DEFINED as sleeplessness, a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired, by whatever-pedia it is.
I tried to:
Define it in a new way by changing its background texture, which is the assummption that we have to sleep at night, best before a certain time. I am aware that in DSM5 there are very detailed descriptions on insomnia, but what if we define it with our own way. I define it as not being able to sleep enough, continuously or not, to fulfil required daily activities ( bottom line is to maintaining health and interactions with people ), so as long as there two parts are done, I start to see it more as a new routine rather than being sick or incapable. I have never had this before, it’s a new experience for me.
It is like denial but this takes away the pressure, or time-counting obsession, a monstrous tic toc chasing me. And what is TIME ,after all, if we give us another chance to think it over again.
The world is different in winter here, loads of rains and clouds ( dark- dim- dark and repeat) and my body is still in its summer mode ( dark- bright- dark and repeat) so in this sense, waking up at 7 am or 7 pm does not make a huge difference. So I start to remove the pressure of such: “hey ,you have to sleep before aa:bb, or …” (you are a bad human being, irresponsible or have no discipline ). Well, there is no such thing, but funny enough, we do feel more or less guilty for not being able to scold it away like closing our doors on unwelcome guests. It is another story if it harms your activities and functions or it impacts others in a negative way.
During this COVID-19, for me, not much, as no need to go to workplace and my activities are highly independent and not so sensitive to day/night time. MORE IMPORTANTLY, perhaps, it is how we use time that matters more, rather than hit the clock beats, like hitting each note while singing. I have thought about what if there is no age, anniversaries, day, months, years, what it is going to be like and how would that impact my way of living. It is quite astonishing to jump out of MUST – BE – RIGHT, and even dare to ask about it. Take it a bit further, there are so many things we have accomplished, made to do or convinced to do, but in the end it has no use at all, then we start to question why in the first place we do it. And the normal answer would be: everyone does it, so what is the problem with it. More likely, it is because by doing that, it’s safe or somehow guarantees some benefits otherwise are not accessible, it’s the unspoken agreement. Rule of society, most probable. Keep asking questions then you might get to it’s core, breaking the big into small cubes, just like each single pixel in the Photoshop software. Together they make wonders but breaking them, just little dots. Then by changing how you see it clearly with own eyes, you might organise them differently, and uniquely, unlike anyone else’s. It sounds interesting but takes loads of energy to see it clearly, although each person still has limitations to what she/he can understand and we have the freedom to choose not to. It’s a bit crazy for some and that’s why it’s safer to ignore these in daily talks. Someone’s craziness is another’s genius understood. We never know.
But if we no longer have the fun of sticking to a static timeframe for everyday life, maybe this is not the right routine for us any more. A new NORMAL has to be created, to balance out, instead, ironically we might just end up in counting time and calling ourselves losers. I always think time is a very tricky and god-like concept. If time has a body, what would time look like? A mountain in the shape of circles? No idea. SO, for short, live the moment instead of competing with alarm clocks.
I have experienced keeping awake till early morning, well doing my stuff, like graphic design and jumping from websites to websites, reading and occasionally writing. Sounds like doing nothing, but isn’t this insomnia we are talking about?
What I found really important to stay awake is to EAT. Something your stomach can adjust to or something giving enough energy. I try to stay out of pre-stomachache feelings, and at least my body is maintaining at a comfortable level. I have experienced staying in bed, lights off, but still no sleep came to find me, then my stomach was kinda going disappointed but kept its digestion work. One of the worst feelings. And I read through the night and in the morning, I was a zombie. Just horrible.
So I changed my strategy to eating at night. Well, just eat and don’t feel fat. And don’t care “ what’s in your lips goes to your hips”. ( Like Joey in Friends ) So, just maintain a good level of energy.
LIVE WITH IT
I don’t know how many people are fighting insomnia, as fighting an enemy right now. For me, I have retreated from direct confrontation. Sounds funny , but what I mean is that from “I hate insomnia”, my attitude has switched to “I can live with it for now”. Acceptance is a good start to change.
I tried to look back at when and why I started insomnia, which might or might not help with the situation but I start to let go some invisible anger, at myself or at whatever thing caused it, to look for changes. The way I look at insomnia is also different now — if I have done what I have to do for one day’s workload ( this concept is good for me, although I get to know it from a factory shopfloor setting) which I attach meanings and find purposes in those little things I do everyday, then it does not matter when I do it, whether it is 9am or 4am, as long as my body does not feel any pain.
But still i am still seeking methods to adjust my time zone. Just ordered some sleeping pills on Amazon, and it might help. Living with it has an expiration date. I need to change but I don’t want to hate myself for not being able to sleep. Here comes the flow and just go with it.
LOOK AT THE POSITIVE SIDE TOO
This topic comes back to how the universe works, how the stars spin and where they obit, etc. So it is always normal for a human to sleep with the patten of the system, and most believe it is more healthy. Yes, we all know it, but the thing is that sometimes we lose it or can not have it easily. So perhaps search the positive side of insomnia, find something nice instead swallowed by total darkness. YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT ALONE. Here are the good sides I find personally:
- quietness. For people living in crowded city, it makes a great difference and you will feel it.
- more concentrated thus more effective in doing stuff like writing or reading.
- the night sky looks great
- everyday you catch a sunrise, if it rises, I means it does for sure, but when it is visible to you
- on the same time zone, if you are living abroad
Please comment if you have the same issue and what is your way to deal with insomnia.