With unusually bright clarity I can remember the night my mother resigned herself to my nocturnal schedule when she caught me on FFVII at 4am in the morning for the 3rd school night in a row. I remember hearing the door handle turn with that gut-wrenching dread specific to children who are about to get caught doing something already explicitly forbidden. She opened the door. We made eye contact for three of the most terrifying seconds of my life before she screamed “FUCK,” slammed her hand against the wall, slammed the door closed, and went back to bed. That was the last curfew check I ever got. I was 11.
Insomnia has defined my individuality dusk-to-dawn via all-night study sessions, philosophy binges, art projects, musical evolutions, daring adventures, reckless loves and violent heartbreaks. My most brilliant triumphs and devastating defeats happened under starlight whereas I can only associate daytime with the imperiously mundane. Everyday sitcom happenings permeated with compulsory prosaic interactions. Does that make me misanthropic?
Regardless, it’s become a beast I can no longer control. These days I feel lucky to sleep every other night with cat naps where I can catch them. Day on, day off. Hazy half-heard conversations and listless half-efforts characterize my dreamy purgatory of an existence with no respite in sight. I’m exhausted and not even entirely sure I can survive another semester like this. In a last ditch effort to return some semblance of normalcy to my life I got a script for Ambien today.
Is it odd to feel like I’m betraying a core element of my identity by choosing to suppress whatever neurochemical imbalance causes my brain to believe it doesn’t need sleep? Worst yet I’ll be sentencing myself to life in the daylight with the rest of the “normal” people, the thought of which kiiiind of makes me want to stab my own eyes out. God I am so strange.