When I was in early high school, I once had a song stuck in my head for about 3 weeks straight. It was Rancid’s “Ruby SoHo” and what added insult to injury is that I didn’t even like the song in the first place.
Eventually, either after heavy drug use OR listening to it on repeat (flooding, anyone?), it got out, and I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t involuntarily shudder when I typed it. My aversion is that strong.
I’m relatively new to the world of insomnia, and if you’d told me three years ago (when I was “studying” to get my Master’s degree in sleep. Shit, I know my stronger points.) that I would ever struggle with it, I would have promptly laughed at you. And then laid down for a nap.
Some people use movies or drinking for escapeism. I used sleep. Having a bad day? Take a nap. Stressed about something? Study the back of my eyelids until I felt better.
And it worked better than any drug or hilarious romantic comedy starring some wacky British man ever did.
When I was diagnosed (and subsequently treated) for my hypothyroidism, I lost this ability to sleep well or nap at all, and I am telling you that I miss it terribly.
One hideously annoying side effect of this insomnia is that when I trundle off to bed each night, the moment my head makes contact with the pillow, it’s like some annoying song floodgate is opened, and the chorus’s from each and every commercial jingle floods my brain.
Just fucking try to sleep while your mind loops “Free Credit Report DOT Com!” over and over ad infinitium, ad nauseum. It succeeds in making me want to stick sharp pointy objects into my ear drums in hopes that it might hit the part of the brain responsible for annoyingly repetitious songs and/or phrases and kill it permanently off (who needs to remember every irritating commercials jingle, besides ad agencies? No one. It serves no purpose), but sleep, oh glorious sleep eludes me.
Eventually I do fall asleep and my internal loop of songs is silenced until Alex (or my bladder) rouses me, and I’ll get through part of my nocturnal rituals, start patting myself on the back for successfully getting that song out of my head, and just as I’m being all self-congratulatory, “Do-do-do-do, Do a Dollop Of Daisy” starts ringing through my head. And I begin contemplating lobotomies.
Oddly enough, when I wake up in the morning, yet another song is going through my head, but typically not a commercial jingle. It’s usually a fraction of some song that I do actually like and listen to, but it’s only a small snippet of this song. Like a phrase or two.
Were I about 10 or 12 years younger, I would attribute this particular part of the song to something infinitely more deep and meaningful than it warranted, and assume that this was some sort of message (ah, teenage melodramatic magical thinking), and subsequently analyze and overanalyze the hell out of it.
Blissfully, though, I am now older and have learned that sometimes a phrase stuck in your head is nothing more than that, and that it’s unimportant to attach meaning where there likely is none.
But it doesn’t answer the question of why, why now, while I am the most sleep deprived and addled I have ever been, why do these songs keep getting stuck in my head so annoyingly?
And what the hell can I do about it?