And it self perpetuates, the lack of sleep one night perpetuating the fear of further sleepless nights. The fear arouses insomnia and the cycle begins again.
Stop my mind, I want to get off.
Years ago, I saw Buck Henry on The Tonight Show. Johnny was trying to have some laughs with him, Buck being a comedy writer and all, and Buck just rattled off a practically incoherent account of his five weeks of sleepless nights, and of his terrible insomnia that was making him think deep, dark thoughts. It scared the hell out of me. He wasn't being funny, he was out of his mind hysterical, and for some reason I saw the potential for this happening to me.
You see, sleep is a fickle lady, fast and solid for weeks at a time, but then temperamental for no discernible reason. Without her help at night, I am lost at day and bound by a miserable black grinding hole in my abdomen. (This can't be good for blogging either.) I smile the smile of a cancer patient, and I push through it. (I really need my sleep, but I also have accepted that I won't always get it. Sometimes I know I won't sleep well like the night before traveling, but at least that I can plan for.)
So it went like this: woke at two, thought, "what if I can't get back to sleep, shh, don't think that" and then adrenaline squirt into my system, heartbeat rose and I was awake the rest of the night. Tried to sleep. Moved spouse each time he snored. Listened to spouse and dog breathe. Heard upstairs neighbors get up, get ready and leave.
Soon the hallucinations will start. I can't believe I have to do this day.