Insomnia and Projection

Throughout my life, I've suffered from various forms of insomnia. When I was young, I had nightmares of witches flying through my bedroom window. More recently, my dreams tend to focus on alien invasions and zombie-mashing. I've always felt like sleeping was a massive waste of time. There's so much to do! Sure, when I'm depressed, I can sleep all day. But when I hit my manic phases, I can't sleep a wink. It's just go-go-go.

My father used to help me with peaceful visualizations. I would play along and pretend to fall asleep, because I knew how hard he was trying. Sometimes I'd actually trick myself into slumber. But most of the time I'd just lie there and picture cozy trees on a hill.

A few years ago, I found a magic sleeping tonic: The Golden Girls. Yes, I own all seven seasons. Technically, my girlfriend owns them, since I got them for her as a Christmas gift. But if we broke up, I'd have to buy my own set. Put them on and I drift right off. I can't sleep without my Golden Girls.

Last night as I went to bed, I had Frasier on instead. Of course, this prevented me from becoming unconscious. But along with a recent forum post I read, this show about shrinks reminded me of a very common poker error: projection.

Projection is a term for perceiving your own thoughts and feelings in another person, instead of recognizing their true home: you. In poker, a sort of projection can be a useful way to read hands. If your opponent plays like you, simply put yourself in their shoes, and you'll know how they'll play different hands. But not all opponents play like you. And when your opponent's style and thought process differs from yours, projection is a dangerous thing. You need to think how your opponent is likely to play their hand, not how you would play it. In fact, you're never going to make any money off of someone who plays all of their hands exactly the way you would.

I'm not too worried about projection myself, as I tend to assume that most people don't think quite the way I do. I am worried about insomnia, though. In fact, I'm going back to my Golden Girls tonight to see if I can catch some shut-eye.

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