Insomnia is a DICK // A lament from a girl who’s not getting any (sleep that is)

I heart sleep – BIG time. Spending hours languishing in the sack catching Zeds is totally irresistible. Although recently, I’ve been hounded by the thumping great dick that is insomnia. About as welcome and convenient in my life as the raging Earthas or sitting on a wet bus seat, insomnia has been botching my day up with alarming regularity. I’ve come to the terrifying realisation that my body has actually forgotten how to nod off.


Notching up shut-eye has been a real slog of late. For the first hour or so this sleeping malarkey is a piece of cake. Everything is dark and calm and restful.  Then suddenly my brain decides it’s time to wake up and piss on my dreams with a stream of pointless banal drivel.

It starts off with vaguely pressing annoyances – have I locked the back door? Do I need a slash? Etc. Then moves on to other yawnsome-yet-can-wait-until-the-morning type issues: have I filled in my timesheet? No. Have I forgotten someone’s birthday? Most probably. Have I remembered to Sky-Plus TOWIE?

Adrenaline starts to pump. Eyelids flickering. As the night wears on, thoughts turn to more puerile capery.  Like whatever happened to Huw and Lenny off Eastenders? Why I am singing the opening theme tune to Chain Letters? Why am I sitting here in the dark talking to myself? Jittery and wired, I have the uncontrollable urge to fidget. I look over at Him Indoors.  Fast asleep, he lets out a contented snuffle. How hard can it be for Chrissakes?

It’s 3am. I trudge into the bathroom, haggard and jaded. Standing in front of the mirror, I splash my face with water and do a double take. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Zelda from Terrahawks, the pallor of my skin is akin to a long forgotten chamois leather left on the backseat of a car.

Surely there must be a positive slant on this staying awake lark? Many a tortured artist’s finest work was accomplished under these conditions, albeit fuelled by a blizzard of cocaine, a few bottles of Jack and perhaps a sprinkle of mental illness.  Spurred on by lemon curd on toast I set about doing something productive. Yes. Unfortunately at some point during the walk from the bathroom to the living room my brain convinces me that watching Price Drop TV will be the most enriching activity for this time of the morning.  I reach for the Sky remote.

Malcolm’s tan is burning mercilessly into my retinas. He’s uncompromisingly chatty as he gleefully demonstrates a 900W hand-held steam gun.  You’ve gotta hand it to Malc, he makes this shit look good and he has impeccably manicured nails. Complete with steam nozzle attachment, brush, extension tube and SQUEEGEE, this could be delivered to my door and in my life in 24 hours. Destined to spend the next six years in the shed before popping up in a car boot prior to its eventual death by landfill.

Next up is The Best of British Steam 6. Hello sailor! What’s this? Bit of late night sauce eh? A cheeky DVD box set? Er, no. A guide to the steam railway ‘scene’ in Britain *sigh*.

The klaxon sounds and Malcolm tries to palm off some cassette to CD converters.  He talks about his mate Paul who has 600 cassette tapes in his garage. Paul could really do with one of these. I think of Paul, sitting on his own and start to wonder why he hadn’t cottoned-on to the whole compact disc revolution. Those formats are going to take an age to transfer. Still, I expect he’s got a lot of time on his hands.

I do try and  ‘prepare’ for sleep but I just can’t help myself. Anything involving terrorism, sharks, serial killers or bargain bin celebrities is prime pre-snooze viewing in my house. I know about the importance of having a tranquil and soothing atmosphere when hankering after some kip. I don’t stagger into the bedroom at night, Eminem style, and collapse amongst leftover kebab and chilli sauce, jizz stains and empty vodka bottles (only on a Sunday). It’s clean, welcoming, serene and if the mood takes me, sometimes I can spend hours happily nodding off – but this is usually when I’m meant to be somewhere else. Like work or something…

Back to bed. I survey the crumpled sheets, gentle *screeching* birdsong pierces the silence. Not that it matters as my alarm has already sounded. I hobble into the shower with the gait of a condemned bloodhound. I stumble out of the front door, blinking and squinting in the morning sun. I’m about to experience what it’s like to go to work after approximately 20 minutes of sleep. I’ve failed once more. Insomnia, you are a DICK.

Kat Strong

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