today’s a mental health saturday. two solid weeks of insomnia finally broke for me last night at 9 when exhaustion washed over me like november rain. every part of my body collectively sighed and said “we give up” and i fell asleep on the couch at 9:30. on a friday night. i know, eh?
but my god was it great.
right before i crashed, i had been writing about how horrible the insomnia had been. i estimated my total sleep over the course of 14 nights to be in the neighbourhood of 50 hours. i wrote about how dark a place insomnia becomes as you pass the tenth night. every hour after that tenth night becomes a bleak kaleidoscope of doubt, confusion, fatigue, frustration, and even angst.
when you’re constantly deprived of the ability to completely reset yourself after your day, yet you can’t slow your life down, it just stops being fun in a hurry. every night that continues, the damage becomes exponential.
as an official Smart Cookie, i take my mental faculties pretty seriously. worse yet, i have one of those jobs that, while totally flexible and fun and stress-free, requires a great deal of mental acumen to navigate the course of my day. girl has got to be on the ball.
and i doubt there’s anyone out there who takes greater pride in doing a good job, doing it on time, and doing it to the best of her ability more than me. i love my job, i love the people i work for. so, when i feel like a mental loser, well, it’s just a hit on more levels than i care to experience.
couple into that the fact that writing, for me, is like breathing. even if none of you people were reading me, i’d write. it ain’t about you. i just love the feeling of writing. it’s quick and organic and fun for me.
i have a quote framed, kicking around on this desk somewhere, that sums it up for me. “writing for a living is a privilege, not a god-given right, as the opportunities are few though sought after by many. there are years of rejection that serve as a crude winnowing process, after which those left standing are those who simply must write.” that’s the novelist richard ford in an interview with writer’s digest.
back in my 20s, i had six long years of writers’ block. that’s the world’s longest story to get into, but suffice to say i felt like a fraud and a lie for about six years. writing, since then, is the single most important thing in my life. and i don’t care that i don’t make money from it. i’m not trying to, i guess. i suspect i will. i’ve had other priorities. [shrug]
this week, i’ve just felt somewhat dead writing-wise, thanks to the insomnia. and there’s nothing i loathe more than feeling apathetic towards writing, or feeling that the notions fail to connect to page. when you’re failing at what you really and truly are, it’s pretty hard to feel good about the day-to-day. i don’t really know what else i am, but i know i’m a writer.
that just is part of what the whole dirty beast of insomnia is. the robbing of self, the robbing of clarity.
there’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as a tool in torture and interrogation.
and there’s a reason why most people will probably list a great sleep as being one of the great joys in life.
last night was one of the greats in mine. a nap soon looms, too. operation sleep-in continues. perhaps a spa afternoon… a nice oily bath, facial, shaven legs. today, it’s all about me. :)