THE CLOCK

I am what you would call empathetic. I will read, discuss, or overhear something that will invariably cycle itself over and over inside my brain as I am trying to find sleep.  Most nights my mind is a steady stream of notions that pace themselves with my husbands quiet snoring.  So, it is no surprise, that I was able to empathize with the submission we received below from Matticus.  For some people the night is a time for rest, rejuvenation, and a time for emotions to re-calibrate; but for others it is a time of anxiety and dread.  Do you have trouble with insomnia?

After more than half a year of sleepless nights I found, for me, it was a major contributor to my depression.  Learning to turn my empathy into compassion went a long way towards finding sleep again.  In other words, I am learning to soothe people in pain rather than take on their pain.  Finding the root cause for insomnia could save your life.  Please help me welcome, for the second time, Matticus who has written about his insomnia.

~Hasty


 

 

The story that follows is something I could have written ten years ago when I was fighting insomnia.  Luckily, I no longer suffer from it as often or as strongly as I did then.  I’m sharing it now, to let others now they aren’t alone in their pain, in their questions, in their grief, and perhaps they can take some comfort in that…

 

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The clock on the wall marks the passing of every second by pounding a spike through my head.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

 

Each jab of pain is accompanied by a thought I’m too tired and too lost to let go.  In the light of day I can push them aside, but at night I am at their mercy.

I miss my grandparents.

I need to sleep.

I wasted my college years.

I ruined friendships.

I need to sleep.

I am so lonely.

I need to grow up.

I’m haunted by my past.

I need to sleep.

I need to sleep!

 

And in those moments right before the sweet embrace of sleep is ready to engulf me in relief, I sabotage it by thinking I don’t deserve comfort.  I don’t deserve sleep.  I don’t deserve a reprieve from the jagged points of regret tearing through my mind.

 

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

The clock mocks me.  Its tick-tocks are the “hah-hahs” it launches in my direction.  It knows nothing of regret or grief.  It knows nothing of what it means to question every aspect of a life in shambles while the darkness closes in.

 

The pillow over my head only serves to muffle the grating sound, and even then I know that my fascination with the seconds passing is merely the result of my mind trying to make sense of the chaos.  It is better to focus on the clock than on any single thought.  It is better to cry over the general weight of all my mistakes than to allow fear to take control.  Claustrophobia, waiting in the shadows of the room, will drive me to true madness if I let it.  The tears spilling down my cheeks keep me grounded in reality.

 

Questions flow in quickly to take the space left by the haunting thoughts.  Their intangible nature, the infinite possibilities of world after world spinning into the future, causes more mental anguish than any of the truths of my past.  Will I ever know peace again?  Will I ever be comfortable in my skin again?  Will I ever be happy again?  Will I ever sleep again?

 

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

 

The clock ticks.  The shadows shift.  I close my eyes tighter.  I open them wider.  I toss.  I turn.

 

Perhaps I drift into a dull sleep just before dawn and perhaps I don’t.  Either way, one night ends and another short day begins.  I have nothing to look forward to because I know as the sun sets there is another long night waiting for me.  It waves from the opposite horizon.  I nod my head in recognition.

 

It has become a familiar cycle.  Insomnia knocked on my door one day looking for a place to stay, settled in, created a routine, and I was helpless to resist its charms.  We are friends of an intimate nature.  It knows my darkest secrets.

 

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

 

Each night hope rises within me that it will have moved on, that it will have found its own place, and will no longer need to share my bed.  But, as I crawl beneath the covers and close my eyes I feel its presence beside me and I wonder if I would miss it if it weren’t there.  Is insomnia better or worse than isolation?

One day I suspect I will know the answer to that question.  One day I suspect the night will no longer be something I dread and look forward to in equal measures.

 

Until then the clock will keep its constant vigil.

 

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

 


 

Matticus-1Matticus is a writer of multiple genres, themes, topics, silliness, and general shenanigans normally found at The Matticus Kingdom, but also normally found at various other intersections of the web and reality. He and his family, the Queen and Little Prince, live in California. Aside from writing, he enjoys many other hobbies and pursuits, but thinks that referring to himself in the first person is ridiculously silly.

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