It wasn’t like being tired. Tired, or fatigued, is something reserved for exercising too long or too hard, or staying awake a little too long and the body naturally wants to rest. Being tired is a state of mind for many people working and it is something that can be worked through because it is a natural state of mind to be in. Being tired is something that is normal, something that can be coped with.
Because being tired, being fatigued, being exhausted, doesn’t radically change how the world around you goes by. The world still goes by at the same pace, things still fall into place though it takes a little more time, and in the end the world is still intact in its logical form as it presents itself every day.
Insomnia is not being tired.
It is not having sleep.
After the first day of surviving on only two hours of sleep, you are tired. Things move a little too fast and errors start to crop up. What seems right is not what is actually right and what is menial and daily starts to become alien. But it is still being tired, it is still a need to regenerate, it is still a need to put your head down and close your eyes for a second with the expectation that the quick rest will somehow bring the necessary seconds that the brain longs for.
Then night begins.
But nothing happens.
It’s not a passive force where the mind won’t simply slip into slumber. Something seems to act against the natural state of mind of rest. Soon, eyes open again and a little groan of frustration comes, turning onto a side, or a stomach, or a back happens, and the same ritual every night takes place. Close eyes, breathe out to relax, wait. And it goes something like this. Sleep becomes an active event. It becomes a war against this weird force that blocks you from sleeping. Different positions are tired, deep breathing, relaxing the mind, meditating, propping open the laptop to watch TV with the vain hope that some background noise will distract the mind and allow it to sleep.
Two hours later it decides it can’t sleep anymore.
The ritual goes on again.
The attempts go on and on, sometimes spaced only half an hour apart. Being awake and being asleep blur together until the alarm chimes.
Then the world is radically different. As day after day passes the world loses its logical form. It’s not that mistakes are made because of a mental lapse due to being tired and forcing the mind to work harder. It’s that the world just doesn’t make sense any longer. When someone speaks, it comes across like learning another language. Words crop up as familiar, surrounded by strange words that can be guessed at, and in the end the words can be put together into a cohesive whole. To the rest of the world, it just appears as someone who is tired. From inside, the world just doesn’t make sense any more and only whispers of what it once was like exist.
Insomnia isn’t being tired, it isn’t being fatigued, it is the devil.