Insomnia–this will be quick. I know about this state intimately, and would like to describe it for those of you who do not have this problem, and for those of you who, like myself, have made a habit of staying up late for one reason or another, which has finally become a habit; something like a drug that only gets worse because we still need to wake up in the morning.
To the insomniac, morning, noon and night have no real meaning, unlike for people with more rigidly organized days. Sometimes we stay awake for days at a time, light and darkness blurring, the clock melting away like a Salvador Dali phantasm. And do not think that these states are some sort of long-term party, where we stay up high and drunk and giggling (although of course some of us do, much like non-insomniacs use these substances in order to get to sleep). The insomniac tends to always be exhausted and always on the verge of passing out. There is an internal panic that forces the eyes back open when they get so heavy that the world seems to droop into midnight darkness. But we shake ourselves free, afraid, perhaps, that we are going to somehow miss life.
And that’s where we invariably must go. Sleep is seen as a form of death. You do not know where you are when asleep, lost at times in symbolic dreams and Stygian nightmares. You are falling into a bottomless pit and you know that when you hit bottom you are going to die, truly die. You will never wake up.
So we tell ourselves that we want to live complete lives without the interruptions brought on by sleep. But if you never sleep you are eventually trapped in dreary gray, forever, lost in the vapor of uncertain wakefulness. It is almost like you’ve never woken up at all . . .