Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Sleeplessness has become a real problem for me again. I think insomnia is more definitive, more deeply a part of my self and life these days than my queerness is. Is there an Insomniac Pride Parade for me to march (I suppose it would be more a stumble) in? I have dealt with occasional sleeplessness all my life, but since a health crisis and hospitalization back in 2016 insomnia has been a chronic and acute condition, what feels like the central struggle of my existence. Given that these happen to be the Trump Republican years that means there feel like two ongoing and urgent central struggles of my existence more or less all the time. It's not a particularly good feeling -- indeed, at the moment it doesn't always seem entirely survivable. For a time last year I was able to manage my onset-insomnia a bit with the use of cannabis -- but this now seems to me a temporary measure with costs to match the benefits (real though they are, and everybody reacts differently, granted), the effectiveness diminishes and for me there can be dependency issues and worries about vestigial fogginess interfering with teaching. Losing that briefly effective crutch has been pretty demoralizing, I must say, and the daily news isn't helping. As at once the nation drifts, apparently irresistibly, into authoritarian cruelty and self-defeating stupidity so too I have lost the once natural, once easy, once blissful gift of the ability to drift into restorative sleep. Black out curtains, an ebb-tide recording, earplugs, a sleep mask, passionflower tea, yoga, diet and exercise, long baths, stimulus control (segregation of sleep from work space, etc.), relaxation techniques via meditation and auto-hypnosis scripts, and anything else I can find in the arsenal of behavioral and cognitive psychology are the tools I have at hand to carve out a liveable space in the midst of this distress. Wish me luck!