Tired of insomnia

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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…

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13 Comments on “Tired of insomnia”

  1. Andy Douse says:

    Go on Paul. Anyone who can watch X Factor and Extra Factor in one sitting can put Brookes to rest. And it goes without saying that you’ve got our support in your battle. Sock it to him.

  2. Thank you, your blog is so interesting to read. I don’t suffer from depression myself but have several people close to me that do. I recognize many of the same issues and your blog really helps me to understand x

  3. Useful,insightful….even witty…I like reading your blog…

  4. hi,
    since i first read your blog about depression not being funny i have been hooked. i hope you don’t mind but i’ve posted most of your posts on facebook for all my friends to see. i’ve been off work for the last 3 months with depression and thought i had started to see the light at the end of that dark tunnel of sleepless nights and mood swings and was bouncy in my step again for the first time in what seems like years. then…….. BOOM!!! its back again with a very dark moody message. what made this happen? the unfortunate death of Gary Speed this week-end. it has brought back those insecure feelings and thoughts that if it was me, who would care. there are so many people with depression in the world that it was bound to happen that someone “famous” had it yet it still seems to get swept under the carpet when it comes to help for us. we still get stigmatised as “NUTTY”.
    thank you for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us and good luck with your recovery.

    Peter Hansell

    • paulbrook76 says:

      Thanks Peter and thank you for sharing my blog on Facebook. It is really sad what has happened to Gary Speed but if one good thing can come of it, it could be that depression is discussed more openly and that more people understand it.
      Take care,
      Paul

  5. […] will probably always have to be on my guard against my old nemesis, Paul Brookes, who will occasionally peek out from a shadowy recess to see if he can get at […]

  6. […] to every minor illness that was doing the rounds. I had no energy or enthusiasm, and had trouble sleeping. I couldn’t look forward to anything – instead, everything made me anxious and worried. My […]

  7. […] There is a thin line between good planning and excessive fretting. My commentator shows no regard for this. Does something need planning? Well, why not worry about it at times when you can’t actually do anything about it? How about in the middle of the night? […]


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