The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

Some Kind Of Update

Posted by BigWords on March 9, 2010

Thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock…

The sound reverberates around my head, a constant reminder that I’m too damn stubborn to relax. This is all my fault, and I can’t help feeling that I deserve the pain. Ah, but you’re wondering why I dropped off the face of the planet – or, at least, the internet, which these days is pretty much one and the same thing… I have managed to get online to check out some stuff, but anything requiring concentration has eluded my abilities, the worst moment being Sunday afternoon, when the browser seemed to be scrolling down in a constant movement. It wasn’t the browser, and it took me a couple of minutes to realize that the problem lay not within the bowels of the infernal machine, but within my eyes. It’s the strangest feeling to have something I rely on so much (my eyesight) betray me in such a way.
Inside my right eye, under the bottom lid, is some kind of a spot or something, a little white blemish against the bright pink flesh, which has been furiously scratching at my eyeball every time I blink. And there is the noise…

Thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock…

Damnable noise. The earache is back, and it sounds for all the world as if a Chinook is trying (unsuccessfully) to take off in my head. The inside of my ear feels like it has swollen to three times its normal size, and the entire left side of my head is throbbing in sympathy pains. Couture damnations, indeed. I knew that there would be a Karmic penalty for the constant activity which has driven me from everything I had lined up, but I didn’t realize it would be so blunt, so sudden and so terribly debilitating. Maybe it has something to do with the limited amount of sleep I have had over the past few weeks, ’cause the last time I felt this shitty was when I found it impossible to sleep.

So sleep, huh. yeah, the most I have had recently is two hours at a stretch, with the average being about an hour. I’ve tried all of the so-called remedies, but they are – more or less – a complete waste of time. The drugs which claim to give uninterrupted sleep used to work, but I was taking double the recommended dosage every time I used them, and even then I only hit about five hours of decent sleep. The damn earache has been waking me up as soon as I can get shut-eye, so that only exacerbates the problem. The thumping, ricocheting noise which threatens sanity and destroys the ability to develop any level of concentration continues, beyond the reach of painkillers and meditation techniques alike – the demon which will not be satisfied until something snaps.

Thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock, thwock…

I’ll share a little something here, just because there seems to be a misunderstanding amongst folks who can sleep normally, and I expect you to be paying attention – there is no fun to be had with this shit. Seriously, whenever there is a film or TV show where a main character has insomnia it rapidly flows into the realms of fantasy… I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to switch off a DVD or change channels because of the idiocy of the script. There are levels to insomnia, and there are different types (subtle differences to doctors, perhaps – the end effects are still the same), but never have I experienced the kinds of stuff you see in films. No hallucinations which feel real, and certainly no conversations with imaginary people. No fun aural hallucinations either. I do get time displacement, which is rarely given any consideration in media representations of the affliction.

Time displacement is weirdness squared. I generally manage pretty well, but on the odd occasion where I get hit hard… Not the best time to try and make sense of anything I say or do. When I arrived home on Sunday night I dropped my bag in the hall, made myself a coffee, then worked out a schedule which would be the best use of my time (hitting the right connections) for Monday’s travels. I then grabbed my bag, checked my watch, and discovered that I was late for the train – a full six hours before I actually needed to catch the train. This is typical of being awake for so long – days kinda bleed into one another, and only the darkening of the sky is any indication of days passing by. Lost time is similar to time displacement, but altogether more scary. I black out for short periods of time, less than a couple of minutes mostly, while I continue to perform whatever it was I was doing when I black out. When walking along a busy road this can be life-endangering. Still think insomnia is fun and games?

And my eyes… The rawness has (mostly) disappeared, but my eyes still hurt. I think I may be dehydrated, but I can never remember if I have drunk anything – or, for that matter, if I have had anything to eat. Trying to keep an eye on how much weight I may be losing isn’t really possible when I don’t know for sure which day it is, so the best I have managed to come up with is an alarm on my ‘phone which beeps every eight hours reminding me that it is a good idea to get some nourishment. Better than starving to death I guess. Is it unusual for a person not to feel hungry? Or thirsty? No idea. The times during which my sleep patterns have leveled off seem so distant now that it’s hard to recall exactly when the last time I felt ‘normal’ was.

