Monday, April 17, 2006

Night Terrors

What is it about the middle of the night that makes everything you think and feel more intense? Writing this entry is the last thing I do now before getting ready for bed. And I hope with every exhausted cell in my body that tonight--for the first night in four--I do not wake at three, four or five a.m. victim of an attack of anxiety, remorse, guilt or depression.

When I wake in the night, whatever I think of is so much more intense than it is in the daylight. It seems that anything I fear is bound to come true. And I tell myself that it really isn't so--I am overreacting. I rationalize. I focus on releasing my muscles one at a time. I breathe. I think Happy Thoughts. I try so hard to relax... and I can't let go of whatever woke me.

I wake, more often than not, heart pounding. And lately I immediately panic because I am awake at the dreaded hour and I fulfill my own prophecy that I will not get back to sleep before the birds begin their sleepy song and light tinges the sky around six-something a.m.

Last night I lay and listened to Dave breathing and to his little night rustlings for over an hour. I felt so alone and disconnected. I fretted about everything, and cried about not getting Splinter to the vet in time. Finally I slid over across the great expanse which is our kingsize bed, I put my arm across Dave's chest and my nose against his shoulder. And I felt everything let go. I eased back to sleep. Maybe if I can hold tight to how I felt right then, I can keep whatever might come to hound me tonight at bay, and I won't wake till it's time to get up and get the Sprout to school.

3 comments:

Bill Paley said...

It's a silly suggestion, I know, but tonight, slide over close to him in the first place and let his presence calm you instead of waiting that hour...

Brenda Griffith said...

It worked, it worked! Though I think I just passed them to him as he ended up having a terrible sleep and was up all night.

Bill Paley said...

That's the way women have been dealing with such things throughout history. Let him sleep late on Saturday, then, and catch a nap on Sunday afternoon...

(-;