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Insomnia

Posted Apr 23 2010 7:13pm

Despite the name of this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever written much about the subject of insomnia. Well, it’s about 2.35am and I am wide-awake, so let me address that issue right now. I know that I could be using this time to write something useful (insofar as the rubbish I write here can ever be useful), but I don’t have the energy. I’m just feeling sorry for myself and want to vent.

One of the greatest things about anti-psychotic medication for me (well, aside from the obvious) has been its soporific effects. For some time, it significantly reduced my (perhaps over-) reliance on Zopiclone – in fact, I still have a few tablets left from a Zopiclone prescription from September, thus indicating how little I’ve taken of that drug in several months. I know that in the case of Quetiapine, though, there is a general reduction in its sedative effects over time. That seemed to have eluded me mostly – a lot of people report this side-effect wearing off after a few weeks, others just over a month. I’ve been taking it since January now, and it’s only in the last two or three weeks that things have begun to change.

If one was not mad to begin with – and of course, I was (am) – then sleep deprivation, chronic insomnia, sleeplessness, whatever you want to call it would surely make you so. Let’s not forget, indeed, that forced insomnia is used as a form of torture. I know some people learn to adapt to life with a significant reduction in the hours they need to sleep, and kudos to them, but even though insomnia has plagued me essentially for years, I can never envisage my getting used to it. I hate it with a burning passion. It’s one of the most horrible knock-on effects of being mental.

It’s that hideous sensation of lying awake in the darkness, eyes firmly fixated on the ceiling as there’s nothing else to view, wanting to move or get up, but fearing that if you do, you will do so just before the delightful escape of slumber would otherwise have arrived. It’s the nasty reality of giving in to the sleeplessness and getting up, only to find that you’re utterly, unbearably alone in the world. It’s looking out the window for some assurance that it’s not just you that is afflicted with this misery, only to be greeted with darkened windows up and down the street, their curtains all smugly drawn, as if sneering right into your face.

Rationally, of course I know there’s an entire community of online insomniacs all available for discussion right now, not to mention the folks across the pond and in other parts of the world who are in their actual waking hours. But insomnia is a paradoxical issue too: the dichotomy with which you are faced is that on the one hand, you’re consumed with the sheer loneliness that the night brings, but on the other, the accompanying exhaustion is so absolute that it seems at best unfeasible and at worst completely impossible to engage socially in any remotely meaningful fashion. And thus you battle on alone.

For any readers that do not follow my Twitter stream, I saw NewVCB on Wednesday and in light of my current problems with fake-Paedo and ‘They’, she has increased the dose of Quetiapine by 100mg (to a daily total of 400mg). Although I hoped and expected that this would have a renewed sedative effect, I was smart enough to request hypnotic medication anyway just in case. Smewhat to my surprise, this request was granted. Result! Hahaha! Up yours, dickhead GP !

Anyway, my instinct was to stockpile the sleepers (Zopiclone, again) for when they were really necessary, rather than to just start taking them with gay abandon right now. To my considerable annoyance, however, it seems like that point of necessity is now. Sleep evades me completely, and has done on nights without Zopiclone for well over a week now. I find myself completely unable to function during the day, and whilst in a sense that doesn’t especially matter what with my being a dolescum and all, it certainly does nothing to assist the maintenance of my precarious sanity.

Besides, another knock-on effect of insomnia is the hold that ‘They’ have over me. Their power – nay, their domination – seems to be worse during these nighttime hours. Perhaps it’s because I am tired beyond tiredness; perhaps it’s because on the face of it there is no one else about at all that can help me fight them. I don’t know. But during the night they’re fighting constantly with me, and if they haven’t yet won the war – well, they’re certainly on the victorious side of the battle.

I took 1/4 of a Zopiclone before I went to bed tonight (last night, technically), but you can see how successful that’s been. I’ve just taken another 1/2 tablet and have every extremity of my body metaphorically crossed that this will actually work. Normally I’m remarkably resistant to medication, and indeed in the past there is no way 3/4 of a tablet would have made me sleep. I’m just hoping that because I’ve been away from Zopiclone for quite a while, and that because it’s now combined with Quetiapine, that I might just get lucky.

But then there’s a trade-off in this too. If it does work, I’ll probably sleep late tomorrow and subsequently be horribly groggy for several hours upon rising. That, much like the hangover effects of insomnia itself, doesn’t do a great deal for one’s mood. I think this way is better, but it’s still far from ideal.

And just to whinge a little more before I sign off: all this bollocks is compounded by the fact that I’ve been sort of unwell for days. I’ve had some rather extreme bouts of nausea, that I initially supposed was psychosomatic, but on reflection I’m fairly sure it’s related to my ongoing IBS. The IBS is playing havoc with my body; I don’t want to be particularly graphic about it, but anyone who has had it will know it’s…changeable. It’s either a famine or a feast, if you get my drift. At the moment, it’s a famine for me (actually, this euphemistic bullshit makes me cringe…but anyway), and I feel all heavy and sluggish and bloated and disgusting. And still nauseous. Eugh.

Right now I am being reminded that I am not alone in being awake at 3.10am – there are several drunken tossers outside who seem to be screaming abuse at each other. Loneliness or not, I think I’ll stick to my own bland company, thank you very much.

Anyway, sorry for whinging and for almost certainly rambling incoherently. In my defence, I am totally shattered and under the influence of conscious-altering medications. I hope, though I will not promise, that something more meaningful will be published here on the morrow (or later today, if you find yourself subscribing to the lure of pedantry).

Good night. I hope.

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