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A Poetic Look Into My Mind When I'm Struggling With Insomnia


I have insomnia, spending most of my nights wide awake and living on little sleep. Recently, I’ve begun medication to assist me through my struggles, but I wrote a poem to remind me why I take medication for those days I don’t feel well.

This poem, entitled “The Routine” takes you through a short ride on a night with my insomnia. I have several hallucinations I address here, and when I acknowledge them throughout the night, they fall silent. They have a sort of climax where they reach a point and then stop existing, but slowly return as I try to fall asleep.

The last stanza addresses the fact that while medication can control them, they still live in my head, no matter how much better I am doing. I believe it is so important for those of us who have struggled to control mental illness without medication to remember why we are on it in the first place. As those thoughts of, I’m better, I don’t even need this medication and I don’t need medication to live, I can do this on my own, race through my head, it helps me to remember why I started. Although some people are able to manage their disorders without medication, many of us can’t. And that’s OK. It doesn’t make us weak. Never stop fighting back, and never stop finding a way to express your disease. Some of the most beautiful souls struggle with mental illness, and you are not alone in your battle.

“The Routine”

Twisted faces make
Their way from the shadows
Thieves are playing locksmith at my front door.
Shadows grow across the ceiling,
Tiptoeing across the carpet.
Whispers in my ear,
Silence.
Gradually they return,
from their hiatus,
Crawling back to my bedroom door.
I shrink deeply beneath the covers.
A fire glows red at my feet,
Frozen with fear.
Silence.
They tricked me
again, a fool to the night.
A shadow approaches and reaches for me.
I feel pressure near my side of the bed.
They’re coming for me, this is it.
The end of breathing,
Silence.

Each night they come back to haunt me,
This same routine is always on time.
My demons playing with my head.
A little pill could rid me of you,
But you still live in my head.
Silence is your specialty.

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Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz.