It’s 4:20 a.m. I’ve been up since 3:47 a.m.

Evidently the cold linoleum in the bathroom was enough to wake up my brain and now I can’t make it stop thinking about everything I was worried about yesterday – late DMV registration, getting a smog check, visiting family (will I survive), late school registration, what classes do I take, is this the program I really want, should I look for a more fulfilling job instead, do I want to live here or in Ohio, could I live in the same city as my family again, will I ever find love, what in the hell is Tom Cruise going to say to the French Finance Minister ……..

I hate it when I wake up in the middle of the night with a thousand thoughts on my mind. Each one of those thoughts is a finger poking at me keeping me awake, like my 6-year-old nephew who used to like sticking his finger up my nose at regular intervals while i was trying to sleep – it’s intrusive and very unpleasant.

The worst thing about this avalanche of heavy thoughts pounding my brain in the middle of the night is that I have few defenses and none of the usual distractions that hold back the cascade of emotions, anxiousness and restlessness. Why does everything seem worse at this time of day?

The real question is how do you make it stop? How can you turn your brain back off and lull yourself back to sleep? I tried all the usual things that make me drift off. I tried watching TV. I tried praying. Now I’m writing to try and think of something calm and pleasant that will induce a coma. I hear Phoebe from Friends telling me to go to my happy place, which in this instance would be SLEEPYVILLE. Dorothy is telling me to chant, “there’s nothing like sleep, there’s nothing like sleep.” UGH!!! Not working.

So frustrating. I want to be tired. I think I am tired. I feel tired. Conjugating the state of sleepiness doesn’t help either. But I can’t get there. Just like Sam in Sixteen Candles (1984) can’t get happy, I can’t get to sleep. I wish our brains had an off switch, I know some people act like they do, but a real one would be great for nights like this.

Instead I toss and turn. I think I’m hot, no I’m cold. I want the fan off, no I want it on. I like the humming noise it makes, it’s soothing. The light from my laptop screen is still blinding and I can’t fully open my eyes, instead I’m squinting at the screen as I sit crosslegged in my bed trying to regulate my body temperature. I wish my fan had a remote and where is my tv remote, so I can put the sleep timer on?

Oh eventually I’ll wear myself out, but just about then the alarm clock will go off and I will be forced to get up and start my day…. I wonder if Tom Cruise has these problems?? I’m off to read the Bible.

What do you do when you can’t sleep?


Anonymous said…
So what is it that is really bothering you? It sounds like all your worries/fears/anxieties have root in one major issue: turning 30. What is it about turning 30 that is causing you to freak out? Is it the fact that you haven’t accomplished all those things on your list? Or is it because you thought, and hoped, your life would be different than what it is now? Too many people have all these things and they are still not happy, they are continuously looking for what more they can have to fill the gap they feel. Just like you said in one of your other entries, life is not the journey, it is what we do along the way that make that journey worthwhile. What are you doing to make your journey worthwhile today?
5:37 PM
Marti said…
How insightful of you. My journey. I feel like I’m doing a lot of things that enhance my life. I have great friends, travel, take fun classes, try new things, etc. I think its more than just turning 30, although that is part of it. I want to find what fulfills me. I hate my job. I want something with purpose. But I don’t think that’s it in its entirety … just a pervading sense of restlessness thata characterizes my life. I crave routine and settledness but am in constant change in flux as I try and find someplace that fits.
5:56 PM
Anonymous said…
So what will settledness and routine do for you? Will they make your life better or launch you into wanting something different than what you want now?
8:36 PM
Marti said…
Hmmmm … Mr/Ms. Anonymous thank you for continuing to poke and make me think. Maybe I should pay you weekly for therapy 🙂 I suppose you’re right about not being satisfied if I get routine and settled, cause then I’d be bored. But then what am I searching for? What’s the missing link? My brain says sense of self. But that’s too clinical. What am I not seeing. What do I really need?
9:18 PM

Posted on August 31, 2004, in Psychobabbling and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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