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I am so Tired

But I Don't Want to Sleep

By Jolie BoyerPublished 3 months ago 3 min read

I don’t want to sleep.

I am tired and I have a headache, but I don’t want to sleep. My head is too full of me right now, and I am exhausted. But it is easier to stay awake than to try to force myself to fall asleep. I never thought that I would get to a point where falling asleep would be so hard. I am always tired, always on the verge of needing a nap. Some days I get lucky and sleep comes easy. I can lie down and find my comfortable sleep position without my heart feeling like it will burst out of my chest, or that weird stitch in my side. Some nights I don’t have the strange jerk that jolts me out of dozing and hurts my already painful joints. Once in a while, I don’t wake at every slight sound. I can stay asleep as my body readjusts to a better position.

That’s rare.

I used to try to force it. I would lie down at a designated time, lights off, no screens. I would close my eyes and pretend that I didn’t feel that awful achy itch in my legs as I tried to stay still under my covers. I would force my hands to relax, trying not to fidget with my blankets as my mind wandered wildly, unable to shut down. I would try to shut out the sounds of the night around me. Muffled sleeping sounds from my siblings, and later on roommates. The occasional late night driver passing by. Snoring. In the dark, sounds feel so much louder.

I tried to take suggestions from friends - asmr, sleep stories, talk downs, all of the things that people swore by. I would either get creeped out by the weird whispery voices, or focus too hard on hearing what they were saying, which kept my brain wide awake.

I was prescribed meds for a short time after I went to a doctor and was so exhausted that I was speaking in slow motion and had a hard time focusing on anything she said. They helped for a short time, maybe two weeks, maybe a little longer. But once I started waking up to my world being tinged light blue for a while, I stopped taking them. It was alarming to wake up to everything looking blue. I hated it.

Music helps some. Not as much as I would like, but it does help.

I was super concerned about how I would do once I was married and shared a bed for the first time. My husband and I share the same values when it comes to being together and waited until after we were married to sleep together for the first time. I was worried that I would keep him awake, that we would have a hard time adjusting to each other’s movements or the sounds of the other’s breathing. But having him there is helpful. He is warm and comforting to be next to, and on the nights when I just can’t sleep, it is reassuring to see his outline next to me and know that I am not alone in the dark.

Darkness is tough. I sleep the best when it is pitch black and silent. But those two factors are deeply unsettling when I wake up at 2am from a recurrent night terror from my childhood. I used to wake up screaming, terrified of the monstrous creature in my nightmare. I can still hear his voice, a scraping, mocking whisper telling me that I am alone and no one will help me. I can feel the heavy, wet fog that filled the swampy forest the creature resided in. A square-headed beast, stooped with the weight of a full size ax in his skull. Circling, taunting, always whispering. How my 3 year old mind came up with this horror makes me sick. I guess I needed a monster to stand in for a real life one, and I spend my days wishing that I had never come to remember the abuse from a close family member.

I want to sleep, but I am too tired. I am so awake, and cannot fall asleep.

In the room next to me, my husband is sleeping peacefully. Behind me, our pup sleeps in his crate, occasionally muttering a quiet “woof” at imagined intruders. Even my bird is sleeping in her cage next to my desk. When my chair creaks or I make too much noise I hear them all shift slightly, but they remain asleep.

How I envy them.

I think I might try to go to bed now.

I am so tired.

I don’t want to sleep.

Stream of Consciousness

About the Creator

Jolie Boyer

A lot of what I write comes from real experiences I have had. I love to bring memories to life with a colorful flair, which in turn helps set the memory more firmly in my mind. Writing is a great medium and a lot of fun!

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