A family's story


I’ll cop to having some anxiety. My boys come by their anxious streaks honestly. My anxiety manifests itself with a “nervous stomach” and with insomnia. Yeah, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree there. I remember being about Jake’s age, and fretting away in my bed at 2:00 in the morning because I hadn’t passed along a chain letter that a friend had sent to me. I was going to be cursed with SEVEN years of bad luck. Oh the horror!!! I went so far as to wake up my mom and express my concerns. She kind of mumbled something about it being gibberish…or maybe she was speaking gibberish…and was told to go back to sleep.

One of my college roommates would tease me because I didn’t pull any all-nighters. Well, I never pulled an all-nighter where I was studying. I did lie (lay?) awake several nights at a time freaking out about passages that I hadn’t read, or a volunteer opportunity for my sorority that I hadn’t taken advantage of, or not “applying” to a mass interview from a visiting company. I may have also spent more than  my fair share of evenings contemplating what exactly that cute guy meant when he said “catch ya later” or wondering if I’d look good in a “Rachel” haircut. (FYI, no, no I didn’t.)

My relationship with insomnia has been long term. It is always intermittent, but when we’re hanging out, ugh, we are in it to win it. It flares when I have a lot going on in my life…and subsides when things are fairly routine and don’t require too much extra from my typical day.

For the past three nights I have struggled to sleep. I wake up between two and three a.m. I toss and turn. I flip my feet from under the blankets. I peel off my socks. I rub Hubz’s back (he insists it is the panacea for insomnia…but I beg to differ). My mind flits from thing to thing. I tend to perseverate. I get wrapped up in minute details…and focus on things that are better left until  morning.

The past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Since the end of September, I have had to prepare for two IEP meetings, the commencement of Red Ribbon Week (I’m a co-chair of the committee), Jake’s birthday party, and my religious education class. I also volunteered to order pins for our 3rd graders’ Veterans’ Breakfast, and will help run the craft-a-palooza with the students to make said pins. I’m a co-head room parent, so I am working on Halloween parties, too. I’m waiting for emails, writing letters, coordinating postings on our school’s website, sending emails to parents, asking for donations, asking for accommodations and qualifications and changes to IEP goals, and so much more. I *may* have bitten off slightly more than I feel like I can chew at this point. (Wow…I am full of idoms today…have to use them here..at home they’d be met with blank stares or “what?!”.)

This morning while Cole was at preschool, I took out an old fashioned notepad and paper. I made a list. I started crossing things off of my list. Already, I feel so much more calm and relaxed. I can do this. I will get through October. Seeing that list and what I have done, and what needs to be done helps me tremendously. I feel like I have a little more control. A little more composure. I feel like my heart rate went down, and my blood pressure, too. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I bid insomnia adieu tonight and get a decent amount of sleep.





Comments on: "Insomnia" (4)

  1. So glad to hear you’ve done a list that helped you see what you need to do and have done! You are a busy lady! I get the insomnia too. Usually, after a weekend when I sleep in late and get up late and then have to conform back to getting up at 4:45 on Monday. I will wake up at 2 and 3 and toss til 4 and finally get up (sigh). My anxiety only has to do with a fear that I will fail to wake in time and miss everything!

    Hope you get plenty of sleep tonight! (I’ve been tempted to get into Toots’ melatonin but that might prevent me from waking too! 😉 )

    • I slept…the melatonin was tempting for me, as well, but I decided against it. My lists helped me calm down tremendously. 🙂

  2. Wait, you make to-do lists that include things you’ve already completed just to feel better about everything you still need to do? I thought I was the only one. Hang in there and don’t be afraid to say “no” once in a while.

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