I’ve denied it for years, but it is said that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
So here you have it: I, Ian Lidster, am an insomniac.
I daresay I know I am all sorts of other disagreeable things, but right now my primary concern is that I have been undergoing bouts of sleeplessness.
My nights too often of late have gone like this: Hit the sack at about 9:30 because I’m beat by then. Read for about 10 minutes until my eyes glaze over; douse the bedside lamp and head off to dreamland. And then, about 2 a.m. my bladder lets it be known that it’s needs must be attended to. Shit. That means I’ll get up to pee then head back to my bed and there I will too often lie, and lie, and lie, and Morpheus will pay no visit for the rest of the long and lonely night.
And then, finally, after about 4:30 I say to hell with it and get up – unwillingly, but by that point I am bored and frustrated so no point in being there any longer.
So, it’s very rare that I have bedtime insomnia – like Wendy has – just the early morning variety. Needless to say due to our different nocturnal schedules for our respective sleepless bouts, we rarely share a bed. Not that we don’t love each other to bits, just that we love sleep even more and if the movements, snoring or flailing out by the other individual thwart that we are more comfortable being in different rooms. We’re realists and reality can thwart romance.
It’s scant consolation to me on a sleepless night to think about famous insomniacs like Winston Churchill, or Mark Twain or Margaret Thatcher. I mean, look what happened to all of them – they died. Churchill used to go from room to room in his big house until he found a bad in which he could nod off. Considering his prodigious intake of brandy every evening I am surprised he had sleep problems, but I guess at the height of World War Two he had a few things on his mind each night.
It is my opinion that insomnia should only be visited on the truly evil, but I suspect they all sleep like babies and leave insomnia to the morally righteous – like me, for example.
I have truly never been a good sleeper. Even when I was an adolescent and would stay up – according to old diaries that I still possess – to about the hour at which I arise now, I rarely slept in on weekends past about 9 am.
There are two times in which I have no trouble falling asleep. One is when I lie down in the afternoon, ostensibly to read my book. Then I’m gone within about 10 minutes. The other is when I am sincerely trying to squeeze in the last 10 minutes of a TV show I am watching sometime after nine pm. I try and I try and end up missing big chunks of it.
“You’re sleeping,” Wendy will say. That statement irks me for some reason as it suggests I am weak, so I immediately deny it even though I was snoring beside her on the sofa.
So, I trundle off to bed trying to keep sleep angst at bay – the angst that suggests that since I slept badly the night before this night is going to be deja-vu all over again – and prepare myself for the 2 am pee-time awakening.