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Creative Writing

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Literature

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Travel

What Insomnia Feels Like.


In one of the beginning scenes of Fight Club, the protagonist says ‘when you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep and you’re never really awake. With insomnia, nothing’s real. Everything’s far away. Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy.’ This is a perfect representation of what insomnia feels like.

Insomnia is like living on the inside of a dream. Sometimes you’re not too sure where you are, whether you’re awake or asleep, whether anything is real. In fact, you have to look around every so often to make sure that you’re still alive. It feels like you are floating, and you can sometimes feel your brain sliding around in an attempt to complete the tasks in front of you. The screen becomes a picture of words and you find yourself watching someone’s lips while they speak to you, trying to decipher their words. Sometimes your body feels so vacant that you don't know what anything means.

Sometimes everything is muted and your eyes sink into your own head. Then all of a sudden, the sound comes back and your mind leaves your body. Everything moves in slow motion; you’re not sure if you’re visible. You’re watching everything from the outside, finding yourself trying to stretch your eyes wide open to identify whether you’re physically there. Your eyes always sink back to their natural habitats, deep into your sockets until you have to look around to grasp your surroundings.

Your speech is slurred and you have to wait for your hand to move when your brain commands it to. You hear the seconds on the tip of your tongue and in the trace of your fingertips. The thoughts in your head ricochet across the skull but fail to reach your mouth. Everything is protracted; there is no concept of time.

You live with a permanent headache, trapped in the vicious cycle of your own deprivation.

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