30 July, 2020

My brain is an asshole. It cannot shut up, for one thing. It’s that squib at the party who can’t handle a lull in the conversation, and so whenever the group pauses to mull over something important that’s just been said, starts going on about the price of comic books, why he hates his stepmother, or some conspiracy theory. For another, it has synesthesia, and wants to spend hours pondering the connections between the number 4 and the letter H because they are both yellow, as though that will somehow unlock secrets of the universe. I’m shouting, “Shut the fuck up! who cares! go to sleep!” I hope the neighbors can’t hear. My brain needs a good ass-kicking.

I need rest after a day of being around other people; instead, I fight this nightly battle for my headspace. I have plotted the murder of my brain on more than one occasion, and desperately wish it were possible to die temporarily.

This is the bewilderment of my life, albeit I’ve just started to be able to put into words; I’ve been working on the fact that it’s a big part of why I can’t sleep well. My brain, who never wants to sleep, because the world offers so much to think about, nightly faces off against the essential me– and yes, my brain is an essentialist; that’s one more reason not to like it, and I have to embrace existentialism as the only way to compete with it and not feel like a loser every time.

My brain may be a psychopath as well, but I am not. The motto my brain lives by is “Get behind me or get out of my way,” while I’m more of a “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor,” which my brain finds quaintly entertaining, like a puppet show.

Published by Chava Freya

Insomnia is a brain-based disorder I’ve had since I was at least 16 years old. Anti-anxiety medicine doesn’t help, except when there’s external anxiety exacerbating the problem. Sleep hygiene is irrelevant, because it’s not the problem, although I have submitted to it five different times, including having sleep specialists actually come to my home and advise me on rearranging furniture, buying special pillows, forbidding TVs in the bedroom, telling me the bed was for nothing but sleep, sex and reading, and when that didn’t work, then nothing but sleep. Period. That was the biggest failure of all.

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