Once upon a time, I slept. It was a long time ago, and very far away. But it might explain why I don’t do it so often anymore. If it’s not THE reason, it’s a reason, and we always enjoy a good origin story.
It’s said that no good decision goes unpunished, but bad decisions can feel that way too… and at the time I didn’t know if it was a good or a bad decision, but I did know that I felt trapped. When I joined the military, I had been in a very dark place. Feeling as if I were derailed, feeling that I had let down my family. Collapsing in on a kind of depression, fueled by the yelling of inconsistent drill sergeants, exceptionally early mornings, and a lack of any other obligation in the world.
One day, after basic training, when my only job was to learn my job, I got home from training and realized that I could sleep, and while I wouldn’t be escaping my situation permanently, it would get me a little bit closer.
The next day I did it again, and then again. By the end of the week I couldn’t remember anything aside from flashes of class work, and the daily routine of shaving, running, and doing it all over again. Somewhere in that blur of months going by someone came by my room, asked if I would go to the gym with them, and gave me one of my only memories from that time… slowly, I grew into the place I slept.
What happened to pull me out of it? I don’t know. I did eventually get enough sleep, and I found one morning while running, that I didn’t hate it as much. Eventually… I woke up, but now, as I find the hours slip away no matter how little sleep I get, I can’t help but remember those moments of repetition in every day and flash back to those lost months. Sleep calls to me, but that doesn’t mean he’s my friend.