Part 138: Insomnia


Yesterday, I was all ready to go with a post about how shit everything is. ‘It’s cold, and I’m tired and full of a perpetual cold and I just want to crawl inside a warm, cavernous space and sleep until springtime, like a grizzly bear,’ I wrote. ‘The serotonin levels are catastrophic, even though I’ve been eating chocolate and watching Russell Brand’s Trews and masturbating, often simultaneously. It is very hard to maintain perspective. I keep googling ‘painless suicides’ and then realising I’m not going to top myself and having a cup of tea and a biscuit and a little lie-down instead.’

And then I went all dramatic, ‘nothing good will ever happen again. Ever. That’s it for me. I’ve had my chance. My twenties are over. There’s a boil under my right breast. I’ve got piles. No more sex (def no anal). No more delicious all-nighters with hot backed boys I only just met. No more lingering kisses that make your tummy turn over. It’s just misery from here on in. Misery and cold and endless endless darkness. Even the concept of summer seems like a distant outlandish utopia, like a lie the government made up to keep us from revolting.’

But last night a miraculous event occurred. I felt sleepy. I climbed into bed. I shut my eyes. I slept all night long without waking because of the jagged, terrifying nightmares, the sudden urge to pee or the grinding, metallic noises that the pipes emit when a poltergeist is moving through them. And when I woke up this morning I felt positive and well-balanced. And while, alright, it was still cold and dark and really fucking miserable outside, inside my body it felt warm and settled and euphoric.

I haven’t slept through the night in, literally, years – unless you count all those times I’ve passed-out blind drunk, which I don’t because comatose from alcohol consumption is not sleep, according to my doctor. And, despite the fact that I’m tired all the time, that my friends have nicknamed me ‘dormouse’ because I’m always falling asleep under piles of coats at parties, I’ve never put two and two together before and realised that all my problems, all those insecurities about my face and my spreading waistline and my sexual desirability are caused by a lack of sleep.

No wonder I’ve been single for just about ever. I have been manic, nauseous and intermittently suicidal for well over half a decade, and it’s all because I’ve been knackered.

No wonder I’ve been a total bitch hell-bent on drawing attention to other people’s flaws. No wonder I’ve cried at multiple bus stops. No wonder I’ve wished death on all the telephonists who’ve ever called me about my outstanding debts. No one can function like a rational human being on three or four hours disrupted napping.

I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in about eight years and I’ve not even moaned about it, really – which, when you think about it, makes me the Mother Teresa of not sleeping through the night. Except that my not sleeping through the night has done nothing to enhance the well-being of others. Still, despite the fact that that was a terrible metaphor, you catch my drift. New parents are always bleating on about how they have to get up a couple of times a night to feed the baby. Even though feeding the baby means they get to squeeze a fat milky cherub thing they’re biologically programmed to love. And here I’ve been all these years, wide awake but exhausted, or tearing through horrific, disjointed dream-scapes before jolting awake and scrolling Twitter to make myself feel safe and connected to the world – even if that connection is virtual and, therefore imaginary. And I have had no sympathy whatsoever.

All these years, I’ve been alone. And not because, as I believed, other people were all cunts. But because the ceaseless fatigue had turned me into a monstrous, bitter, bloated, unlovable nightmare. I was the cunt.

Who’d have thought it?

But with one night’s sleep under my belt I feel human and full of the joys that don’t normally arrive until spring. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with this newfound humanity, but I thought I’d share it with you, my darling readers, because you’ve subscribed to read a blog about my life and, right now, this is as exciting as my life gets. I can even give you some advice, in case that’s what you’re after: you want to be a kinder, happier person who people will fancy and ask out on dates (even if only so you can turn them down and feel smug about that)? Get more sleep. That’s all there is to it.

*Image is “Thoughtful Insomniac Cartoon Lady” by debspoons at

7 thoughts on “Part 138: Insomnia

  1. Anne says:

    But what really makes you a properly, irretrievably scathing and noxious being is the terrible realisation what a glorious, sunny, baby gazelle of a personality you’d be able to have EVERY DAY OF YOUR WHOLE LIFE if only the power of restorative sleep came to you every night…but it doesn’t. And won’t.

    • Nick says:

      Baby gazelles probably wake up shitting themselves because they’re pretty much bottom of the food chain and all that bounding around is not fun. It’s kind of how they stay alive; I guess it’s like getting up for work for them. I think that you need a better animal comparison Anne.

  2. Nick says:

    Humans are programmed not to sleep well. We needed to be semi conscious to keep us safe from all the nighttime predators that wanted to eat us. That’s why problems always seem worse at night because we are programmed to be on edge then. Back then, we would have been more like chimps and spaniards and would have partaken in little snoozes throughout the day to make up for it. Ergo work is bad and should be avoided in order to catch up on sleep. X

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