“Okay, if I fall asleep in the next 30 minutes, I’ll still be able to get 6 hours.”
One hour later…
“Okay, if I fall asleep in the next 30 minutes, I’ll still be able to get 5 hours.”
Two hours later…
“Okay, if I fall asleep in the next 30 minutes, I’ll still be able to get 3 hours.”
Three hours later…
Ahh, insomnia – the little engine that could… always keeping me awake and often only half conscious. I see more sunrises than anyone I know, not because the early bird catches the worm, but because my mind is a workaholic who never shuts down.
It all started when……… I was born, haha!
Really though, I’ve heard countless stories from my parents recalling my infancy, complaining that, while I was actually a very good baby, I also had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep… which meant they didn’t sleep for a while either.
As a toddler, I apparently went through a phase when not only did I not sleep, I loved to hear the sound of my voice, so I’d hum and moan…. allll…… niiiightttt….. loooonnngggg! Doesn’t sound the The Noisy Songbird at all, does it? 😛
As I grew up, the sleeping troubles didn’t ease up, they only worsened. Being bullied at school and home made the sleep I did get unpleasant, with nightmares of being chased and trapped, tortured and teased. This resulted in my sleeping even less than before, making me feel like a zombie when I was forced to be productive the following day.
As an adult, I’ve always had a job that required I be up and ready to go very early in the morning – well, early for me. I kept thinking, “After a lifetime of being forced to be up every morning, why am I still always struggling?” I decided to get help, I tried a sleep medication that I can’t even recall the name of now. It did help me sleep, that’s true, but that zombie Karyn that appeared after having no sleep was still very much present, even after 8-10 hours of sleep the night before. I was in a fog, it slowed me down; my thoughts and mind, my creativity was out of reach, my emotional state was up and down, up and down… I was a mess. I’d had enough… no more sleeping pills. It’s time to figure out a way to function normally again, with or without sleep.
So what happened? Am I still a zombie?
Well, it wasn’t easy. I kept struggling for years… dreading every night when I knew I should be sleeping, but wasn’t. Dreading every morning, knowing I’d just now be ready for sleep but it was time to be active, smart, and productive. It didn’t matter what I did, it didn’t matter how long I’d been awake, it didn’t matter how much I’d worked out or how tired I was, when the sun set, I was up and ready for life.
I was lucky enough to land a job that embraced my strange sleeping schedule, a job that allowed me to work from home and create my own schedule, for the most part. I now get to work when I’m most alive, even if it’s 4am. I get to sleep when I truly feel sleepy, even if it’s 4pm. While I still haven’t worked out the nightmare thing entirely, it is getting much better as a result of hard work and expressing rather than suppressing.
While it doesn’t sound like the healthiest solution for everyone, embracing my insomnia and living a lifestyle that fit in is what helped me finally feel at peace. The dread is gone, the zombie is dead, my creativity is a regular visitor again, I’m more productive than ever, and I sleep better than ever before. I still don’t sleep very often, simply because that’s how I am, but when I do really need sleep, no matter what time it is, I can. I can get my work done when I am actually feeling inspired and alert.
Things finally fit.