Thursday, May 21, 2009

cunning id

Before I start this, I feel I should explain that I'm not crazy. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the post, I know, but I've read more of the DSM-IV-TR than most people, and I don't think I meet any of the diagnostic criteria for bonkers*. Under normal circumstances, even in situations of stress or mental anguish, there is only one consciousness in my head, and I have complete sovereignty over the lands of me.There is one particular situation, however, in which I seem to become less of a person and more of a one-man argument.

I don't sleep a whole lot, which means that waking up is often a difficult and confusing process for me. In the seconds that pass between the alarm going off and the sane part of my brain gaining full control, there is a brief period of conflict between the me that usually just wants sleep, food, and woman (I will resist the urge to give my subconscious a name, because that's a step too far into crazyland) and the me that knows I have to get up and go to work. During this time dream-logic still applies** and sleep-food-woman me will use the best arguments dream logic posesses to get me to switch off my alarm and sleep until noon.

Sometimes these are sucessful, sometimes they fail, and every now and then they're just too weird to do either properly. A good example of the latter is the occasion when -- after staying up all night writing an essay --I woke up convinced that in order to switch off my alarm I had to delete my Mum's phone number from my mobile.

These events used to be rare, but my new phone (which I use as an alarm clock) is unpleasantly loud, which seems to make my subconscious especially resentful. There are two buttons on the phone which control the alarm -- one puts it on snooze, the other disables it. I was late to work last week because some part of my brain managed to convince me that the button marked "Stop" actually meant "stop being so damn loud." This morning it went a step further. I thought that it was making me answer quiz questions before it would go back into snooze mode (which isn't a bad idea for an alarm clock). I nearly tricked myself into switching it off twice when trying to think of the answer to the question I was dreaming (hallucinating?) I could see on the screen.

I probably need to get some more sleep, that, or get a more inscrutable alarm clock.


*That particular term isn't in the DSM, but it should be.
**You know, like when Morgan Freeman offers you a lift in his helicopter, whilst somehow being your cat at the same time.