52 Questions I Ask Myself When I Lie Awake At Night

Insomnia has been my companion for well over a decade now. Sometimes, it settles down and I get to sleep. Not through the night. My insomnia finds that unacceptable. But some nights, I fall right back to sleep after waking up. Other nights? Not so much.

My insomnia has been particularly strong lately. I figured as long as it’s hanging out, I might as well document what goes on between my ears when my brain insists on staying awake when the rest of me so desperately wants Β to sleep.

Here is a sampling of questions that flit through my mind on the nights the sandman is shirking his duties:

  1. Was Mr. French happy with his career choice?
  2. How many people even know who Mr. French is?
  3. Have I ever wanted a French dip more than right this moment?
  4. Why do I trust packaging more if there is twine involved?
  5. Why do I ever buy super lotto tickets? Do I love to be disappointed even though I claim to hate disappointment?
  6. Why can’t I ever eat that last banana?
  7. If I had a time machine, would I use it responsibly?
  8. Why would I even ask that last question? Of course I wouldn’t.
  9. Would Norman Reedus like my banana bread?
  10. Is there anyway I can make question number nine nasty?
  11. Are my old lady snaggle teeth coming in?
  12. Is my old lady smell coming in?
  13. How many pairs of clean underwear do I have to have before I stop feeling anxious?
  14. Is there an accurate way to measure how much wood a woodchuck can chuck?
  15. What is a woodchuck?
  16. How many pairs of saddle oxfords have I owned in my life?
  17. How exactly does one rock a casbah?
  18. Did those men ever get hats?
  19. Why don’t all places deliver food? Why do we just want pizza brought to our door? Why not a nice stew?
  20. Why don’t I make more stew?
  21. How many people are looking up stew recipes at 3:00 am?
  22. Should I start a stew delivery service?
  23. Should I stay or should I stew?
  24. How many more times will I have to have the “we are not changing our names to Mr and Mrs Potatohead” argument with Randy?
  25. How can someone who wants to be known as Mr Potatohead sleep so soundly?
  26. If I could go back 40 years, with all the information I have now, would I affect change or would I just be the crazy person who stands on the same street corner for years shouting about Trump?
  27. Why would Dumbledore sing about leaving a cake out in the rain?
  28. How did I manage before getting Alfie the kitty?
  29. What the fuck is Alfie the kitty looking at on my bedroom ceiling?
  30. Why would I even consider buying a white shirt?
  31. Do I not remember the fate of every piece of white clothing I’ve ever owned?
  32. It’s a really cute shirt though, isn’t it?
  33. Okay, fine. It’s cute. Why would I consider buying something that needs to be ironed?
  34. Do I even know how many years it’s been since I’ve ironed something?
  35. Job interviews aside?
  36. Am I going to be okay?
  37. Did the naked cowboy participate in any marches?
  38. How many minutes of my life have I spent trying to tie a cherry stem with my tongue?
  39. Why don’t I follow through on things? Like the cherry stem thing? Or paying bills on time?
  40. Why do I sometimes buy orange or yellow clothes? Do I secretly want to look ghoulish?
  41. How can I both learn how to make Buddha bowls and make fun of them at the same time?
  42. Seriously, Buddha bowls?
  43. They do look delicious though, don’t they?
  44. Should I give Monday a fair shake?
  45. What does that even mean? A fair shake? I mean, I know what it means, but why does it mean give something a chance?
  46. Am I going to even look that up? Or just wait for someone to explain it in comments?
  47. I think I already know the answer to that question, don’t I?
  48. Why can’t I find a sugar substitute that tastes like sugary goodness and won’t try to kill me with it’s chemicals?
  49. Are there any pudding cups in the fridge?
  50. How long has it been since I cleaned out the fridge?
  51. Randy won’t notice if I turn the TV on, will he?
  52. Seriously, am I going to be okay?

So, there you go. Questions I field when I’m battling insomnia. Although, to be fair, any one of these questions could pop up while I’m waiting in traffic or sitting through a boring meeting at work.

I am going to be okay. So are you.


Photo courtesy of Okan Caliskan

57 Thoughts.

  1. Thanks for the morning medicine! I was reading along, smiling, nodding, enjoying the read, and then I came across the line about buying orange and yellow and secretly wanting to look ghoulish and I couldn’t stop laughing.

    Like put the phone down, cover my face with my hands guffawing laughter. The dog is certain I have finally lost my marbles.

    I am still rumbling.

    Anyhoo, insomnia about near ruined my life. Was lucky to sleep 2 full nights a week, and that lasted 10 years. I feel for ya, but your inner dialogue is highly entertaining!

  2. I don’t know who Mr French is and now I’m worried I’m missing out on something – if I lose sleep over this I’m blaming you! And I don’t own a single item of clothing that requires ironing – I base my clothing purchases on how something will look when it’s pulled out of the washing machine. PS Hope your sleep improves – although your thoughts make for interesting reading πŸ™‚

      • I loved Mr. French! I hope he was satisfied with his career. And now I want some crunchy potato chips with French onion dip. I had some at Christmas and it was delightful.

