Friday, January 8, 2010

I have been battling insomnia since I was 9-years-old

and, no, that is not an exaggeration.

It all started the year I moved from New York City to New Jersey.

I remember being in my little yellow bedroom...for the first time, I wasn't sharing my room with my sister, and staring around, wondering why I couldn't fall asleep.

That year, I became hooked on Highway to Heaven reruns that came on at 3:30 AM.

I love Michael Landon.

And then my dad and I would watch Leave it to Beaver at 5 AM.

It's really a miracle I didn't fail out of the 4th grade.

I figured out that I couldn't handle the peace and quiet.

I was used to falling asleep to the sounds of horns honking and sidewalk bands and people yelling.

And, of course, that homeless guy who would belt-out "La Bamba" outside of our window every night.

The year my father was sick, I lost an especially great amount of sleep. In fact, I remember my English teacher saying to me one day, "You look good! You look like you might have gotten some sleep!"

When people are saying stuff like that to you, you know it's bad.

You know that means that you wear your insomnia on your sleeve, or under your eyes.

In fact, I'm amazed people often mistake me for being 17. I should look about 50 by now.

This past week, I have averaged about one hour of sleep a night.

I do everything that "they" say that you should.

I've tried lavender.

Kava.

Melatonin.

Warm milk and honey.

Tonight, I'm going to put an onion on my nightstand.

And if that doesn't work, I'll just stay-up and watch one of my favorite movies, Dream for an Insomniac. (It's about an Italian-American girl who is an insomniac that walks around dressed like Holly Golightly, hangs-out with a gay guy, loves Frank Sinatra, lost a parent at a young age, and has curly hair.

For some strange reason, I have always related to that character.

Diana Rissetto