I felt like I spent the middle week of January in a drunken stupor. This was particularly surprising given I had a grand and (unusual) total of 2 wines across seven days.
While I somehow managed to wobble to and from work in my car (the one breathalyser I blew into didn’t give any hints as to my state), maintaining the appearance of sanity in the workplace was a different type of challenge.
Kelsey are you ok?
Well, you sent this email to the whole office.
Oh. Shit. Which one?!
<Hey Katie, do you have a tampon?>
That afternoon I received 26 non-helpful replies to that email:
<No, but I have a highlighter>
<No but this explains your behaviour today #shrek>
<I hope you found one>
<Leave no stains>
<HA HA HA HA>
…and so on.
The last time I was properly drunk for a full week, I was about 22 and on holiday with Tia. We were expending our saved-up Studylink weekly payments on RTDs and McDonalds and playing fast and loose with some Belgian travellers we had met.
This time, though (for those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter), as it turned out, I was sleep-drunk, not drunk-drunk, from being chronically sleep-deprived for one whole week.
Sleeplessness crept up on me so slowly that I didn’t realise what was happening at first. It had been about two months since my breakup from the Dashing Man (the finer details of which we will go into later in what I hope is an hilarious post titled 10 Reasons to Reinvent Yourself as a Lesbian or Eunuch in 2017), and to be honest, I was feeling fine.
Fine didn’t necessarily mean 100%, but life was moving on pretty well. The new year had begun. Rebounds were abounding. I was finding new hobbies and it had been weeks since I had felt anything beyond distant nostalgia for the Dashing Man.
The first night it happened, I blamed it on the man sleeping in bed next to me (more on this in a future post titled Why God Invented the Rebound ), and ended up manufacturing a reason for him to leave.
Listen, I don’t mean to be rude but I have an early morning so I need to be able to sleep.
Uh, you are kind of keeping me awake.
I don’t snore!
Yes you do.
No I don’t. I know for a fact that I don’t. I’ve asked every woman I’ve ever slept with.
(Ok, so that’s a weird thing to do)
Listen, Kelsey, have I done something to offend you?
Yes. You snored!
It was only about three sleepless nights later (without Tim in my bed) that it dawned on me: this was insomnia.
If you’ve never suffered from it before, I can tell you now: it’s fucking terrifying to know that your body will not go to sleep no matter how tired you are. On days one and two, I sort of fell in and out of sleep and woke up exhausted.
By day three though, my eyes just refused to close, and continued this way from days four through to seven. I would shower, have a herbal tea and slip into my bed, only to find sleep would never come no matter how tired my body and brain were feeling.
I tried to distract myself by reading accounts of people who have died from insomnia (FYI: it takes 60 days of sleeplessness).
Worse still: I couldn’t yawn. My eyes would water and my mouth would open and then my brain would block the yawn. It was torture worthy of several Bush Administrations.
Aside from the obvious, one of the worst things about being an insomniac is the inability to silence your mind. My internal monologue went something like this:
Go to sleep. Go to sleep. GO TO SLEEP. Meeting tomorrow morning. Need to sleep. I just need to relax. Relaxing is nice. Think about nice things. What are nice things? Shoes? Nah. I’m not a shoe kind of a girl. Tia is though. Maybe I should get her shoes for her birthday. Oh shoot, I haven’t thought about what to get her for her birthday. What did I get her last year? Oh, that’s when she was crazy about her flatmate Mark. We haven’t talked about Mark in such a long time. I wonder if she’s over him? How does one get over someone? How did I get over the Dashing Man? I am over him right? Surely? I don’t think about him or crave him anymore. Well, I’m thinking about him right now. Yeah, but that’s ok because it’s like matter-of-fact thinking about him. What other ways are there of thinking about him? Well, for example, if I think of the sex…does that have an effect on me? Yes… the sex was pretty good. He had a magnificent cock mostly. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Hey, remember how he used to enjoy giving swinging me on top of his body and controlling me til I couldn’t help but have an orgasm? That takes skill. I wonder if skills can be learned/taught? Imagine if there were workshops for this kind of thing. Who would take them? Is it inappropriate to go into business with your ex? How soon is too soon? He could teach and I could …source clientele? Who would sign up though? Hamilton is such a small place. What if it’s like…my aunt and uncle in Fairfield or something. Oh god. I hope they don’t still have sex. But actually it’s better if they do because then they won’t sign up. I wonder if they’re still in love with each other? Is love even real? Like, for example, how do you know if you’re actually in love with someone versus if you just think you’re in love with them but it’s not for real? I’ve been in love a few times and I’ve never been unsure. Did I love the Dashing Man? Unequivocally, yes. Did he love me? Yes, but I don’t think he’d ever say it out loud. Why not? He tends to communicate through action. Think about all the things he’s done for me over the last year. But that was just to get sex right? No way. He could have gotten sex for far less, and from a lot of other women. Well then, why won’t he say it? I don’t think he says it to anyone. If he loves me why was he so ok to let me go? Because he never really loved me in the first place? What??! Kidding. He loved me, but just not in the way I wanted him to love me. And sometimes love doesn’t mean you last together forever. Sometimes your forever is with someone who is easier to be with because you love them less. That’s bleak. Maybe, but can I really sustain that level of passion for a lifetime? I’d love to. Maybe he wants other women. Maybe. But can I really control that? Of course not. I have no control over anyone else but myself. If what he felt wasn’t genuine, there isn’t much I can do other than to be happy that I can still feel things for people. What do I do next time I run into him? I guess be normal. What is normal? Being nice. Being genuine. Being generous. But what if he decides to be hurtful or dismissive? Go home and cry, but don’t let him know he’s got to you. But what if… wait. Oh my god, have I just been thinking about the Dashing Man for the last few hours? I thought I’d moved on from that. Stupid insomnia. Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Go. To. SLEEP.
etc etc etc.
Why did it happen? I legitimately have no idea, but it quite conveniently disappeared just as I was going to book myself in to be institutionalised (kidding, it was just the GP).
Did I scare it away with threat of medical treatment? Was it a one-week anomaly in an otherwise normal life? Is it some kind of residual PTSD from my determination to move on from the breakup?
If anyone else has ever experienced this, I’d love to know.