Last night I went to bed at around midnight and woke up at around 1:30 only to spend the next hour and a half trying to get back to sleep all the while tormented by a strange phenomenon that I have experienced, to my memory, only once before. I woke up with some kind of illogical problem, if you like, that is, a logic problem or puzzle perverted by the unconscious mind, as in dreams, into something that was not actually a problem to be solved, being entirely nonsensical. But my mind would not give it up. I was thinking of two slice-of-a-pie shapes, one labelled with a zero and the other with a one, and I was trying to fit one inside the other, and there was some problem with this because in the shape these slices were taken from (not a circle), the two pieces weren’t adjacent. I think that there was another ‘problem’ enmeshed with this too that came up later, replacing this first one.

For the next hour, then, I found myself feeling completely awake but still somehow in the grip of my sleeping mind, for every few seconds the problem would resurface and my mind would try to grapple with it: I could feel each wave coming with a kind of mental nausea, in the sense that on the approach I was filled with dread for what was coming, but as with actual nausea, it was gone as soon as it came.

I got up and went to the toilet and as I sat there and struggled with these thoughts, I found myself gripping my hair, and rubbing my leg furiously, and it just occurred to me how much this would have looked like[1] the popular portrayals of the mentally ill in films and on TV. Hence, a taste of disability. Anyone reading know anything about this?

The thoughts died away but it still took me a very long time to get to sleep; this is very unusual for me.

[1] Not ‘must have looked like’ due to my fondness for Bishop Berkeley…