Insomnia Sunrise

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Sleep was a stranger to me, she was an elusive muse, a reflection out of reach. I did all I could to dance with her; exercise, diet, no screens or reading, no coffee or tea, mediation and just laying there waiting. Nothing worked.

I decided not to waste this time with trying and waiting. I turned to quiet actives; reading, writing, jigsaw puzzles and box set watching. Sometimes I would doze off and other times I would be awake to hear the breakfast time news.

The idea of seeing the sunrise came to me one morning when, watching from the curtain covered window, I saw how the first sunlight changed the colour of the room. I thought, how many people actually see the sunrise?

The next night, I looked when the sunrise was timed for and an hour or so before then, I went out to a local beauty spot which was a large lake.

There I saw a glorious sunrise. so many colours touched the calm water as the sky melted from black to blue. My breath was stuck in my throat and my eyes couldn’t behold the raw wonder before me. I felt the first brush of warmth on my skin like a lover’s arms wrapped around me in a gentle embrace.

I took photo after photo trying to capture what I saw but the imagines couldn’t compare to the real thing. I didn’t want it to end but of course it did. All the blurs of colours settled and became what everyone saw during each day. The lake’s magic vanished and the water became a normal blue again like the sky above all the colours had gone.

I stayed for a long time then left but that first warmth came with me and every time I closed my eyes I saw all those colours dancing again.

That night I slept.

In The Light Of The Moon

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I couldn’t sleep, my insomnia was paining me again. I took a lantern and went out to the shore of the lake. Despite the lateness of the hour, a freezing fog was hanging in the air. I let the lapping of the water guide me and felt the wooden planks of the jetty under my boots.

The wood creaked and the water splashed against the poles. There should have been the addition of a rocking boat but last month it had been overcome by heavy rain and sank. I could picture the bones of the boat resting on the bottom of the lake.

The moon was full and low in a cloudless sky. I marvelled at her, not being able to recall seeing another moon see big. Something drew my eyes downwards and at the end of the jetty I saw a figure standing out against the fog.

I frowned, there should have been no one out here. The servants had their own house further back and we were miles from the nearest village.

Before I could address the figure, she turned to me and I saw it was a young woman. She was tall with red flaming hair and wearing a sky blue dress that floated around her. She smiled sadly then turned back to the lake.

I rushed forward, the sense that something was wrong vibrating through me. I reached the end of the jetty and held my lantern high.

There was no one there!

I turned and twisted, looking everywhere. The fog couldn’t have been playing with me for I swear the woman was as real as myself and yet, there was only the lapping of the lake breaking through the night.

Winter Sea

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People loved the sea and they loved coming to see it but most of them didn’t stay so only a few knew what it was like to live on the coastline during winter. And it wasn’t all just ‘look at how the sea is raging and how flooded the harbour is!’

It was a dangerous time of year and I having spent my whole life in a Cornwall fishing town knew it well. We had been flooded, power failures, cliffs had fallen to the sea, people had drowned in riptides or huge waves, boats had been dashed like rotten wood on rocks and the harbour warning bells were always ringing.

From my attic bedroom as I lay in my bed trying to sleep, I didn’t need to look out of the wind to see that a storm was beginning. I could hear the wind like the blades of a helicopter whipping everything it could pull up into a tornado. What sounded like a tree branch bumped along the roof then was gone.

The rain hammered on the slates like men breaking stones in the quarry a few miles away. The windows rattled, dripping and water stained. There was a knocking as hailstones joined in, the ice chips bouncing away as they hit.

The sea was making the most noise as if in competition with everything else. All that separated my house from the sea was a road and a wall. I could clearly hear the waves bashing the flood defences and trying to climb the wall.

Wondering if we would be flooded, I rolled over and tried to sleep again. It wasn’t the storm keeping me awake, I was use to the weather. It wasn’t the night light casting multi-coloured stars on to the ceiling and wall, that was meant to help. No, it was my phobia of the dark.

Nyctophobia, it was called. I was on a never ending cycle of things to try and help me or cure me. It came and went, some months were easier, sometimes of the week were better then other but winter was the hardest to get through. It was dark for most of the day and my mind was never at rest from the fear of what might be waiting in that darkness.

