I honestly don’t even know why I’m writing this, but writing has always given me solace in times of frustration and chaos. You see, I’m an insomniac, and I wanted to share my story.
This isn’t one of those Fight Club, crazy, insomnia stories; this is more of a “how I got here,” story. Now, keep in mind, I haven’t written anything in nearly a decade, so bear with me, but I’ve been wanting to do this for a while… I’m never quite sure where to start these things, so I guess we’ll go with the origin story first.
I was an extremely normal and average person growing up in the small town of Bellville, Ohio. Nothing really special. Played some sports, an instrument or two, had some close friends, and did relatively well in high school – ya know, normal young adult stuff. It wasn’t until I actually graduated that things got hectic. Near the end of 2009, I broke up with my long time girlfriend, Shelby, for a younger girl whom I had taken an interest to. We’ll call her Tammy, for all intents and purposes. To give you a view of my mindset at the time, I specifically remember quitting my job at good ol’ Mickey D’s the day before the break up happened because I was so stressed out that I didn’t know what to do. I had somewhat of a mental breakdown and walked out. The best way to categorize quitting my job and breaking things off would be an impulsive teenage decision, because that’s exactly what it was. That was really the first thing that made the entirety of 2010 a very strange year for me…
A month or two into the relationship with Tammy, in January of 2010, I had officially taken all of the required classes to graduate from Clear Fork High School, so I didn’t have to show up for the final semester. During this time, aside from not having to go to school, I was also unemployed. I would help my dad with some of his home improvement jobs or mow a few yards a week to get by, and I could choose whenever I wanted to work. When I wasn’t working, I’d go over to Tammy’s house pretty much right at 3:00pm every day, because that’s when she would get home from school, and we’d just hang out all night and watch movies. That was fun for about… I don’t know, three months?
We were just two teenagers constantly stuck inside in one of our parent’s basements, in the middle of an Ohio winter, with no money and nothing to do. After a while, things started to get a little tense, as you’d imagine. One thing you have to understand about Tammy, is that she had real goals in her life, with actual potential and means to obtain said goals. You might think that would be obvious, but I’m kind of the opposite. I’ve never really had any real goals or things to strive for, or any really big passions, other than hip hop and writing. She kept trying to push me to get a more consistent job so that we could start building a future together, but I wasn’t having it. (What a bitch, right? Haha). Things started to escalate from there. It was never in a physical way, but there were a lot of disagreements and the occasionally yelling and storming out. Eventually, because we no longer trusted each other, we’d start going through each other’s phones while we weren’t looking. That’s exactly what I was doing one day while we were alone at my parents house, and I saw some messages about her cheating on me with another guy from school. Long story short, she came out of the bathroom, and I obviously confronted her about it in, what I would call, a non-constructive manner. There was a lot of yelling for her to get out of the house, how could you do this, don’t talk to me, etc. Nevertheless, that’s not really the point of this story, I just wanted to give a little bit of perspective.
I kinda flipped out on her, because I was a young teenager, and that’s all I knew how to do. I ended up punching a wall, which is a full-fledged rookie mistake. When I connected with the wall, I quickly found out that there was a stud right where I had punched. Instead of being smart and stopping, I did the exact opposite. I explicitly remember being pissed that the stud didn’t break, so me being a smart person, I hit it again. That’s where things went bad.
To be honest, my hand wasn’t in that much pain, but it looked like my pinky was out of socket, or it might be broken, but nothing too major. I called my best friend to take me to the hospital (This was my right hand and I drove a manual at the time, so I wouldn’t have been able to shift). I told him what happened while we drove there, and the pain got worse and worse. By this time, it was about 3 hours after the initial punches when we got the results of the x-rays. The doctors determined that I completely shattered my hand into 9 pieces, and would need pins and surgery to reconstruct my hand. Well, shit. That wasn’t planned when I woke up this morning…
This all happened on a Friday or Saturday, I can’t remember exactly, but I know I had to wait the entire weekend to actually get the surgery. The surgery went well, but now I had two four-inch pins in my hand, with a small portion of them actually sticking out the side of my hand. They prescribed me some vicoden, but it made me extremely sick and nauseated, so I asked for something else and soon after, I was given percocets. This was my first broken bone, so I had never really taken pain pills for an extended amount of time before, and let me tell you – They’re like The Wu-Tang Clan… Ain’t nothing to fuck with. (Hahahah that just made me happy when I thought of that, so I had to do it. I didn’t have a choice, sorry).
