Exit 31. One of the most torturous experiences.

This is officially the most sleepless night I’ve ever had.

I have been awake right now for between 20 and 21 hours.  That isn’t unusual.  But what is unusual about all this is that I work tomorrow.  My alarm for work is going to go off in less than an hour, and I don’t feel myself getting any more tired.  Usually when I have nights like this, I toss and turn for a few hours, but I end up still getting around three hours of good sleep.  Not tonight.  I went to bed a little late, but still early enough to get a solid five hours of sleep.  After that, I proceeded to toss and turn for three and a half hours, then I gave up on trying to sleep and eventually, after going to the bathroom and fiddling with the laptop, which isn’t connecting to the wifi for some reason, started writing this.  It was a rather arbitrary decision to choose 90 minutes before the time my alarm was set for as the cutoff for when to give up, mostly because of one particularly memorable sleepless night a few years ago in which I got approximately 90 minutes of sleep.  But even before then, with about two hours left to go before the alarm would go off, I knew I wasn’t going to be getting any sleep, because I could feel myself getting more awake, my mind feeling more anxious and restless.

To me, being unable to sleep feels like one of the most torturous experiences.  I feel so helpless.  There is nothing I can do about it.  I can’t command my body to be more tired.  All I can do is ride it out, lie there in bed as I toss and turn trying in vain to get comfortable, while my mind races with thoughts of the day that just happened and the same two songs run through my head, playing over and over again but never finishing, yet switching abruptly from one song to the other.  In case you were curious, this time it was Voices Carry by Til Tuesday, and The Longest Time by Billy Joel.  And in between all of that, I am haunted by thoughts of the decisions I made during the day that might have somehow caused me to be unable to fall asleep.  Tonight, the issues in question are how I’ve been eating like crap for the last several days, and that I had a rather large quantity of Dr Pepper about 10 hours ago.  Caffeine seems to have an unpredictable effect on my body.  When I drink Dr Pepper or Coca-Cola with the hope that the caffeine will keep me awake, it doesn’t, but it has been known to keep me awake on nights when I don’t want to stay awake.  Go figure.

Right now, in general, it feels like my life has been spiraling out of control, and this goes back a lot farther than having had Dr Pepper earlier, or last night, or whatever you call it in this situation.  My house still needs cleaning after having hosted a friend’s birthday party Saturday night.  I had a really fun weekend and time off, but I haven’t had enough me time lately.  I’ve been spending very little time reading the Bible and in prayer, and this has been a general trend for several months now.  I haven’t been eating well, as I pointed out earlier.  I really need to take time to get those things under control.  And with a busy week ahead, and a conference I’m going to this coming weekend, all weekend, the only way I’m going to get any of that time is to remove all distractions and everything unnecessary from my schedule this week.  But I’m going to have to do all that while getting all my work done this week, and I won’t get home from work until 3:30pm at the earliest, at which time I will have been awake for over 31 hours.  (This will approximately tie my personal record for hours without sleep, set on the day of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)

But I have no choice but to go through with it.  I’m going to feel awful today.  But sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.  Hopefully this will motivate me to eat better and not waste so much time.

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