Creating with Insomnia

I wrote my new song “Pieces” in the heat of my struggle with insomnia and the anxiety it caused. 

I’d say a lot of my struggles stem from my diagnosis with Lyme disease when I was 17 and subsequently moving to California by myself. I held off treatment so I could continue with my move to LA. As I got acquainted with LA and started to make strides with my work, career and creating a community for myself, I got really sick from neglecting my disease and not treating it. 

It got to the point where I was unable to drive, was rarely ever sleeping, was having my joint pain get worse and worse, and had brain fog and fevers. I had to go back home for a few months to be surrounded by my family as I got better. It created a lot of anxiety because I lacked the energy to do what I felt I was meant to and achieve my goals, especially because I’m typically a self-motivated person. I couldn’t understand how out of control I was and it felt like I had failed with my move to LA. I felt hopeless. 

I got back on my own two feet around Christmas and moved back to LA. I was still suffering from the symptoms and still am because Lyme disease is chronic, but I was so much better than before, no question. 

My insomnia has been bad since then but took a turn for the worse last May. It spiraled out of control. My nights became days and I was going so many days without even an hour of sleep. After my debut EP, it caused a delay in the next release of music but then some really beautiful pieces came out of that mess. 

I took a lot of medicine for sleep that they prescribed me. It made me feel so numb and not myself and evidently, the medicine didn’t even work the way it was supposed to. All of this created bad, irrational anxiety for me. I’ve been so afraid of my bed knowing I’m going to be tortured by not being able to sleep when I so desperately need the eight hours. 

I spend the days stressed about not having slept and what tonight has in store for me. But I’ve been trying to change my thoughts and feelings about it to have more of a healthy relationship with sleep and myself. It’s created anxiety due to the lack of control in situations like these. Every day, I learn more about myself and have more of an understanding so it makes my anxiety a little less overwhelming. 

Watch the video for “Pieces” by JUJ

Photos by Joel Bear

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