a person types a very long letter with a broken heart, a sad face, and Zs on

A Letter to My Sleep

Dear Sleep,

All I want in life is you. For you to be "normal." For you to be waiting for me at the end of the day. Is that too much to ask?

Remember when you used to be such a big part of my life. I'd hop into bed, and BAM, there you were. It was like you were waiting for me to rest my head on the pillow. You used to just happen. Now, I get into bed looking for you. You are nowhere to be seen.

Why did you leave me, sleep? Is it because I didn't appreciate you? I promise that I will appreciate you once you decide to come back.

I do things to try and find you

I got into bed earlier, just in case you were waiting for me. But no, it looks like I've missed you again. I thought maybe you were afraid of screens. So, I stopped screentime a few hours before bed. I stopped watching TV at night. I put my phone away, hidden in the drawer on silent. Hoping you might appear in the darkness of the night. You never did.

I tried finding things that you might like. Chamomile tea? Nope. CBD? Nope. Meditating? Nope. Baths before bed? Nope. I tried other things too. But none that brought you fully back to me.

Then, I tried to find things that you didn't like

I thought, maybe you don't like me drinking coffee during the day? So, I stopped. But still, there was no sign of you until the early hours of the morning. I started exercising earlier in the day in case that's what scared you off in the evening time. It wasn't. I started practicing mindfulness. Maybe my anxious thoughts were scaring you away. After months of mindfulness, you have still not returned.

I limited my stress and tried to tire myself out more during the day. All for you. How can I find you? What do I need to do?

I thought maybe you need a routine?

I crawl into bed at the same time every night. I set my alarm for the same time every morning. It doesn't work. Often, I can't wake up at the same time every morning. But that's because you are avoiding me all night.

Maybe we could help each other out? If you are there at night, then I can get into a routine of waking up and getting out of bed at the same time every morning. You gotta help me out here.

You're in trouble. I'm going to tell my doctor about you, again.

I always thought it was the chronic pain that I live with that was keeping you away. But even on nights where my pain is bearable and OK, you are still not here.

Have you gotten so used to my pain that you expect it? I know I do. But I was hoping that you wouldn't. I was hoping that you would be there for me when I'm not in pain.

Sleep, writing you a letter was quite cathartic. Let's hope that this brings you back to me.

Lots of love,

Sleepless Ali

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