the last two nights I’ve had trouble sleeping. and it’s not just rolling around in the middle of the night, restless. it’s laying awake in bed for hours at a time, frustrated with my mind’s inability to just chill.
I get angry and desperate. I end up in furious tears because nothing helps and I feel so guilty keeping my husband awake or waking him up because of my anxiety.
last night was the worst it’s been in a while.
I have been taking melatonin every night for years trying to avoid this, but these nights still come. In the morning, if I don’t ever really get to sleep, I don’t remember what it’s like to fall asleep peacefully. I fear I never will again. (even typing that makes me feel like a drama queen)
I ask shameful questions in the dead of night – why me? why isn’t God helping me now? where is He?
Nick said something to me that I know is right, but was difficult to swallow “this is your sign that you push yourself too hard. you don’t take enough breaks, you spend way too much time looking at a screen. and I try to tell you that, but you’re too stubborn and now here you are.”
He said, “maybe you’re not supposed to go to sleep yet. maybe you should get up and watch tv or read or something and then you’ll fall asleep.”
How logical that sounds now that I’m not in the throes of anxiety. Duh. That’s exactly what I need to do – calm myself down in a different environment because all this bed is doing is causing an elevated heart rate and a racing mind. In the moment, I didn’t want to move. I wanted to just go to sleep so my headache would go away and the worries of the world would fade with it.
All the while I was awake listening to my heart race, I was thinking about a woman whose story I saw on Instagram earlier in the day. She was in a car accident, broke multiple bones including her spine and was bed ridden for years due to chronic pain. She is now one of the most positive people I’ve ever seen. It looks fake, because it’s so unbelievable to me that a person could be so positive after dealing with something like that. It’s incredible and beautiful, yes, but it also made me feel like shit for being so hysterical about what’s basically just insomnia – a thing I know a lot of people deal with daily. I don’t even deal with it that often, and yet when I do, it wrecks me.
what does that say about me?
To me, it says that I let the insomnia and anxiety tear me down. I am stubborn, yes, but instead of being stubborn against what is trying to rip me apart, I’m stubborn against the one who wants to help and against doing the things that could mitigate the issue. Almost like I believe I deserve the struggle. Like I’ve brought it on myself and I must take my punishment because it is deserved.
This must be why God pushed me to write this morning. So I could come to that awareness. I believe I deserve this pain. Have I always thought that? Maybe. Maybe I’ve always believed I’ve done something to earn my trials and I must grit my teeth and suffer through them, because I do not deserve relief.
Do others feel this? What would I say to them if they admitted this to me?
Of course you don’t deserve to feel like shit and not be able to sleep. God LOVES you, He doesn’t want to see you in pain. He’s not punishing you for something you’ve done. That’s not how He operates – that’s not His character. Satan wants you to believe it’s God doing this to you, that what you think is the truth about Him is actually a lie. But it isn’t. Satan is the liar. He is the one at work here. He’s the one saying “despite your cries, your God is not coming to help you. you are alone. as you’ve always been, so you remain.”
In my darkest times in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep – this is what I’m told. That I deserve this and I must deal with it alone.
Satan is sneaky. He’s my Enemy and he will do anything to destroy me and my relationship with God. I didn’t even REALIZE it last night – but I was believing him.
Here is the truth:
- I am not alone
- God is not punishing me because of how hard I push myself to work by giving me awful headaches and insomnia. He wants me to stop doing that to myself and do things I like to do every day, so He’s allowing this in order for me to learn. Out of love.
- He was with me all night last night, just as He is with me always
- He used Nick to tell me the truth – to yell it at me because I’m stubborn and I do not listen
- I must consider these moments battles to fight. No matter how badly I want to stay in bed and believe the worst, I am stronger than that. I must choose to fight.
If you are fighting something – whether it be insomnia, anxiety, depression, illness, chronic pain – you are not alone.