Anticipatory Insomnia


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I’ve been having a little difficulty sleeping lately. Consequently I fear I’m beginning to resemble Emperor Palpatine, only with better teeth and perhaps a smidge more vitamin D. Seriously, the dude has some impressive red eye bags happening. But then again, I guess it’s inevitable when you are a powerful villain (with powerful enemies) trying to take control of the entire universe. That gig is sure to generate some stress. Don’t even get me started on the bolts of electricity he is want to throw around the place. Such behavior is bound to be energy-draining and let’s just say, I totally dig why he sports a hoodie everywhere he goes:

 electricity + hair = frizz of galactic proportions

There is no conditioner in the entire star system likely to be capable of taming those locks!

Anyway, whilst I have [actually very little, after all I’m not evil] sympathy for the Emperor’s predicament…back to me.

I think my insomnia is work related. I can’t stop thinking about it, I dream about it and I’m constantly analyzing how to improve things and mentally creating lists of tasks that I must not forget to do.

All of which, I thought was a good thing. I’m enjoying productivity! Revelling in the satisfaction that comes with having a purpose.

But it seems that the busier I get, the more difficulty I have switching off. I used to blame this phenomenon on my old job, the fact that the company demanded too much, and you never felt good enough. That indeed was a depressing state to work in. This time, however, I get support and encouragement and yet here I am, sleep deprived and haggard! I realise my stress is self-imposed and I have cause to wonder why I do this to myself. Am I too competitive, or am I just naturally striving to be the best that I can be? Am I looking for recognition from others, or do I do this for my own sense of satisfaction?

I suspect …all of the above.

It’s not just work that I over-analyse (as I’m sure you are all now well aware!). I overthink everything to do with my life be it the writing and rewriting of training schedules so that I can fit in a new activity, or spending hours over cookbooks studying the best recipes to try on my friends (a recent development- now that I have made the splurge and purchased a Thermomix), or of course, my love life.

Yes, many a nights sleep has been lost over stressing about love or the lack of it. But not last weekend. Even though The Crush cancelled on me AGAIN and even though only a month and a bit in, we may have had our first fight. If you can call it a fight – perhaps lets just call it a disagreement (because it’s a bit hard to read the tone of text messages). After clearly, but politely expressing my annoyance he once again surprised me with a) a response (something most men, in my experience are incapable of providing when faced with a potential storm), b) understanding (though he did at one point give me the option to opt out entirely, which was a little unpleasant but turns out, he very genuinely wasn’t implying that he wanted me to take it). Admittedly, I did spend a few hours on Saturday thinking that we had broken up, and though I was upset and a little angry and a little bruised, I wasn’t devastated and I was still entirely capable of enjoying my Saturday.

So, I have made what I believe to be a very grown-up decision:

He gets his three months to finish his exams, and get through some major work events, without me nagging him about spending time with me (or not spending time with me, as the case may be)


he needs to make it very clear that he is into this once that is all over, or I opt out. I’m not going to hold it against him that this has all come together at a very awkward time for him. However, though I am all for men who are driven and motivated about their career, I will confess that if I’m in a relationship, I do want to actually feel like I’m in a relationship.

Plus, I’m pretty sure some of my friends are beginning to think he’s a figment of my imagination…So really, I need him to man up or else I may end up in a funny white coat…and not of the laboratory scientist variety!

I tell you what though, it felt so good to just be honest, talk plainly and reign in the fear that my little 5 minute speech would leave me single. To be stern, but not nasty, and make sure he was crystal clear about my feelings and what I was, and was not willing to tolerate in his behaviour. To accept the fact that he may well turn tail and walk in the opposite direction, but remain calm in the knowledge at least I would know, and I could make room in my life for someone who was better suited to me.

I felt strong, assertive and capable. And it felt amazing.

Thus, I have decided that perhaps a little more of that attitude is warranted in my career as well! So, my sleeplessness I have concluded, is the result of my work brain kicking back into overdrive after an almost 10 month hiatus, and its a good kind of sleeplessness. It is insomnia borne of excitement! Anticipatory insomnia I shall call it- just like I used to feel as a child on Christmas eve- and I’ll make a point of saying- I wasn’t able to sleep too well then either.


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