I’ll try to post more regularly, but at the moment it seems that there is too much to deal with. Thank Cthulhu for codeine (the best over-the-counter pain relief ) and Jack Daniels… If I can hold together enough of my limited attention span together I may be able to write something worth reading soon.


Posted in Misc., Over The Line | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Quick Word About New Projects

Posted by BigWords on December 1, 2009

There’s always something going on, and it can be hard to remain focused on what I’m meant to be doing, so I thought I would share some of the things which have been bubbling under the surface and are almost ready to begin work on properly. This does, of course, mean I am taking on yet more commitments, though I have enough material stashed away to prevent them overwhelming me. Hopefully. I can’t guarantee that things will go smoothly, but I can guarantee that there will be a wealth of information available from my archives very soon. Both of the not-quite-ready blogs I am getting ready to add to my blogroll are going to be based around reviews and associated material.

The first of the blogs will appear at some point in the next week or so, with the second added when I get the chance to dig out the reference work I have been gathering for the last few years. The addition of two new blogs doesn’t mean that I’ll be ignoring this slice of insanity on a regular basis, nor does it mean that the book blog will be pushed to one side. If anything, the addition of two new blogs will allow me to put more material online than at present. It will also allow me to cover material I haven’t yet taken the opportunity to spend any time thinking about, adding links throughout all of the blogs to tie everything together in one meta-blog. Did I just come up with a brand new term? Quite possibly…

I have considered adding a fifth blog to the weekly duties, specifically centered on artwork I like, though that might wait a while. Diluting my free time with things to do is part of my attempts to keep busy while everyone else is asleep, ’cause the insomnia is really beginning to affect the way I spend my time. It really isn’t healthy to spend so much time arguing with the radio and causing mayhem around the net. I need constructive work to keep my idle hands from giving the devil work to do – or something.

I’ll finish up here with another pic which I like.

I didn’t draw it, so the blame can’t be pinned on me.

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Memory Is A Strange And Alien Land

Posted by BigWords on October 15, 2009

Memory is really strange. It’s almost another level of existence, and I’ve had good experience of those thanks to the use of substances of less than legal status. I can’t help but remember the strange events I have been witness to (and part of), but when I attempt to remember something important that needs to be recalled I’m left stranded. Things slip away like sand through my fingers, and I really hope that it isn’t a sign of early onset dementia.

My screwed up memories consist mainly of the everyday, but therein lies the problem. Did I have breakfast this morning? I’m not sure. Did I remember to unpack the groceries? Gee… I would have to go downstairs to check for sure, but I really don’t know. It has been like this for a few months, and I’m sure that it is down to the constant level of stress, walking, and a workload that just won’t quit.

My brains are turning to shit.

Waitasec. Before you start commiserating and hoping that I can get my brain in gear soon, think about this for a second. I can live in the moment without trying. This moment – right now – is all that really exists. I can drag up random events if need be, but I’m now able to box off the insane stuff and concentrate on writing and having a bit of fun. The extra hours in the day that I have thanks to insomnia are now being put to use.

I’m not sure how it is going to manifest in my NaNo scribbles, but I’m sure I can zone the world out for an hour and come up with a bucket o’ genius from the well of subconscious. Maybe I’ll manage to find Hoffa while I’m down there – there’s all sorts been chucked down that particular hole in the ground. Hell, I’ll probably resurface with the basis for a full novel if I try really hard. Not sayin’ it’ll be readable, still…

The one specific chunk of weirdness which keeps reappearing on the back of my eyes is the memory of an old film. Or maybe it was a television show… I can remember a blind guy standing at the top of some stairs, and a girl (his daughter perhaps) arriving at the house. Then he falls down the stairs. That’s it. The sum total of memories from a specific film. It has happened like this a lot recently, and I’m not 100% sure I didn’t just make it up.

Does that fucking film even exist? Not sure.

I also have a chunk of a novel stuck in my memory banks concerning a heist which is endlessly discussed, but no actual robbery takes place. Though I may have simply stopped reading after a certain point in the book, or lost the book. It’s not like I keep a great record of my day-to-day activities, and lots of stuff slips through the cracks. Maybe having a log of my activities – a diary possibly – would be a good idea.

Only… I would never write in the important stuff. It would just be another thing, like this blog – which details my frustrations, annoyances, meanderings and crazy-ass nonsense – to fill in daily. I would never manage to keep to the purpose of the excercise. It would be a new definition of pointlessness. I did try, several years ago, to keep a diary. It was the early nineties, and became a critique of the television I watched rather than anything useful.

