Sleep is not my friend. It never has been, and I doubt it will be any time soon. Even as a young child, I never went to bed before midnight. I remember stuffing a towel in the crack under my door after my bedtime so I could read until I fell asleep. It’s partly a circadian thing, but it’s also that I know bad things happen in the darkness of the night, and I’d rather be awake when they happen so I can be prepared for them. Because of the trauma of my childhood and because of my thyroid issues, I never slept much or well. Back in college, I would go to bed around three in the morning and get up at six-thirty. Then, when I went home for vacations, I’d sleep for fifteen hours the first night I was back. I’d also inevitably get sick, which is a fun way to spend a vacation. I went through much of my college years addicted to Diet Pepsi and deprived of sleep, which isn’t that uncommon, I guess. That’s what college is for, right? To see how long you can go without sleep.
After college, it was even worse. I was sort of doing it to myself in college, but because of a traumatic event in my senior year, my sleep deteriorated even further. I was lucky if I got four hours at a time, and my sleep was always fraught with nightmares. I’ve had a recurring dream since I was a child (though I haven’t had it in several years) that I’m at a mall on the escalator going up. There are three life-sized kachina dolls at the bottom of the escalator, and they are looking for me because they want to kill me. I had it regularly for many years, and it made me shiver every time I had it. I also had a dream once in which I actually died. There was a dinosaur-like monster and it choked the life out of me . I also had a nightmare in which my alarm clock was throbbing, and I was freaking out (in the dream). I know it doesn’t sound very terrifying, but it was at the time. The worst part is that I woke up from that dream and felt a huge sense of relief, only to realize that I was in another dream. The same dream, actually, with the dread jacked up.