Three Things That Wake Me Up In The Middle Of The Night

It’s been several months since I’ve experienced more than one night of insomnia. I had settled into a good pattern of waking between 5 and 5:30 a.m. and going to bed at a reasonable hour typically no later than 11 p.m. However, I am on night 8 of not being able to sleep through the night. I fall asleep just fine. In fact because I am sleep deprived I have a hard time just making it to my bed before falling asleep. But once again, for whatever reason my eyes pop open at 2:30 a.m. and the see sawing begins in my head.

My initial response, is “please, please, please let me fall back to sleep.” I then hear myself mentally trying to talk myself down with phrases like ” don’t get worked up, don’t start thinking, whatever it is that woke you up can wait.” I then move to debating whether to get up and get a glass of milk or make myself a cup of tea but then that could wake the dog and then I really will be up. I lie in bed staring at the ceiling resolving to just write down all the thoughts racing through my head so I can have peace to go to sleep. In the darkness trying to wade through the stacks of books, glasses of water, notebooks on my bedside table I can’t find a single writing utensil without turning on a light that would possibly wake my husband. I can’t find my phone to use as flashlight or to just record my thoughts in my phone and by this time I’ve convinced my body that it is time to get up for the day so here I am again.

Writing in the middle of the night.

Writing about three things that wake me up in the middle of the night in the hopes that when I finally get them recorded I can go back to sleep. Maybe soccer is rained out in a few hours so this mama bear isn’t running on fumes.

1. Relationships
I love people. I love anybody with a heartbeat. And while it is true that it’s so hard much harder to love the more difficult people in our lives I feel like I neglect so many great friendships or potential relationships that are really, really easy to love. Sometimes it appears that I’m so busy that people hesitate to reach out to me so not to interrupt or to bother me. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with that sick feeling in my stomach and the thought of “Oh no! I didn’t call them back!” Or “Man, I was suppose to set up lunch with …” and “When was the last time I actually heard so and so’s voice instead of just texting them a quick “how are ya?” By now I know I can’t be all things to all people but perhaps if I was just a little bit more intentional on scheduling that time maybe guilt and loneliness wouldn’t wake me up in the middle of the night.

2. Health
I hit age 41 this summer and with it came some health issues and diagnosis I could do without. Like anything they all have the potential to turn into a bid deal but for now there is not much to it. Try convincing a sleep drained brain that at 2:30 a.m. I’m a stubborn mule. I love being active and eating right really makes me feel on top of the world but when I need to do those things like everyone else to stay healthy and it’s necessary to fight certain conditions then my pride steps in and starts throwing it’s big potato chip belly around while yelling “NOBODY IS GOING TO TELL US WHAT TO DO!” If in fact that belly talk is going on at 2:30 a.m. it’s probably time to do something about it during the day.

3. Career/Ministry/Money/Kids/Hubby/Housework
Nothing is horribly wrong in my life. And that’s a problem at 2:30 a.m. in the morning. My brain flips into overdrive because although nothing is horribly wrong it could go wrong in the blink of an eye. Or peeled back just a little bit more several things are not going the way I expected by now. The phones are mysteriously silent at The Nest, what will donors think of that, what will our churches think of that, what are other agencies thinking of us? My side job hasn’t started yet and I’m not sure how to schedule the rest of the year around that, I was hoping by now to have earned enough to make a few house payments, I’m getting into that cycle of constantly reacting to the kids’ schedules and school responsibilities rather than being on the active planning side, and I’m always, always late so that add to my high blood pressure and I just can’t seem to get a handle on time and scheduling and being where I need to be and I’m worried about DH’s stress on the job and how that is negatively impacting him and what’s the best way of communicating that to him without adding more stress, and dang it I forgot to take Em to get her tests done and I haven’t driven with her in weeks and how can I help Sam in school and in life and did the kids sign up for life groups and I haven’t called my own life group yet and I was so set on being so organized this year and why oh why can I not get a handle on the housework and my belly will not go away and my arms getting flabby and when was the last time I had smooth skin and I hate my current makeup, and am I a true Aggie fan, and I don’t seem to have single pair of shoes that don’t kill my feet but my feet are ugly with a bunion and that cyst still, and I forgot to pick up my bike again from the shop and man oh man can I do anything right or calm or graceful or be one of those moms that knows the school rules… And for heaven’s sake I need to pray about this so I haven’t really prayed deeply and what is God thinking about me and Him and what I haven’t done or what I meant to do and how that is placing stressors on my own life and I really…


The lessons learned from this latest bout with insomnia.

1. Make relationships an immovable stone in the rush of life
2. Control only what you can in health issues by prayer, eating right, exercising, and regular sleep.
3. You can pretend to everyone else that you don’t have worries, anxiety, or self-confidence issues but unless you’re willing to draw those out in the light the darkness will always reveal them.

Faith never makes a confession. Henry David Thoreau


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