Giving up sleeping, I turned the light and read my book. It was strange but I loved horror stories and true horror things. I liked reading about the supernatural, ghosts were one of my favourite subjects – fact or fiction. Tonight, though I was reading about true witches starting from the earliest historical records to now-ish.

Of course, I realise how ironic this is because loving horror and being afraid of the dark don’t go together! Some people said that reading and watching horror themed things was the cause of my problems but there was more to it then that. It wasn’t that I believed the things in the horror books and films could be waiting in the darkness to grab me, it was more that in the dark you didn’t know what was truly there.

The dark made you think something was something else, objects had hidden depths, people looked different and sounds were also changed. I knew there were no real monsters out there, just humans who became like them. Perhaps, there were ghosts but I believed they weren’t like the fiction stories said.

I read and read, sometimes dozing off then reading back a paragraph until it grew light outside.

Free at last, I wrapped up warm and went outside, despite the storm. Everything lashed around me; the wind, the rain, the sea, it was like a surge of nature at war with just me.

I went to the wall and looked down. The sea was high, over the rock breakers and every wave was splashing over the wall top. It wouldn’t be long till sea water was pooling across the road.

Salt stung my eyes and water coated me. The wind buffeted me and I couldn’t stay long. I walked along stopping when a wave came over, not that getting wet by it would make me any drier!

My head cleared, my fears left and I felt easier. Not much was open in town partly due to it being Sunday, not tourist season and the storm. I passed a few cafes, an arcade and bingo hall, shops who’s shutters rattled like teeth. I went to the harbour and watched the boats riding the sea like a roller coaster.

 

 

Dear Diary

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Dear Diary,

The insomnia is back. I’m not sure why and nothing seems to be working to help me fall a sleep. I lay awake, sometimes staring up at the ceiling, other times eyes shut just begging to drift off.

I get up and clean things. I write whatever comes into my head, even though some of it doesn’t make any sense. I read books, until I can’t concentrate. I stargaze if the night sky allows. I try hot baths, pills, hot drinks, mind games, TV shows, I change bedding and sleeping positions. Whatever the advice is I’m doing it.

I’m beyond exhaustion, high on caffeine, just to keep going and surviving.

People think I’m ill and I shrug it off but maybe I am? Have I an illness that is causing the insomnia? I avoid looking it up on the internet – too many misdiagnoses.

It looks like I might have found a help tonight. I’m listening to the sounds of water dripping in a cave. It’s making me feel relaxed and my mind for a change isn’t full of things. I feel sort of floaty….

 

(Note; currently the only thing that is helping me get to sleep at night is listening to this YouTube video;

Tried

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The doctor said it was just tiredness and I needed some extra rest. Landing on top of my bed, I buried my head in a pillow and just thought about everything. It was an easy thing to say; get some more sleep but it was hard to actually do.

All my thoughts kept me awake and nothing seemed to dull their voices. It was like being at a loud party and not being able to hear anything. I just wanted it all to be quiet and to be left in peace, if only it was that easy.

 

Orion’s Belt

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One AM and my insomnia demon was putting on his best performance. Feeling too hot, I threw the bedding away and despite it being freezing outside, I opened the window.

A winter wind blew snowflakes into my face but that didn’t put me off. Enjoying the coldness, I noticed how clear the sky was and how bright the stars were.

When younger, I had enjoyed reading about the solar system and now I dug up that knowledge to name the constellations. It took me a few moments but then three stars lined together gave Orion away.

I smiled and traced him out. Next, Canis Major, one of Orion’s hunting dogs. As for Taurus, the bull Orion was hunting, I couldn’t see because next door’s roof blocked him. Moving back, I looked for the two stars of Canis Minor however they were too far away. Next, the unicorn, Monoceros, but I couldn’t pick those stars out either.

Turning back, I focused on Orion until I yawed and felt sleepy. Closing the window, I settled down again and miraculously fell to sleep.

3AM

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He looked at the clock next to him and saw that the blue numbers hadn’t changed, it was still a few minutes to three in the morning. He tried shutting his eyes, the urge to sleep so over welling but his eyes won’t move, as if they were glued open. There was just nothing he could do but wait out another night.