I can’t stay on-track for more than a short time. It isn’t a fault, and it certainly isn’t a strength, it just is. Some people can stay focused in on things, others can’t. Somehow, despite the wonderful tools and technologies that exist, there is little that can keep me from having the occasional brain-fart. Yes, that is the technical term – I looked it up.

By the time I hit the ‘Publish’ button, I’ll probably have forgotten that I posted this.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Where Did All The Cigarettes Go?

Posted by BigWords on August 30, 2009

The main problem with being awake for so many hours in the day – okay, not the main problem, but a close second – is the temptation to keep smoking when any sane person would be considering how many cigarettes they go through. I spent about half an hour searching through my coat pockets, in drawers, beside my chair, looking through the kitchen… There was just a single pack left. Which is strange in and of itself, but I bought 100 on Friday afternoon. It’s the lack of sleep…

I don’t normally smoke so much, but with the agitation caused by spending the night looking for a game which wouldn’t annoy me, then having a day full of interruptions to my writing, it’s no wonder I smoke so much. It’s only when I have to run for the train in the morning that the full effects of my habit seems to show itself, but that is a subject for another post.

For a long time, maybe three years, I have managed to ration myself to one cigarette an hour, but the temptation to light up when I get even slightly irritated is growing.

They go so well with the consumption of endless cups of coffee, and y’know, the odd alcoholic beverage, so it is easy to lose count of how many I smoke in a day. But 80 since Friday? I’m sure I never smoked this much when I was in my twenties, when I had the capacity to deal with such intense abuse of my lungs. I still have the endless fucking walk each day, but it isn’t exactly the kind of exercise that is going to help in the long run.

Sometimes I think that the self-destruction gene, which ain’t so dormant in humanity at the best of times, is pushing forth on my being. “Go on,” it cries, “Light up, you fucker. Take a deep breath.” It’s the same voice that whispers in your ear when you’re on the balcony of an apartment, telling you to jump. Only it ain’t as blatant. It’s the tapping of fingers, the urge that grips in the gut, the need to fill your lungs with the inspiration-giving escence of nicotine.

And a few thousand words later I’m back where I started, looking at the screen and hankering for another smoke.

‘Scuse me, I gotta go. I’m sure I have a lighter around here somewhere…

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Punctuality Is The Bane Of Small Minds

Posted by BigWords on August 21, 2009

Having spent the better part of the week running to and fro across the larger part of Fife, I’ve realized that I don’t really care for being in a place at an exact time. Five minutes either side of an appointed time is accurate enough, and I’m already too fucking tired (with, y’know, the insomnia and everything) to be doing such things. Seriously, the amount of hassle to get to a place exactly on time just isn’t hardwired into my brain. I can barely tell you what time it is without spending a minute hunting for my ‘phone.

There are, however, some people who see punctuality as the be-all and end-all, and I don’t mind if they see me as an aberration. I like those guys. Really, I do. They’re perfect models on which to base my villains on, because (alongside record-keeping) the psychotics of the world seem to have a fascination with time. Just look at Sylar if you don’t believe me.

Maybe I wasn’t born with the “time gene”, which explains a lot. I couldn’t tell the time on an analogue clock until I was about fifteen years old, and when I write I tend to time-jump back and forwards between different eras. The messy way I see the past – lumping big stretches of my life together as if everything happened at once – is because I can’t sleep, and it all seems so, so long ago. Last week or last year… It’s all the same to me.

In about five hours (give or take) I’ll be back at the train station, wondering how the fuck I manage to get anything done without sleep. I’ll have had my fourth coffee of the day by that point, and I may be in a better mood.

Don’t bet on it.

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Busy, Busy, Busy

Posted by BigWords on June 29, 2009

There’s Not Enough Time In The Day

Last night (and into the not-so-small hours of the morning) was a battle of wills between myself and the beautiful designs of HTML. I’m a big fan of computer languages as art-form, despite having seen the travesties imposed on simple code by folks who would rather be playing in the murky depths of obscure and complicated math. HTML can be manipulated and twisted to allow for all sorts of formatting options, but it gets to be a bit much when I have been staring at a notepad document filled with it for any number of hours.
…And I’m still not done yet. There are fun blogs I have visited, though not bookmarked. I’ll get around to the ones I have overlooked soon enough.

