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Column: Living life during night

'Waking up each morning is where the true struggle is for insomniacs.'

%22I%E2%80%99m+not+a+victim%2C+nor+a+survivor.+I+don%E2%80%99t+have+a+deadly+disease+or+disorder+that+makes+me+suffer+every+waking+moment+of+the+day.+I+don%E2%80%99t+have+something+that+has+left+me+scarred.%22

"I’m not a victim, nor a survivor. I don’t have a deadly disease or disorder that makes me suffer every waking moment of the day. I don’t have something that has left me scarred."

Photo by Hayden Vance

Photo by Hayden Vance

"I’m not a victim, nor a survivor. I don’t have a deadly disease or disorder that makes me suffer every waking moment of the day. I don’t have something that has left me scarred."

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11 p.m.

Tick… tock…

1 a.m.

Tick… tock…

3 a.m.

“You’re just tired because of your phone.” Except, I’m not. But sure, I’m just a teenager addicted to her phone. I love being awake late at night and exhausted in the morning, just so I can use my phone more at night.

Insomnia: Persistent problems falling and staying asleep.”

That is the definition of my very issue. Not my phone, not video games, not even the schoolwork I do at night. I am not dramatic or addicted to my technology.

I have insomnia.

Being an insomniac isn’t something that should induce pity. The symptoms are not always harmful. Staying up late has its pros, along with its cons. The night sky and stars are mesmerizing, there’s time to work in peace, as well as many opportunities to act like you’re in a teenage drama and look out a window thoughtfully.

It’s not like I’m not used to this life. Even as an infant I had Colic, which would keep me up all night for months. I wouldn’t sleep other than throughout the day; I was basically nocturnal. How I acted as a baby has earned me the nickname of “mini vampire” to my family.

Waking up each morning is where the true struggle is for insomniacs. Sleeping from 3 to 6 a.m. is not exactly the ideal sleep schedule, so alternatives have to be found. Luckily, many exist to stay awake throughout the day.

Insomniacs such as myself or my friends tend to ‘praise’ caffeine, as in, we rely on it to stay awake in school and work. Other, healthier, ways of staying awake can also include staying active or distracting yourself from feeling tired.

Having insomnia doesn’t seem like a thing that would heavily affect a person. Tired? Drink coffee to wake up. Can’t sleep at night? Take some sleep medicine. That would fix everything, correct?

Unfortunately, there are the obvious downsides to lack of sleep. Exhaustion, both physically and mentally, are major problems. I’ve been so tired that I fell apart and wasn’t able to finish work I had for classes until I slept properly. Exhaustion can also lead to collapsing, being light headed and changes in behavior.

I’ve spent countless hours trying to sleep at night, just so I don’t deal with the symptoms listed. I’ve grown irritable and have snapped at people. I’ve gone countless nights with less sleep than I should get in one night. I’ve messed up important assignments before because of the lack of focus. And I’ve harmed myself many times.

I’m not a victim, nor a survivor. I don’t have a deadly disease or disorder that makes me suffer every waking moment of the day. I don’t have something that has left me scarred.

I simply live with insomnia. Even as I write this, I’ve spent hours writing many drafts to perfect this, going into the night each time I write. While I write this final paragraph, it’s late and dark outside. I still won’t sleep for hours after now, but that’s perfectly fine.

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Column: Living life during night