Lying in bed, it’s not that I don’t feel tired, but there’s this vacuum where tiredness swirls into nothing.

Strange. Getting out of bed in the mornings is like dragging myself out of a coma. Throughout the day, there’ll be occasional lapses where I feel I could fall asleep regardless of what I’m doing – working at the computer, eating lunch, or sitting in front of the television. But once I’m in bed, that tiredness, that need for sleep, evaporates.

Lots of things flit through my mind. My writing. Stuff to do at work. Shit I should’ve said in arguments I’ve had. Random images. Projections of what I want for my future. Regrets. Cringes at ways I behaved or spoke. Depressive thoughts. Weird streams of consciousness that I struggle to grasp, but wisp away just as I’m about to catch hold of them.

It’s a pastiche of life clawing at me, shredding me away, until all that remains is a forest of tatters, and I’m unsure which way is out.

I think that a lot now: is there an out?

Outside of the ultimate out.

When I was younger, there always used to be an aspiration: career, work, relationships, but I’ve done all those things now – not as gloriously or as successfully as I would’ve liked (or as I imagined, many years ago when I was much more romantically idealistic), and while they continue to exist, albeit as ghosts of what they once were, they’re no longer the carrot dangling from the stick.

I always wanted to get a tattoo on my left shoulder:

Que sera, sera

What will be, will be

It’s the only truth I hold onto nowadays.

Dealing with mental health issues as a teen, twenty-something, thirty-something, and even as a forty-something, I’d fight it, try to wrestle it into submission for some temporary reprieve. But the strategy I learned was the most successful was surrender. Just let go, and whatever will happen will happen. Fight it then. Not beforehand.

I wish I could apply the mantra to my inability to fall asleep, but it’s the one area that it doesn’t work.

At some point, the restlessness grows so pervasive it pronounces every reason I can’t fall asleep: the pillow feels like a brick, the edge jutting into my neck; the fridge, whirring from the kitchen, might be a shuttle gearing toward launch; the ringing in my ears grows so shrill it could be a buzzsaw cutting through my brain.

I want to let go now and can’t.

This just is, and I worry it’s a symptom of something more, an amalgamation of the years that festers deep inside, brimming, telling me me that my normal isn’t the normal at all, not even by abnormal standards, and what I’m experiencing are the tremors of failures, missteps, and bad choices, that are about to quake into something bigger, if not disastrous.

Something broke inside my head, inside my life, inside my existence – that’s what I used to think when I first experienced panic attacks and debilitating anxiety, but whereas naivety suggested there might inevitably be a solution, age has jaded that idealism.

All thats left now is habit is to keep moving through the exhaustion.

And sleeplessness.