        On another note, I read somewhere that back in the olden times, people used to sleep two times during the night. Something like they went to bed when it got dark, woke up in the middle of the night to stoke their fires and check the animals, then sleep again. So it’s an ancestral thing as well. I’d be fine with it if I didn’t have to flipping get up so early!

  3. It’s a sign that we’ve moved on that you’re wondering how many people know who Mr. French is without wondering if a contemporary remake of “A Family Affair” would have him renamed “Mr. Freedom”. And I feel guilty for even bringing up the whole “freedom fries” bullshit in spite of…hey, where did that expression ‘a fair shake’ come from?
    The Oxford English Dictionary isn’t helping me out here. It’s just giving me quotes like this one from 1845: “Give Bill Sweeny a fair shake, and he can whoop blue blazes out of ye.”
    Well that is useful information: Bill Sweeny is an asshole.

  4. Ok, the Potatohead comment made me laugh out loud, which is good because I don’t feel much like laughing these days .
    I don’t think I have 52 things that keep me awake at night.

    Just one big one.

    Just why.

    • Yeah..that is why my insomnia has been so bad. W H Y ? ? ?

      Still, I plan to laugh as much as I can. I will live my life in a way that makes me proud. They don’t get to win.

  5. When I can’t sleep, I make up stuff for my blog and assure myself that I’ll remember it when I get up in the morning. Nope. Now I keep a notebook and a lighted pen by the bed. I’m super-impressed with your middle-of-the-night recall. It’s a gift.

  6. 26 made me laugh out loud. I can just imagine a bunch of us standing on street corners yelling at people wise advice that sounds crazy in order to prevent that from happening.

    Your insomnia sounds more interesting that mine I must say. I just think about issues and get mad that I’m not sleeping.

  7. I argue.
    While I’m trying to rest my body, my brain drums up EVERY argument I ever wanted to win and I rehash it.
    Again and again and again.
    I even argue in my sleep.
    I have woken up crying, in the middle of an argument (mostly with ‘Daddy’) and losing, which is enough to keep me arguing until it’s either time to get up or I give up and get up.
    We’ll be fine.
    *pops Klonepin*

  8. I’m lucky if I get the last banana, they go fairly quickly here. The “fair shake” thing wasn’t conclusive. I came up with “Original Meaning: “Prove the quality of your whiskey is worth my money.” from one place and “Phrase fair shake “honest deal” is attested from 1830, American English (Bartlett calls it “A New England vulgarism”).” from another, and a few of them gave me nothing at all but tried to sell me anti-tracking software instead. I don’t want any anti-tracking software and don’t feel I got a fair shake from those search results. Then there was Urban Dictionary’s “Fair shake of the sauce bottle” that was Australian and had something to do with chalk and cheese.
    And as for #48, remember the Monsanto ad that said “Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible.”? \\]]]]]]]]]]]] Oops, that was the cat walking on my keyboard again.

    • I KNEW someone would pull through and explain it to me. Only it was just a little. Not a GREAT explanation. On the plus side, I don’t care a WHOLE lot about how it originated, so there’s that.

      My cat says hi to your cat.

  9. You just described my every fucking day. My mind doesn’t stop. Because of this post, I’m gonna start writing down the random thoughts/questions that go through my brain. πŸ™‚ Probably won’t be as entertaining as your post though.

  10. I just looked at my health records and back in 2009 it said, ‘chronic insomniac’. I find that a distasteful diagnosis. Makes me sound cheap. I would rather ‘chronically suffers insomnia’. That sounds so much better. Something to ponder at 3AM!

  11. My kids and I Googled #14. The answer is about 700lbs, but I’m not sure how Cornell came to that conclusion. Also, at least you’re “awake” when you have these random thoughts…..mine turn into the weirdest dreams that I begin to assume are reality…..

  12. Haha a great series of musings.
    Sugar substitute: STEVIA. It LOWERS blood sugar levels, FFS. Awesome.
    Try melatonin for insomnia, I’m no expert but it works for me; not so good for waking up at 3AM tho. Get your coffee mug ready to chuck at me, I will get ready to duck -here goes- try decaff PM. DUCK. Just trying to help. OK, no need to throw that too. Or that. Come on now, be. Reasonable.

    • PS I do get it; some of us are born worriers or as I prefer to think of it, born “give-a-shitters” as most people don’t give a shit, so therefore don’t have a necessity to lie in bed thinking.

    • NO NO NO NO NO!!!! NO.
      Okay, I ONLY drink coffee first thing in the morning and I cut my intake in half. That is all I am willing to do.

      Stevia. Tried it. Hated it. But I am going to try it again. My older son swears by melatonin. I guess I will give that a shot again as well. Other than the coffee thing, you were full of great ideas!! hahah.

  13. Michelle, I thought I was the only one contemplating such weighty things while staring at the ceiling. I also wondered about Mr. French and his career choice. Something always seemed a little off about that family. Never could quite figure it out…

  14. Mr. French! Too funny! I just told my husband last night that when my daughter goes off to college next year, I want to get a part time job. But, it will have to be at night. After noon. Cuz I don’t sleep I during the night anymore. Menopause sucks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.