I have many addictions, most of which are harmless and routine. My penchant for pot…child’s play. An affinity for gambling and my small cocaine habit…blips on the radar. Compulsively stealing Percacet, Oxyconton and other prescription drugs from people’s medicine cabinets…a mere misdemeanor. But G-d do I love me some sleep. You know the stuff. That in the bed, eyes closed, not awake kind of sleep. I am currently not sleeping to write this and I am just jonesing for some shut eye. Ahhh…sweet, sweet slumber.
I’ve been addicted to sleep for as long as I can remember. Even as a small child, my Mom tells fantastic tales of my having to sleep multiple times each day. Sometimes I sleep for long stretches; I go to bed at one time and wake up at a totally different time. I know this as it is dark when I start to sleep, and light when I wake up. I also I have a clock.
I am so dependent on sleep that if I skip a single day, one day, I start to go through severe withdrawal. My head aches, my eyes twitch and dark circles form puddles under them. My speech is slurred and nonsensical, and my decision- making becomes impaired. I have this overall look of exhaustion that is a tell-tale sign of my addiction. Like any hard-core addict, I make excuses. “I fell.” “My husband is beating me.” “I’ve been shooting up.”
I get so high on sleep, that I completely lose my appetite. Some nights I can go ten hours without eating. In fact, I rarely eat when I’m sleeping. There are other side effects, like crazy hallucinations. I’ll be having sex with Ben Affleck and a shark will eat him and then I’ll scream and freefall off some huge ledge and end up on Oprah’s talk show couch, except Oprah is a white male midget with 8 tentacles, each of which is attempting to feel me up, which is odd because he’s gay.
You would think that would scare me straight, but it’s doesn’t. I’ve tried over and over to kick the habit. In college, I used tons of caffeine and ephedrine in hopes of weaning myself off sleep. But I ended up partying all night, only to relapse all day and miss extremely practical classes, like bio 403 -The history of infectious diseases.
After having babies, I used breast feeding as a form of “rehab,” but I fell off the wagon and did something too horrible to discuss. That’s right, I got my own kids hooked on the stuff, like little crack babies. I forced them to try it, and they were so smitten with the sandman, they indulged two, maybe three times a day. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I even joined them from time to time.
Look, I am not proud of what I’ve done. For years I’ve tried to hide it. Only a select few guessed… my carpool, they knew. I knew they knew, but I still relied on explanations. “You say I look so fresh faced and well rested? Well…that must be my Nars bronzer, Orgasm.” “Oh, that dewy glow, that’s cause I just had an actual orgasm.”
Now I am telling the world, because the first step is admitting you have a problem. “Hi, my name is Jenny, and I’m addicted to sleep. I apologize if my habit has harmed or affected those around me and I vow to get help… in the morning.