It’s 3am, like most nights.. I’m awake.
Either i’ve not actually dropped to sleep yet or i’ve woke up in blind panic, heart racing, uneasy feeling that we’re not safe that in some night terror fuelled sequence that seemed so damn realistic I’m in flight mode. My body urges me physically that I’m not okay, we’re in imminent danger whilst my mind attempts ferociously to follow suit. My body tense, thoughts frantic, heart pounding, drowsy half asleep, intense trepidation I think – did I imagine those noises or were they real? Were those dark shadows standing next to me real? Those swarms of spiders crawling on my ceiling in their thousands dropping down in the millisecond before I wake? Were the chattering voices I heard, in my house? Are we under attack? The compulsion to check every door, window and peer outside to clarify it either is or isn’t happening the hyper vigilance is overwhelming.
I often feel like I’m in two minds, literally. It’s the easiest way I can explain it to others who ask, with the anxiety of being judged and them thinking I’m insane – I downplay it.
One side of my mind has these paralysing thoughts of death, sees flashbacks of numerous content primarily near fatal encounters like my birth and hears bumps in the night – cliche I know – but this part of my mind is stuck on high alert and fights with my second side persistently, it has control over my body when I’m asleep because my other side isn’t awake to counter act, calm and be somewhat rational to these behaviours. I call them/myself stupid, I say they’re not real – when I’m awake. I can’t calm them or ignore them I just fill my day with non stop 150% keep going attitude because once I do stop even for a minute in sheer exhaustion they come rushing back like a tsunami.
I feel like my mind has put itself into a defence mode, it pushes me to the limits of exhaustion, my eyes tearing from the tiredness, willing myself to JUST SLEEP, please! All the while my mind thinks nope no sleep, avoid – if you sleep you’re more vulnerable than you already feel now. Even when I fall asleep, what feels an age in a night terror is only 20-30 minutes later like clockwork I’m up straight back to the first paragraph of this post – like a vicious cycle of never ending fear.
I’ve tried to force myself to sleep at a normal time, it didn’t work. I’ve tried sleep remedy after aromatherapy balms, oils and everything in between. I’ve tried to let my mind win thinking surely after a week or so i’d be running on mental ‘empty’ and it will let me have at least one or two nights in a row where this doesn’t happen.
It’s 3am and like most nights, I’m awake.