My eyes did not want to be open. But my brain would not. stop. spinning.
Got back in bed…
Now it’s creeping on toward 5am. I should be asleep. But I’m not. Can’t sleep. Can’t sleep. Can’t sleep. So tired.
I had a bad dream. The details aren’t important. Well… they are important… as they reveal the deep-seated inadequacy I just can’t shake. But you don’t need the details right now.
I’m so tired. Can’t sleep…
There’s some kind of pollen in the air. Stuffing my nose, so I feel like I’m not getting quite enough air. Swelling my eyes and making them water a bit, so I feel like I’ve been on a crying jag. My weepy eyes even feel like I am crying. Feeling the evidence of sadness on my face, I feel sad. Sadder. Part of me wants to cry for real. But I’m too tired.
So, yes, I woke from a bad dream. And I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I picked up my phone. I know, I know; no electronics in bed!
I read an article someone suggested to me. Someone who doesn’t know me. Someone who obviously knows how to drive traffic to her site better than I. I won’t be thanking her.
If I didn’t feel inadequate enough already.
How easily shame finds us in the wee hours we can’t sleep…
The article was
about written by a woman who suffers from horrible depression and anxiety, “the evil twins birthed by PTSD” as she calls them. I appreciate her sharing the horrors she went through as a child and a teen. I appreciate her being vulnerable in her trauma. I really do. And I should thank her for that.
But I felt condemned.
The refrain: I am mentally ill but it’s not my fault.
That is such a powerful, good truth for her to hold onto. Nothing she was put through was her fault. Her mental illness left in the wake of abuse is not her fault.
But what about me?
Reading this post made me think about how little I’ve suffered.
So what’s my excuse?
Why am I so broken? Why do I get lost in the darkness, panic over nothing, get overwhelmed at just the thought of going to the grocery store alone, feel like I’m doing something wrong if I go out in public by myself…
It seems my darkness is all out of proportion to what I’ve been through.
I don’t deserve my despair. Not in the I’m-a-good-person-why-do-I-deserve-this? sense, but in the where-do-you-get-off-being-such-a-mess-when-you-don’t-know-real-suffering?!? sense. I haven’t been hit hard enough to be shattered the way I am, doubting I’ll ever have all the shards back in place.
I’m tired. Can’t sleep.
So here I sit. In the glow of my laptop.
Dawn is creeping in. Birds were singing morning songs, but they’ve moved somewhere I can’t hear them. Maybe to the other side of the house where the bird feeders are.
My alarm will go off at 6:30.
I want to go back to sleep.
I’m so tired.
I’m so far behind. There is no area of my life in which I am caught up. And I need some sleep. Because lack of sleep makes the fuzzy-brainedness worse. And it’s so much harder to function because I forget so many things. It’s almost impossible to keep everything straight. If I don’t look at my calendar repeatedly throughout the day, I forget to go places. I’ll have multiple things going at once. Because I get distracted and forget I’m in the middle of something and start something else…
My eyes are drooping. Writing can do that to me. Sometimes the images that dance are inviting…
God is God, even when I can’t sleep
I’d like to say that I’m one of those people who, when awakened in the middle of the night and unable to quickly go back to sleep, uses the time for prayer and has awesome sessions of intercession and alone time with God.
But I’m obviously not.
When I can’t sleep, it’s usually because I can’t stop thinking.
It’s not that I don’t try to pray… I’m just too easily distracted by all the noise in my head.
My lack of success is no reason to quit trying.
Sometimes I read the Bible, and now that I have the free Kindle app for Android, I can read on my phone… which kind of goes against my no-electronics in bed advice – the trick is to not do anything but read, turn the display as dim as possible before I go to sleep (just in case), and set the book page setting to black. I just started Sheila Walsh’s The Longing in Me: How Everything You Crave Leads to the Heart of God. So far, so good. I’ll be reviewing it soon. I’m once again a BookLook Blogger.
How about you?
What do you do when you wake when you should be asleep and can’t get back to sleep?
Do you seek distraction when your brain spin, spin, spins?
Are you one of those people who can naturally connect with God in the night? Have you learned the habit? Or, like me, are you someone who would like to learn to let go and make the habit?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
It really is a great post…
The post I read really is a great post. Here’s a link: I’m Mentally Ill, but It’s Not My Fault. And I do thank Tammy Perlmutter. That’s a post that took a whole lot of courage. Check out the rest of the blog: The Mudroom.
9/20/16 update: I recently read Gillian Marchenko’s Still Life. It captures so well what it’s like in a depressed mind, the reality that is difficult to articulate. I recommend it to any reader of Fruit of Brokenness, to anyone who struggles with depression and seeks hope, to anyone who wants to understand where a loved one disappears during the bad times. Gillian didn’t suffer any major traumas in her growing-up years, yet suffers from major depressive disorder and dysthymia. You don’t have to wait for my review… Check it out now!