Coping, not coping

This week I have been experiencing insomnia in a way that I haven’t for the past decade. I’m waking in the middle of the night after four or five hours of deep sleep. By mid afternoon I’m crying with tiredness yet not having naps because I worry about the effect it will have when I get to bed at night. I’m in bed by 10.00 and awake by 2.00.

I used to love prolonged periods of insomnia. I felt as though I was the only person alive in the world; there was no traffic, no sounds, no trains – just me. The joy of sleeplessness has transformed into a boring chore and I can see from my social media timelines that a lot of people are having the same experience.

This is not any old insomnia, it is driven by the fear and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We all want it to be over – the deniers so it doesn’t dominate their lives and take away their “rights” and the more sensible of us who just want a hug.

My GP thinks I’m coping but we both know that I’m not. My fragile mental health pushes me closer to suicide than is healthy at times and, though I have no suicidal ideation right now, it is never too far away from happening. It lurks round corners waiting just out of sight and then when I’m least expecting it out it pounces; the weirdest and wildest animal you could ever wish not to meet.

None of us are managing particularly well. Those who claim to be are buffered by money, foolishness and/or religion. The vast majority of us are not wealthy or can console themselves with religion though a good many of us are foolish. We are all taking risks despite doing our best to keep safe.

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