Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is it getting dark in her?

“... Richard began to understand darkness: 
darkness as something solid and real, 
so much more than a simple absence of light. 
He felt it touch his skin, questing, moving, exploring: gliding through his mind. 
It slipped into his lungs, behind his eyes, into his mouth ...” 

-- Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

Self portrait 5-23-13

“There is darkness inside all of us, though mine is more dangerous than most. 
Still, we all have it—that part of our soul that is irreparably damaged 
by the very trials and tribulations of life. 
We are what we are because of it, or perhaps in spite of it.” 

-- Jenna Maclaine, Bound By Sin

Self portrait 5-23-13

“What strange places our lives can carry us to, what dark passages.” 

--Justin Cronin, The Passage
I am trying really hard.
I am trying really hard to keep my attitude positive. 
I am  trying really hard to function normally in spite of persistent sleep deprivation.

I am trying really hard to change my perspective and not see my insomnia as a curse, or as the whole universe conspiring against me, but rather as a mere inconvenience that I have work around for now, or forever.

I am trying really hard to use my sleepless nights constructively, to grab control of them before they get any traction so that they don't wreck me. When I can't sleep, I water the garden, mop the kitchen floor, bake banana bread and cookies, lift weights -- all in an effort to stay a step ahead of the anxiety-riddled fatigue that stalks from the dark perimeter.

All of this trying really hard helps, sort of, for a limited time and to a certain degree, for a while, -ish. 

Me and my insomnia are learning to co-exist like roommates who don't have a choice, who are forced together circumstantially and made to cohabit even though they don't really like each other all that much -- who honestly loathe each other -- but who are good at faking it, at play-acting a charade of civility and politeness and tolerance, who are good at making the best of an unavoidable situation so that nobody gets hurt and the rent gets paid.

Still, in spite of all that genteel courtesy and politesse, something still lurks in the shadows, twitching, watching, waiting. Waiting to ambush me, like Cato in the Pink Panther movies, the martial arts genius who masquerades as a humble manservant and who hides behind doors and atop bookshelves in Inspector Clouseau's house and repeatedly jumps out and attacks and beats the shit out of Clouseau in his own home.

That's how living with insomnia feels -- like I'm constantly being ambushed in my own home -- in the one place where I should feel the safest and most protected. 

It's hard not to get skittish, watchful, fearful.


Because even though I am trying really hard to outwardly project a brave and positive face, the darkness still blooms and spreads, like internal bleeding. I have to let it out from time so it doesn't destroy me. I guess that's what today's post is about. It's a bloodletting, of sorts -- a controlled attempt to draw out the darkness and bad humors -- to let the poison out before it kills me.