Sleep or Lack Thereof

I take a doctor prescribed medication for my chronic insomnia. It works, but I really don’t like taking it. If I fall asleep right after taking it, which is most nights, I don’t even notice it. But if something forces me to stay awake after I’ve taken it, I hate the way it makes me feel. I’m always afraid I won’t wake up if I have to. And, most importantly, it makes me feel like a failure.

The first two are obvious reasons to dislike the medication. The third one is probably a little weird. It’s not my fault I’m an insomniac. Insomnia is a real problem. And I’ve found a solution to that problem. If anything, I should feel a sense of accomplishment for overcoming an obstacle. I don’t though. It feels like cheating.

Sleeping should be the easiest thing in the world to do. It’s one of those things that even infants can do flawlessly. I can eat, poop, and pee, but, when it comes to sleep, I’m less skilled than a baby. I need help to do it.

Anyway, that’s all to explain why I didn’t take my medication last night. The bottle says to take as needed. I’ve always found that funny because there’s no way to know if it’s needed before failing to sleep. But I decided that I didn’t need it last night. I was really tired. And, as I wrote about recently, this depressive episode seems to be making me sleep more, not less.

It turns out I was wrong. I didn’t sleep at all last night. I kept saying to myself that I should get up and take the medicine. But then I’d say, no, I’m going to fall asleep any minute now. I can do this. Falling asleep on my own became a point of pride. And I failed. Not only am I exhausted today, my pride is wounded.

So, today is a good day to stay on the couch all day with my happy light on. And I’ll definitely take my medicine tonight.

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