The Nighttime Log of an Anxious Mind
Take the white oval pill conveniently placed in my bed table drawer. I’ve been doing this for months. There’s no way I can forget this.
I have to double check if I took that pill. Count the pills in the package. There were 10 yesterday, it should be nine today.
Get my favorite book. I prepare my brain to have the well-deserved rest I’ve been dreaming about all day.
I am now ready to sleep. Didn’t have a good sleep yesterday. I better sleep early today. I lay on my side, hug a pillow and close my eyes.
As soon as I start to contemplate the thought of sleeping and resting, a few thoughts begin to emerge in the darkness of my room.
“Not again. Not today. I am tired. I want to sleep. I need to sleep,” I say to myself. “I have to wake up early tomorrow. Please, sleep”
Thoughts are passing, racing through my brain. Each thought starts in a simple and innocent way, “My birthday is coming.” It always ends in the most heart-wrenching manner. “I am alone.” My mind starts to grab the littlest details in my life and turns them into the biggest devastation.
As time passes, I begin to do all the breathing practices I have read and watched videos about. 1, 2, 3 — inhale. 1, 2, 3 — exhale.
“Talk to God” comes from within. And I start to pray. But I must give thanks first, because, how ungrateful would I be to God if I just start by making my requests?
“It’s midnight already. Sleep. I need to wake up early”
The silence and calm of midnight contrast with the loudness of my thoughts. There is no escaping them, no distraction to forget them with. I am left alone in the immense noise of what could go wrong.
The thoughts are now obsessive, one thing leads to another. They all have a thing in common, they end in overwhelming scenarios. “I am so alone. I got no one,” it always ends up there.
I am now obsessing about that comment my friend said yesterday. “She must dislike me.” Now that I’m thinking about friends, I remember, “My birthday is coming soon.” Time to start obsessing about the place where I will have dinner with my friends to celebrate. “Should be a place with good food, but at a low price. I want all my friends to enjoy the meal. Must have a great vibe. One of my friends doesn’t eat seafood, sushi place is not a possibility. It should have a cool spot to take pictures. Must be close to everyone’s homes. What if somebody doesn’t like it? Everyone should have a great time. But what if they don’t?”
My brain is running at such a high speed, without sign of slowing down, that tears begin to fall. It has been unleashed. Anxiety is here and it has come to stay.
In the darkness of night, I try to reach out to a friend. But, the voice in my brain reminds me I’ve got no one to text. I immediately remember that last time I texted one of my friends at night, he shrugged it off. “Nobody cares. Why should them?” Still, I start to type.
“You are a burden to everyone around you. Your friends must be overwhelmed by you. Stop giving them so much trouble,” I hear. Decide not to text anyone. Delete the message. Nobody wants to be burdened by that.
As of right now, the thought of the sun rising is the only thing that gives me hope. “Can this torment end by now?” I say to myself. “You will do terrible at your job. You have way too many tasks. You will fail,” my mind answers.
I am tired to the point of being done. I check the clock, not with the hope of calculating the time I could sleep, but because I want this torture to end. “Can the sun rise already?”
“Two more hours and I’ll be free.” The thought of being at work, busy and distracted, comforts me.
“You will suck at work. And remember the mistake from last week? You will probably get fired.”
I get up, and move on to the day. Hope that today will be different.
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Thinkstock photo via MatiasEnElMundo