There have been a lot of new additions to the ‘to do’ list in the last week, and (with the lack of sleep ‘n’ all) I have added more jobs. I need something to do, or else I’ll end up chain-smoking, drinking endless cups of coffee and bemoaning the lack of take-away service at 5am. One of my bright ideas was a blog dedicated to book reviews. It’s been set up, ready to go, but there aren’t any actual reviews on it yet. I’ll post one up on Wednesday or Thursday, after I manage to deal with more pressing matters.

Ah, the other projects… Yeah, they seem to be multiplying.

Tomorrow evening is already set aside for the construction of a base on which to situate the largest shed I have ever laid eyes on. It is massive, and will comfortably hold the excess books, computer games and comics once it is insulated properly. When the shed is filled, which will probably take some time, I’ll gain back two rooms which have been used primarily for storage.

A complete list of my collection, for insurance purposes, has been an on-and-off-again job which desperately need doing. It’s #2 on the list.
The notes I’ve already taken for reference has thrown up some surprising items. I’m was working through boxes of European comics, and came across  Greek (I think) editions of Lucky Luke, French reprints of Marvel Comics material and other weirdness. The Italian reprint of Secret Agent X-9 (in hardback format) and a Disney annual (which translates some duck stories to Italian) I vaguely remember purchasing, but I have no idea where all the others came from.

There are also the external hard drives which I have been meaning to tidy up. Files are kept all over the place, and having all of the material relating to connected subjects stored together makes sense. I’m guessing that the job will take a few weeks, though with new ideas popping up every so often – sometimes just as I have exited the word processing suite – I’m holding off from immediately jumping in to this.

Lack Of Sleep x Things To Do = Time Distortion

What seemed like a few days ago to everyone else, Friday to be exact, is more like a week for me. I figured this out about an hour ago, when the compulsion to call a friend up hit me. He said that he was going to buy a new car (Friday, to be exact, not a month ago, just on Friday), and I was about to call to see if he ever managed to get around to buying one. It’s a shock to realize that it wasn’t a long-gone conversation, and I’m beginning to think that I need to keep better notes on any interactions I have – just so I don’t bring up anything which is still in the process of being handled.

It feels like a couple of days since I added anything to the blog, if that makes any sense.

The Milk Doesn’t Go In The Cupboard

Maybe the sleep-deprivation is having more of an effect than I would normally admit. I was making coffee earlier, and I discovered I had put the jar in the fridge and the carton of milk in the cupboard. It wouldn’t be the first time my brain has completely left my body while doing automated actions, and I know that I’ve left the oven on for too long as well. My grasp on the minor activities is one reason why the aforementioned insurance policy has to have accurate information.

Be thankful I don’t have a driving license.

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Posted by BigWords on June 14, 2009

It’s kinda fun not sleeping, because while everyone else is wasting valuable time I get to do things. For example, while the rest of the country is getting some shut-eye, I have managed to tidy up, watch three DVDs and eat cold pizza.

I called my brother up a few minutes ago to inform him that I had caved to pressure and started this nonsense up. After he finished ranting about the time, he suggested that I try to entertain people. By the time I stopped laughing, he had already hung up.

As for the DVDs:

I’ve somehow managed to miss Leon for all these years, and yet – having just watched the film – it doesn’t seem all it’s been built up to be. It isn’t a horrendously bad film, it’s just a completely forgettable experience. The kid is really annoying, way more irritating than the brat from War Of The Worlds (the Tom Cruise abomination, not the classic) and another half hour of it would have sent me to sleep if it weren’t so loud.

Transformers was worse than when I saw it at the cinema. At least I had alcohol in my system then, but watching it sober is torture on the scale of watching a politician try to answer a simple question. So robots piss on people now? How, exactly? And what is in line for the sequel? A golden shower? Two girls and a cup?

If you have to look up that reference, you’re watching the wrong films…

The only half-decent DVD I’ve bought this week (and I have bought many) was The Wild Bunch restored edit. It’s not the best Peckinpah film, but it comes close. The benefits of watching films during the night are not having to listen to pop music blaring in from outside, and listening in full surround sound knowing that everyone else is asleep. I take my fun where I can get it.

I promise not to ‘phone anyone else at night – for a couple of days at least.

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