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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winona chapter.

For many years now, I have been struggling with insomnia. No matter what I do to try to sleep (white noise, lavender mist, melatonin supplements, etc.) I can’t until many hours after laying down. Most nights, I go to bed at 10:00 pm and am lucky to fall asleep by 1:00 am. It has been a struggle but things are getting better. 

This poem shows the slow change from curiously wondering why I can’t sleep, to the anger of knowing no matter what I do, I can’t fix this problem, at least on my own. When I first started to have problems sleeping, I would count sheep. I remember even as far back as about 6 years old having slight trouble sleeping and spending an hour counting every object in my sesame street book. Insomnia is something ingrained in who I am and that is why I write about it.

Counting Sheep

I’ve been feeling very weak

So I’ve been counting sheep

To help me fall asleep

And achieve the things I leap

I keep my room so cold

To fight off the brain worm mold

That hides in every fold

And eats all that I am told

I feel I want to scream

Cause maybe then I could dream

It’s like I’m struck with a beam

And all I can fucking see is steam

I’ve been feeling so damn weak

That I’ve been counting sheep

Cause it’s the only way to sleep

When you’re living six feet deep

The poem starts with optimism. It gives the feeling of gentle confusion and lack of worry about getting less sleep. By the second piece of the poem, you can already sense a switch to something of a frustrating feeling, almost sickly. It shows the time in my life where insomnia was getting worse and, mixed with my ADHD, it was affecting my memory and everyday life. It was at this time that I started to cry from exhaustion. The third piece of the poem dives into the rage and hopelessness that I felt. I was at my wits end. I was trying everything I could, and hearing people give the same advice over and over again that never seemed to work, was just too much to take. I snapped a lot at this time in my life, burning a few bridges in the process. The final piece of the poem shows my acceptance and depression at knowing that this is my life now. I’m stuck in this cycle of insomnia and pain that isn’t going away any time soon. It’s like a hole that you can’t climb out of. You ask for a ladder and they give you a sermon.

Thankfully, just today, in fact, I am finally getting the help I need. Sleep medication will be coming in the mail this week and I can’t be more excited, although I’m trying not to get my hopes up just in case. If you are like me and looking for a ladder for your deep dark pit, don’t give up. Help is coming, you just need to be ready to accept it. Good luck.

Hello! My name is Caitlyn Petersen and I am 19 years old. I am currently attending The University of Winona. I am a criminal justice major. I hope to someday work in a medical examiners office as a coroner investigator. Some of my hobbies include seeing movies, drawing, crocheting, and of course, writing. I prefer a more scientific approach to writing my articles.