I can’t sleep.
Of course, whenever we say, “I didn’t sleep a wink last night,” it’s not really the entire truth. We sleep, here and there. But here and there isn’t enough. And didn’t I say in a post below that when a 51 year old woman doesn’t sleep, it shows? And when she doesn’t sleep enough for days and days, it really really shows? You should see me in the mornings—no, I take that back, you should not. The boy-short hair standing on end, the wild fatigued eyes, et cetera et cetera et cetera.
Last night I was filled with anxiety and that anxiety got on my last nerve. I fussed at myself, like this, “I simply can not BE-LIEVE you are anxious! This should be one of the best times of your life! Come on! You got what you wanted, right?”
But, the anxiety shimmered over me like some weirdling fog. That hovering mist of apprehension was so thick; my husband felt it when he walked into the bedroom. I lay on my back, legs stuck out straight, my arms folded over my stomach—hands clenched—my eyes open and staring into the dark. I radiated worry.
I had to take deep breaths. I had to remind myself of gratitude. For it’s hard to feel worried and anxious when you are listing the things that make you thankful. But anxiety is a stubborn ole mulish thing.
I know what my problem is. It’s the “I need to please everyone and I need to make sure I do this perfectly and I need to be the best and the most best and the bestest of the best and nothing else will do and I need to make sure I don’t stumble (even though that’s what people do, stumble sometimes) and I need not to mess this up and I need to be over HERE instead of over THERE because over THERE is just a bit better than over HERE even though HERE was perfectly fine a couple of days ago.”
No wonder the fog wets the room, hangs there. Heavy.
I toss and turn. I think of things I should be doing, could be doing, would be doing if I weren’t lying in bed.
When sleep came, I dreamt of giant dinosaurs and we had to run and hide from them in a big building. This is a recurring dream – it must be a childhood anxiety dream, for variations of it haunt me from time to time. Not so bad in the bigger scheme of nightmares I’ve had, for when I awake, I usually laugh at the B-movie-ness of those dinosaur/monster dreams; however, while having them they are quite “real” – the feeling of “I must get away from the monster! I must run in this building and the monster is right behind me and oh oh oh hurry hurry – the doorknob to the building is right there – will I reach it in time—oh oh, the monster is gaining….OH OH OH – I reach the door with my back tingling not knowing if the monster is about to tear into my flesh, throw open the door, run inside, and then I run run run up stairs or in an elevator, and hope the monster can’t get me. Pant Pant Pant Pant."
When a dream comes to fruition, it is the most glorious thing of all. But, if you are crazy insane as I am, then you begin to attach fears to the dream. You being to Worry. You begin to forget the excitement and start thinking about ways you could mess up the dream.
So, tonight, if this happens again, I will think of the gratitude part. However, I’m open to suggestions – ways I can stop the thoughts tumbling around in my head like some mad crazy out of control clothes dryer- a dryer that has suddenly come alive! It’s eaten my clothes and is tumbling them into a massed mess– and the dryer has teeth! And it’s going to tear up all the clothes- and me, too – oh oh oh! The dryer is coming for me! Oh! Help!