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insomniac

Source: Hero Images / Getty

I’ve had insomnia since I was a little girl. That’s why I know my insomnia isn’t due to something circumstantial like stress at work or troubles in my relationship. I didn’t have such problems when I was seven years old and would drag my blanket and pillow into my parent’s bedroom at 4am, crying, to say, “I haven’t fallen asleep yet.” And even if then my insomnia was due to some perceived stress (what could that be? the other kids didn’t share their toys with me? I don’t know), and it always is a result of stress, the larger issue still exists: the way my brain responds to stress is by staying awake for weeks on end. Treating the external element—whether it’s stress at work or concerns over money—won’t help my insomnia. Not really. Life will always bring me another stress factor. I have to find a way to sleep, no matter what is happening in my life. In the meantime, I’ll continue to suffer these struggles that only other severe insomniacs understand.

insomniac

Source: Martin Dimitrov / Getty

You always feel you’re missing out

Even when I’m awake and doing something fun, I feel as though I’m missing out. I’m so sleep-deprived that there is a permanent layer of fog around me, keeping me from fully enjoying any moment. I’m not registering just how beautiful the beach is or how funny a joke was. I feel removed from everything and everyone.

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