up in their own storm of problems and people and solutions, and how quickly you can forget about your own responsibilities. So long as there is something to keep you going, in my case her and the constant sleep that followed the days I spent in her prescence, you never felt as though you needed to stop.
And that was my biggest mistake, even if it all changed for the better, I let myself forget about the other people in my life. I hurt people that didn't need to be harmed.
I seriously couldn't take it any longer. If I spent another minute lying down on this bloody bed, I might just scream. Because I don't know about you, but the ceiling isn't as interesting as it once was after you've been staring at it for three straight hours. Sighing, I pulled off the blanket that covered my naked legs and swing my feet to the floor, only to see my sleep-deprived self in the mirror.
YOU ARE READING
Playing SleepTeen Fiction
Jason is nineteen-year-old uni student with a chronic case of insomnia. Emily is a seventeen-year-old high school girl with sporadic bursts of crippling anxiety. The two live in different worlds, but when they meet at a pop-up-punk concert, Jason...