Insomnia is one of the most annoying aspects of depression. I can think of an impressive number of reasons why this seemingly basic ritual of sleep becomes so complicated…so easily. However, what this post is actually about is going to prevent me from making any lists:
Which is, on the insomnia-related note, sometimes a valid feeling to blame for the inability (or avoidance) of sleep.
To better explain—in spite of my very real, very intense exhaustion, I’m just too drained to even try to sleep. It’s like the disappointment that will come from trying—lying in bed with ear plugs and eye masks, only to have your brain suddenly kick into the 11th gear—is worse than just procrastinating until I (hopefully) pass out on the couch. In fact, on a personal note, I’ve learned over the years that one of the symptoms that I’m slipping into a more serious depression is that I begin sleeping on the couch in the living room more and more, versus sleeping in my ultra-comfy, queen-sized bed in the back.
To further demonstrate this moment’s motivation…the thought is “I’m too tired to care about doing anything good for myself, even if that means the result is having more energy, thus feeling better.”
One of the reasons I point out this apathy + insomnia relationship is to illustrate why I think it is one of the most dangerous moments in depression. Because so often, the root of apathy is “I don’t deserve it [feeling happy, feeling healthy] anyway.”
…Why should I care about caring…?
Unfortunately, apathy is a strong catalyst for that haunting, pitch-black, controlling spiral that comes with all depression: The point at which you capsize; or when you finally stop kicking to stay just above the water—surrender to the vacuum.
So when I feel overcome with nothingness, a black hole of feeling—it’s funny in a way, but I miss my pain and sadness. At least with these intense emotions, I feel Alive. If I feel nothing where I know there is passion, then I must already be dead.
And that’s a dangerous conclusion for anyone to arrive at, concerning your feelings and how they can affect your reality/perspective. What’s worse is this thought can grow into this self-created infection—like a daily reminder from an overdue bill collection agency.
My heart is bankrupt, but my brain still works in shifts to harass me.
Ultimately, apathy evolves into this gaping disconnection, and how far that disconnection goes depends on how far down the spiral I have traveled. It’s a powerfully strange sadness—to be in a room of friends and/or family and still, somehow, be Alone.
Loneliness, to me, always feels more painful when I am with others, than when I am truly by myself.