Tired of insomniaPosted: October 24, 2011
So here we are, in witching hour. Or, in my case, Brookes hour, that time of the night when my malevolent alter-ego, Paul Brookes, decides I should be wide awake.
I don’t agree with Brookes. I’m tired. I want to be asleep. But Brookes is not the sort you can have a rational argument with about such things, especially not at this time of night, when it’s just him against me. As of this evening he has a temporary new ally to help him in his nocturnal nuisance-making – Spike the sore throat.
Hideous and miserable it may have been, but the cold I’ve had for the last few days actually wiped out my feelings of depression for a short while. They do say every cloud has a silver lining. Brookes couldn’t compete with the torrent of mucus that this voracious lurgy unleashed.
But Brookes is a crafty beast. He was just hibernating, waiting for the right moment to attack. That’s what depression can be like – you feel fine for a while, but then up it pops, like some kind of demonic mole. He’s also a wily operator. He knows just when to strike and he knows just how to strike. He’ll turn up fully armed with all his favourite weapons. Take tonight, for example. It’s vintage Brookes. Just look at his cold-hearted, calculating methods:
- Lull Paul into a false sense of security by allowing him to watch the X Factor – and indeed the Xtra Factor on ITV2 – free of troubles or worries.
- About 20 minutes before he goes to bed, plant a seed of self-doubt and inadequacy – a little something to ponder over when he tries to sleep.
- As soon as his head settles on his pillow, set his mind racing. Take that seed of self-doubt and inadequacy and blow it up into a tumultuous drama that has to be lived out in his brain there and then.
- Be relentless. One episode of this drama is not enough. Use that hyperactive brain to conjure up more and more destructive thoughts.
That’s the typical pattern of my insomnia. When I first suffered from depression, its main weapons were headaches and mood swings. This second phase – call it my double-dip depression if you like – is characterised by an over-active mind, which has introduced insomnia to my life. It is not a welcome addition.
Tonight, I’ve decided to play Brookes at his own game. I have put my restless brain to use and have written this blog. He won’t like that. He is a shadowy entity, skulking around in the dark, whispering in the night. Well, Brookes, I’m exposing you. I know you’re there. Now everybody else does too. So pack your bags and take Spike with you.
Hmm, not sure that fighting talk worked. I’m still wide awake…