The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald clearly knew a thing or two about insomnia. And infidelity, in a clear case of life imitating art. Or vice versa. Those of us dealing with betrayal know the endless agony of a restless night. I would start feeling anxious about sleep hours before I actually went to bed. I would issue a silent prayer to the Gods of Betrayed Wives to please, please let me fall asleep and stay that way. Inevitably, I would wake around 3:30 a.m. with a sudden, wide-eyed dread. And I would stay that way. My mind, to paraphrase my favorite author Anne Lamott, is like a bad neighborhood. You don't want to go there when it's dark. And – ohhhhh – was it dark. It would whisper awful things to me. About how hideous I was. How unlovable. Words it wouldn't have the nerve to say in the light of day. But night unleashes the dark dogs. I was making a strong effort to steer clear of alcohol, barely trusting myself sober to stay on this side of the law and certainly not willing to tempt fate by climbing into a bottle of merlot. So that sleep-incducing option was out. I tried various teas. But my particular insomnia needed the big guns. I leaned temporarily on a doctor-prescribed sleep aid, Gravol and finally settled on melatonin, a hormone that a flight-attendant friend of mine relies on to adjust her body clock during long-haul flights. Wonder of wonders, it worked. It took a week or so for my body to adjust. And the cynic in me wonders if perhaps it was a psychosomatic response to the ritual of taking the capsule... Whatever the reason, it worked. Not perfectly. But I perfectly recall actually falling asleep and waking up with enough energy to get myself to noon, if not to dinner time, without falling apart. If sleeplessness if one of your betrayal-related souvenirs, what have you tried? What worked? Didn't work?