Unwelcome Guests

I don't hate sleep, though I hope the time I waste lying in bed trying to fall asleep gets sexually assaulted in a parking lot. Last night, biting down hard on my mouthguard, I understood the distinction.

For a few years now, I've had trouble sleeping. Until I was twenty, I could fall asleep on command. I never understood my father who slept like he was being charged by the hour. Then somewhere in grad school, sleep and I became rare acquaintances.

It came suddenly. And has yet to retreat. Insomnia has annexed this bed. 

Around 3AM most nights I feel an obligation to my poor body to sleep. Though most nights it's a halfhearted attempt, I try anyway. My pillows treat me like estranged wives. I've neglected them all day and suddenly expect their love and comfort. If they could sleep on the other side of the bed with their backs to me, they would. I know it.

It is not the time wasted in the bed that is intolerable. And though it is a minor annoyance to use my time inefficiently, the most intolerable part is the quiet. The quiet invites every thought I nudged aside during the day to join me in bed. The quiet is patient. It waits until you've put your phone on the bedside table with Do Not Disturb turned on. It waits until the sleep timer on your stereo kicks off. It waits until your eyes are closed and you realize you should have been asleep three hours ago. When your body is heavy and your eyes hurt, it comes. 

If you're ever in need of some material for your therapist, I recommend jotting down the things that run through your head when you're trying to fall asleep. You are at their mercy. You can't outrun yourself. Believe me. I've tried. 


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