The first few weeks went well, and I was managing everything perfectly fine. Of course though, something else had to happen. I actually found out about two weeks later that one of my best friends (to remain unnamed) actually hooked up with her in a drunken stupor at a party. It wasn’t anything major, just some making out and stuff I guess, but it was more of the principal of it all at the time. I obviously flipped out again, and cut all ties with him and started to attach myself to the percs. The prescription that I had recommended 1-2 pills per eight hours, but that didn’t happen. At one point, I was taking 4-6 every three or four hours, minimum, and just sleeping and staying in a dark room all day. I felt like I’d hit rock bottom. At the end of it all, it was only about nine months after I had broke things off with Shelby. In that short amount of time, I was now unemployed, single, lost my best friend, addicted to percocets, and had a shattered right hand. Great.
Approximately a month and a half later, I had a really bad night, worse than normal. I took a few too many percs, and I started to feel extremely distant from myself. All I remember is calling my old best friend, telling him I might have taken too many, and that he needed to come over and make sure I don’t do anything stupid. If anybody could help me, it was him. This was about 1:00am, and he came over immediately, without hesitation. I was on the borderline of needing medical attention, but stable. I just remember us sitting on the tailgate of my truck as I cried in his arms and just telling him everything and letting it all go. To this day, he’s the only person to ever see me like that.
We’ll fast forward another month or so and my life was back on track. I was still taking the medication, but in a responsible way. I picked up a job at the local call center, and had signed up to take classes at The Ohio State University to major in Psychology in the fall. Things were looking up for me, but the story doesn’t end there.
I ended up reaching back out to Tammy and we were really trying to work things out again, now that we had both been through quite a bit in our personal lives. We had to grow up pretty quickly after all of this had taken place. The timing was about perfect, because we decided to go out to a nice dinner and try to rekindle the love that we had for each other on what would have been our one year anniversary, October 5th, 2010. When she pulled into my parent’s driveway, I remember her smile as she turned to park the car. This was the most beautiful I had ever seen her since I met her two years prior. We hugged, talked a little bit, and got in her little Cavalier to go to dinner. We decided that she would drive that day because I was still dealing with the broken hand. But once again – Things weren’t supposed to go right for us.
She turned left out of my driveway to head to town. I lived at the very top of one of the tallest points in Bellville, so when we exited the driveway, we immediately started to crest the hill. I’m really not sure what happened in between then and what happened next, but I do know this is the reason I hate gravel… I think she was messing with the radio or something small to that extent, and was starting to head off of the road. She looked up and saw that, so she went to correct herself, and over corrected. And there we went. We rolled her Cavalier down about a quarter mile long hill, on pavement, completely totaling the car, literally less than a half mile from my house. It happened within 45 seconds of pulling out of the driveway. Luckily, there were no major injuries, and just some scrapes and ripped clothes. Needless to say – This wasn’t the best way to get our relationship started again.
There were obviously cops called to the scene, they got their incident reports, and did their duty. They were also complete assholes to me, for no reason, but that’s an entirely separate topic.
Oh, and to top it all off, her mother is a psychopath. About a week later, I get a letter in the mail from a lawyer. I wasn’t home at the time, so my mom saw the mail and proceeded to open it. I don’t blame her for that though; I was 18 years old and lived under her roof, and with the craziness that transpired in the last couple of months, it was to be expected. The letter informed me that Tammy’s parents were formally suing me for the damages to the car as well as pain and suffering, even though I was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Isn’t that awesome?
A day or two later, I called the police station to see what was actually on the incident report to make sure I was listed as being in the passenger seat. I told the trooper my situation, and they literally laughed over the phone. Not at me, but at the fact that Tammy’s mother would be bold enough to attempt to sue me for the damages while I was just basically a bystander. He told me not to worry about it, because the judge will never approve anything like that. He was right, because that was the last thing I had ever heard from the case.
The reason I wanted to share that with you is because this story is actually what kick started my insomnia seven years ago, and is 100% factual. With the stress, rage, depression, and the amount of drugs I was taking, it altered the chemistry in my brain to where I can hardly ever reach REM sleep. I’m sure being thrown around during that crash didn’t help things either. I haven’t been able to sleep more than about 20 hours on a good week since this happened. If that doesn’t sound too terrible, the average person will get that amount of sleep in 2-3 days, to put it into perspective. Like I said though, those few months are what actually induced the insomnia, and my life has only been crazy ever since. I’m sure a lot, if not most of this, you guys had no idea about. I’m generally very closed off, so this actually felt really nice to get off my chest and share it with people.
My life is finally starting to mellow out now, thankfully, but I still struggle with this condition. I know that there are a lot of different aspects to this story, so I hope you were able to follow it. If you took anything out of this though, please just remember to think before you act. I’m very good at managing my temper and thinking before I act or speak because of this whole situation, and I’ve learned to appreciate the power of real communication. I never should have made that initial impulsive decision with Shelby, or really any of those decisions, quite frankly.
However, just like starting this story, I also don’t do well with ending the story, so I do apologize, but this has been a look into just one year of my messed up life. I hope you enjoyed it, and that you’ll stay around to hear some more in the near future. Thank you.
Any feedback, whether positive or negative, is always welcomed.
– Adam –