Living with insomnia

Romantic Metal - living with insomnia

I’ve been living with insomnia my entire life…

…and have learned that it’s not a curse. It is a gift.

If you have insomnia, you can get a lot done. I am a musician and a composer. I do not have natural musician abilities. I’m actually quite naturally dumb when it comes to music. I excelled in math to the point where I was rated at 9th grade level when I was in the 3rd grade. However, I was the worst person in my orchestra in school (I played the cello) and I would constantly frustrate my piano teacher because I learned so much slower than all her other students.

So, I sort of dropped out of music. I decided I wanted to be a football (American) player but never grew tall enough to be a Quarterback. I was a pretty dang good athlete, but never had NFL speed, so that was that.

At the age of 16, I knew I’d never make the NFL so I kind of floated through the next few years not caring about anything. Up until I met Dale Ward who told me to buy a guitar.

I’ve always loved Metal and Romantic era Classical music. The very first two songs I learned on the guitar were a Flamenco piece called Romance Antiguo and the main theme from Borodin’s Polovsian Dances. The one good thing I got out of the cello lessons and the piano lessons is I did learn how to read notes, so it made the transition to guitar very easy.

Benefits of living with insomnia

Well, how does this tie in to insomnia? I’ll explain…

I never was able to sleep. So, I could have wasted my night hours watching those b-movies they play after midnight like I did before I got a guitar. Or, I could practice guitar.

Despite being musically dumb, I got really good at guitar fast because I’d spend midnight until four a.m. practicing guitar while everyone else was asleep. Then I’d wake up and go to school at 7, after sleeping 3 hours (that’s all I really needed anyways), come home at 3, practice a few more hours until dinner, take a quick nap after dinner, pretend to do homework for an hour while actually reading books on music, wait for everyone else to go to sleep, then practice guitar again.

I was getting so many hours a day/night in on guitar that I was bound to be good, despite not being naturally talented. Thank you insomnia.

But losing all that sleep catches up to you

.

Sure it does. I fell asleep in class all the time and my teachers hated me. Sorry teachers. It’s not you. It’s me. My sleeping patterns are broken. I cannot fix them, so I might as well take advantage of my broken patterns.

Notice what I did there. I took a disability and turned it into an ability. There’s probably some aspect of your life in which you can do the same.

I barely graduated high school. I honestly think that some of my teachers passed me because they felt sorry for me. And yeah, I made people laugh, including my teachers. I always was a funny guy.

So, you have a choice. You can let insomnia get the best of you. Or you could take advantage of your messed up sleep patterns and make the best out of living with insomnia. I won’t tell you how to fix insomnia because for one, I have no idea. I never did fix it. For another, if it weren’t for my real bad insomnia problem, I would have never gotten good at the guitar.

So thank you insomnia.

About

Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie, and he can still throw a football

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