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November 5, 2011

On the Go: Sleep, where have you gone?

Daily Star

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Dear Sleep,

What happened to you? I guess I should rephrase that. I don't want to blame you for all of this. I definitely have my fair share in the blame here.

So, then, what happened to us? We used to be so good together. I mean, I've known you literally since birth. Sure, when we first met, in our infantile relationship, I barely knew you. It was a miracle for everyone else around if you and I were together for any longer than an hour at a time. Our schedules never matched up, so I had to make time to see you during naptime at school or after "Arthur" was on.

But as our relationship progressed, we began to settle into a more relaxed and comfortable routine. I got to see you on a more regular basis, and that was awesome. I relied on you to get me through my tough elementary school day, and you rarely let me down. I don't think I ever went 12 hours without seeing you. Does that constitute us being "inseparable?" I don't think that's taking it too far. People knew if I hadn't had enough of you.

"Watch out, we've got a cranky Adrian on our hands. Somebody needs more sleep …"

People would rarely say that to me though, because at the time, our relationship was pretty blissful.

Sometimes, though, Sleep, I wonder if that was just our "honeymoon stage," because not long after that was when our troubles began.

If I'm to look at this objectively and fairly, I will admit that this next part is essentially my fault. But what was I supposed to do? My mom had just started allowing me to have sleepovers with my friends! Somehow in my childhood mind, you become less and less important and playing with American Girl Dolls with my best friend until the wee hours of the morning took your place. It's not that I didn't value you or what we had, it's just that I started to value other things too.

And I guess that's where some of the fundamental problems of our relationship began. I hate myself for saying this to you, Sleep, but as I got older, I started to realize that you took up a lot of time I could have been spending doing other things.

So we started seeing each other less and less. However, I always want to be honest with you, so I can't say that I regret this break we took in our relationship.

It was definitely good to get some space, and I'll never regret the fun, late nights teenage-me had without you. I was never afraid to lose you completely, because I felt as though no matter what, you'd always be there waiting for me when I got back from a long night.

Was I wrong about this, Sleep? I don't want to admit to myself that I could have been. I guess I assumed you were a constant force in my life, and I'd just be able to summon you at will whenever I started to get tired.

How stupid is that? Looking back at the early days of our relationship, it saddens me to think of how much I used you.

And now look at us. Two months into college and our relationship is in almost complete disrepair.

I see you less than I ever have, and I'm lucky if I get three or four hours in over the course of a 24-hour period.

Now I see why they say you shouldn't try to continue a relationship through college. I'm too stressed to see you, but not seeing you stresses me out even more!

I guess I'll just come out and say it _ I miss you, Sleep! And I know you miss me, too! I can tell by the way I struggle to stay awake during class as you pull me back from the brink of awareness and into a sleepy classroom-coma. This letter has opened my eyes, even as they are fighting to stay open to finish typing. We need to fix our relationship, Sleep, I can't continue on without you!

See you in my dreams,


Adrian Adamo, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, will be a freshman at Emerson College in Boston, Mass. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at