I need sleep. I tried sleeping pills every night for months. I even tripled the dose, thinking maybe I was too fat for the recommended one pill and that’s why they weren’t working. But I couldn’t manage more than one or two hours of fitful sleep. No dreams and no escape from the suffocating toll of my waking life.

I drank several glasses of vodka each evening after work, but it didn’t make me drowsy like it used to when I was in my twenties. I noticed it was actually dialing up my anxiety, so I had to quit. It didn’t help that my mattress wasn’t adjustable anymore and it was stuck in a slight ‘v’ shape.

As I lay down, I can’t keep my mind from turning over scene after scene from past debacles and then I project my anticipated failures like a pathetic scroll of coming attractions. I’ve done so many shameful things to people I love, who counted on me, and I’ve burned it all down to the point I am at now: sleepless and barely hanging on to an existence beyond redemption.

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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