Sleepless in North Carolina


It’s another sleepless night.  What exactly is keeping me awake:

* rehashing every conversation I had today

* thinking about all the things I did today

* regretting all the things I did not do today

* going over in my head all my past failures

* start worrying about how many hours are left until I have to wake up; assuming, that is, I ever fall asleep

* wondering if I should have a snack

It’s no wonder I cannot sleep.  My brain will not shut off.  If, by some miracle, I am able to shut one part of my brain down, something else pops into another section and it starts all over again.  Why do I do this to myself?

I could ponder that question but it would only leave me unable to sleep.  Maybe one night in five do I find enough peace to actually sleep most of the night.  All the other nights I wrestle with problems, have conversations that will never occur and generally beat myself up for everything I have ever done and said or didn’t do or say.  Basically it seems like a no-win situation.

As I sit here with only lights from my mini Christmas tree (it is one of the few things I kept from my old life) and the light from my iPad, I feel content in some strange way.  The absolute quiet is really peaceful except for the faint ticking of a distant clock.  The world is quiet for a while.  I should be making better use of this time instead of making myself feel bad I should be doing something positive like writing, reading or praying.

I think subconsciously I get some strange pleasure out of making myself feel bad.  The healthier I get, the more sleepless nights I have.  As if my mind is saying, sure things are better in here but I still control it and I can make you sad at a moments notice.  It’s like some sick obsession that stems from my uneasiness with feeling too good.  In the back of my mind I feel if I am too happy something bad is going to happen.  This leads me to have low expectations of life.  Don’t expect much, never be disappointed.  

Now I realize that is plain stupid thinking.  I wonder how much joy I have missed just because I was afraid of it.  So things go well and I have to sabatoge myself.  That has to end. I can never feel better if I continue this line of thinking.  If I raise my expectations, does that mean I will never be disappointed?  Heck no.  Disappointments are going to happen, that is the human condition.  But for the times when there is nothing particular to be disappointed about, there will be joy.  Joy that I was afraid of before but now I embrace for the lovely moment it is.  

I’m going to start to stop that disruptive behavior and concentrate on seeking the joy.  If I quit criticizing myself all the time, then maybe I will have peace enough to sleep or, at least, be positively productive.   I’m going to try this new theory right now.  Either I fall asleep or use the time in better ways.  I have beat myself up enough, I have worried obsessively about things that have never happened and I played out more than enough conversations I will never have.  It’s time to put on my big girl panties and take charge of my thoughts instead of vice versa. I’m going to sleep now, I hope.  

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