The Recovering Farmer

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Those Sleepless Nights

I have alluded to the fact that my anxiety levels have been somewhat over the top in the last number of weeks. At the same time I have also suggested reasons for that. The good news is that things are improving. In the last few nights I have been able to sleep better. What has changed? A less hectic life perhaps. Then again when that happens I get stressed out because I am not busy enough. Can’t seem to win in this game called life.

Let me tell you a story. For a number of weeks I have been awake for two hours a night. Happens after I have slept well for approximately four hours, give or take five minutes. Honestly. When my eyes open, and quite frankly they don’t just open they pop open, I can tell what time it is because that is the usual pattern. As a matter of fact, when I go to sleep I know exactly what time I will awake and I know exactly how long I will be awake. Weird situation, to say the least.

Last week, as I was reaching the end of my two hour lying awake worrying about life, I heard a phone ring. Really. It took me awhile to establish whether that actually had happened. Then I heard it again. At least I thought I did. Because I was awake I thought I would go check. My wife must have been monitoring the situation because as I got up she asked me where I was going. That came as a surprise because I could have sworn she was snoring. I told her I had heard the phone ring and exited quickly before she could question my sanity. Notice how I made that decision without realizing that at some point I would be going back to bed and knowing that I would have to answer for what I had just said?

I did get a phone call at 2:18 that morning. I did have a voice mail. I listened and realized the caller was not in jeopardy. He was awake, just like me. I took some comfort in that. Not sure why. However I realized, again, that there are others that experience the same type of issues that I do. That gave me a sense of comfort. I was not alone.

What is it that makes us feel better when we hear of others that are facing challenges? I certainly do not wish sleepless nights on anyone. They really are no fun. Perhaps it is that when anxiety, worries, dare I say melancholy, hits us we feel we are alone. We lose the ability to see, to recognize, and to understand that our problems are no more or no less than what many others are experiencing. We feel lost in the quagmire of shame, self-pity, anger, resentment, or, perhaps, self-righteous indignation that can hit us at any time, day or night.

I did not respond to the voice mail that night. After all it was time for me to get my beauty sleep. I know, that ship has sailed. When I did crawl back into bed that night my wife asked whether there had actually been a phone call or whether the ringing was in my head. Notice how she is right on side with my issues? She had not heard the ringing telephone. However, it was there, I heard it, and I felt a level of comfort knowing someone else was passing the time. Hoping for a better tomorrow.

That is what we do. We hope for a better tomorrow. And sometimes tomorrow is better. Other times not so much. In the meantime know you are not alone. There are countless others that are looking for answers. Looking for that restful sleep. But also realize and understand that there is hope. Work at it. Don’t give up. And by the way, I did return the phone call. Just not that night. Make it a good one.

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