My Life As A Horror Story: I Can’t Sleep

It’s a stretch to suggest that my recurring sleep problems are horrific, or the stuff of nightmares. But if I’m experiencing even the tiniest amount of suffering, that count’s as horror, right? And there are so many horror movies out there that focus on sleep as cause for something horrific that it’s hard to think of sleep problems as something innocuous. Well, for someone who binge watches horror movies like I do, that is.

But even if Mara, or Freddy, or any other nighttime demons aren’t the cause of the problem, waking up in the middle of the night (for the umpteenth time) and mistaking a cat for a hand in the darkness is still a nerve wracking experience. So now, as I “suffer” through this latest round of sleep issues, I felt it would be thematically appropriate to have this month’s personal horror story be about sleep – or lack thereof.

I wrote this poem during the early months of the pandemic when my sleepless and/or restless nights were chipping away at my sanity, bit by bit. When mid-day naps were the only way I could survive the week, and I had little to no energy. It was a stressful time.

I can’t sleep.

Partner’s snoring, and the cats are fighting,

And the humming of the air purifier is both soothing and annoying.

I can’t sleep.

So much to get done, it never feels like there’s enough time,

And I feel like I didn’t get anything done at all today.

I can’t sleep.

Tired all the time, with headaches in between,

And work keeps piling up because I just don’t have the energy.

I can’t sleep.

There’s a wedding to plan, but Plan C fell through again,

And I wish this goddamned pandemic would end.

I can’t sleep.

Might have dozed off, but didn’t really rest,

And these messed up dreams are driving me insane.

So much to worry about,

So much to do,

So many sounds,

So many times I’ve wondered if I’ll make it through this.

And damnit, it feels I’ve pulled a muscle in my neck again.

I can’t sleep.

I can’t sleep,

No matter how hard I try.

But maybe I could try just




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