Monday, March 14, 2011


I have stared at the screen for the past thirty minutes. My brain is swimming inside my skull, grasping for focus. Yet it evades me. Why am I so lost today?

Well, let me tell ya. Insomnia. Vicious, evil insomnia. Oh, and the worst kind--to me anyways.

Last night, I decided to go to bed early. So, the irony begins. It sets the stage. The characters appear -- Me, Hubs, and The Boy.

I climbed into bed, saying the words, "want to go to sleep" repeatedly, hoping Hubs would catch onto my not so subtle clues. By 11:30, I gave up, ignored the TV, and rolled over. It was earlier than normal, but not as early as I had hoped, but it would have to do.

Hubs asked a few questions. He received an unintelligible, mumbled response of "Mmm, sleepin".

The moment that I was still, I was out. Like a light. Quickly and totally unconscious.

At 1:30, the evil insomnia crept in through the window, slid into my bed and placed a hand upon my forehead. Like the lid of a jack-n-the-box, my eyes simultaneously flipped open with an audible thud.

Following a normal routine, I flipped the pillow over to the cool side, flopped over to my other side, and shut my eyes tight. At that point, the little hamster that controls the gears in my noggin began an intense run of the wheel. Flip. Eyes open once more.

I've suffered from insomnia before, so I opened up my bag of tricks. Count backwards from 100, concentrate on breathing in and out, focus on a spot behind my eyelids. It was slowly working.

Then I hear The Bear. The man beside me lets out this ghastly snore, startling me from my relaxed state, and sending my heart racing down the block. Then, I did the worst thing possible. I looked at the clock. 3:30

The hamster runs faster on his wheel. I've been doing this for two hours. I can't miss that much sleep. This is bad. I'll never get back to sleep. Meanwhile, Hubs continues to try to suck all the oxygen from the room, run it through a wood grinder, and whistle it back out.

Ahh! I try the tricks once more. 100,99,98 SNORE! Breathe in, breathe out. SNORE!

I don't think I hit him with a pillow. I think that was just an Ally McBeal internal visual, but I can't be certain.

I found ear plugs, and looked once more at the clock. 4:45  I cussed a string of profanities that would make George Carlin proud. I climbed back in bed and fought my way back to sleep. I'm sure there was sleep in there, but I didn't feel it nor remember it.

The next thing that I remember is the faint sound of a child crying. The Girl has been sick recently, and so I jumped up, tripped over a Croc, not my Croc, and rounded the hallway. At this point, I realized it wasn't The Girl. It was The Boy. Oh, no. He's caught it, I think.

"Baby, what's wrong?" I ask.

I focus my eyes, and now see his faint silhouette, light courtesy of the moon shining through the blinds. He is sitting on the toilet. He responds with a few more whimpers, and adds, "I was trying to go poop, and I slid, and my butt fell in the toilet."

All I could do was put my face in my hands. A real live face-palm.


"What, Mommy?", now using sweetest voice he could muster.


I cleaned him up and pointed him back towards his bed.

"I'm not tired!" Insert an on the floor tantrum.

"Son, just go play in your room, but please be quite. Mommy just needs a few more minutes of sleep."

A lie, Mommy needed a full eight hours, but Mommy takes what she can get.

I head back to my room, climb into my bed, hug my pillow like it was my long lost BFF, and the alarm screams. A shrill yell that could wake the dead. I searched for snooze, gave up, and turned the whole thing off. I buried my head, and died to the world.

I don't know how much time passed before The Boy smacked me in the head with a granola bar and said, "Sun's up, Mommy."

I look at the clock, and yep, you guessed it--I was late.

I arrived at the office, completely worthless and slamming caffeine like its tequila on Spring Break. And no better for it. Seriously, I went to the break room for a glass of water, was holding the cup, and staring into the freezer. I don't know how long I was there. Just gone. The last brain cells evaporated. When I snapped out of it, I returned to my desk. Still no water. I wasn't going back. No telling where I would end up. On a plane next to Tyler Derdan, who knows.

So cheers writing buddies. Lord knows, you are no strangers to insomnia. What do you think is worse-not being able to fall asleep, or dozing off and not being able to stay asleep? What are some of your tricks for going back to sleep? Or just say hi, and make sure that my head hasn't floated away. 


  1. I prefer the can't-get-to-sleep kind. In those cases I just read, or if it's really bad, I get up and go do something, like putter around on facebook and twitter.
    The thing I don't like about the go-to-sleep-fine-but-wake-up-two-hours-later kind, is that when I wake up it's dark, so putting on the light wakes up the hubby. And I'm also usually less inclined to want to get out of bed. So I just lie there. :P

  2. I can see the humor out of insomnia. But believe me, insomnia is not fun.