Insomniac refuses to sleep through life

May 11, 2011 — by Vivien Lu
USELu Vivien 11 103443

Instead of being bitter about her insomnia, junior Vivien Lu often uses long nights to think.

It is 4 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. I am in bed and under the covers in my fish-decorated pajamas, but for some reason, I am not asleep. Instead, I lie in the serene darkness with every desire to be asleep, but unfortunately, this attempt appears to be useless, as usual. Most juniors would have fallen asleep from exhaustion by now, but this is a typical night for me because I have always had a sleeping problem.

It is 4 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. I am in bed and under the covers in my fish-decorated pajamas, but for some reason, I am not asleep. Instead, I lie in the serene darkness with every desire to be asleep, but unfortunately, this attempt appears to be useless, as usual. Most juniors would have fallen asleep from exhaustion by now, but this is a typical night for me because I have always had a sleeping problem.

Most nights, I toss and turn in my own misery and curse my inability to rest. Sometimes, I will even try to sing or bore myself to sleep by counting sheep, but usually my efforts are in vain.

After years of dreading going to bed and fighting a hopeless battle with sleep, the frustration has slowly disappeared. I gradually accepted my insomnia, and now even sometimes appreciate it as some time for myself. I realized that throughout our busy high school days, we never take the time to just think.

Of course, as students, we are still aware of our immediate concerns and surroundings, but our minds are so focused on school-related subjects—what our grades are, what to wear the next day, how to win the upcoming game, or just how to fit in.

We have been so preoccupied with ourselves and the now that we have become narrow-minded. By focusing only on the present situation, we lose perspective and cannot even enjoy living as a whole. We are missing out on life by not taking the time to stop and reflect on it.

I feel like it was just yesterday that we were attending our first day of school, and now it is almost our last day. Everything in between seems like such a blur, which is a pity because someday, I will appreciate my teenage years so much more than I do right now. By then it will be too late.

Sometimes the most interesting and meaningful moments we have are tucked away in the everyday happenings that are easily forgettable. In the end, these moments are the true treasures that we cherish.

The darkness around me that makes nights feel endless also makes me feel as if I had all the time in the world. Lying in the dark makes it seem like time has finally slowed down enough to give me a break from my often-overwhelming life. By organizing my thoughts, I am able to see how much I have grown this year. I also keep in mind that life will continue to become more complicated; I cannot simply overlook the relative peace I have now. Instead, I should enjoy it.

As my flow of thoughts slowly comes to an end, I come to another realization: Time will never give breaks and life keeps moving forward whether or not I want it to, so I better get to sleep.