I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night.
It's been happening this past week. 3, 4 o’clock in the morning. One minute I’ll be asleep and the next second- BOOM! Eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling, the only sounds the fan and the white noise app on my iPhone.
I can’t say that I enjoy it.
It’s a new occurrence for me, this waking up in the middle of the night. I’m on a new antibiotic to see if this thing in my lung is an infection of some sort. I’m blaming this new phenomena on that drug. Because up until this point in my life, sleeping has been one of my great super powers. It’s something I’ve very good at and take great pride in. Just ask Jaimie. I’ve lost track of the amount of conversations I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of. There are hundreds of movies I haven’t made it through. I passed out in the middle of Mad Max Fury Road for goodness sake. IN THE MOVIE THEATRE! Once at a high school theatre competition I fell asleep in the middle of a game of Truth or Dare. To this day I shutter to think about the things those theatre kids did to me.
For some reason this past week, sometime in the middle of every night, I’ve woken up. I haven’t had to use the bathroom. Jaimie hasn’t snored. There hasn’t been some scary dream. And for the next unforeseen bit of time it’s just me, alone, with all my thoughts.
And those are weird thoughts, the ones that happen in the middle of the night. Dark, scary thoughts. Made all the dark and scarier by the uncertainty I’m feeling. During the day I have things I do to maintain a healthy mental state. I meditate, I phone a friend. All those tools escape me at 3 in the morning. All I can do is close my eyes, and try to breathe through the thoughts swirling around me.
It’s a helpless feeling. All I can do is breathe and relax, and wait for a magic of sleep to return. Much like a watched pot, however, the more you wait for sleep the slower it comes. Occasionally I try to trick sleep into coming. I pretend like I don’t really care. That I’m enjoying being up four hours before my alarm goes off. That I’m exciting to get caught up on all my paranoid thinking. Happy to be here. Glad to do it.
I wind up doing a lot of tossing and turning. All while desperately trying not to wake up Jaimie. While Jaimie will give you the shirt off her back, she will also murder you if you wake her up after she’s fallen asleep. Which is a real challenge because I have this false belief that if I just find the right position, then I’ll be able to fall asleep. So I wind up moving around for an hour and a half, trying to find the right angle for my leg. When one position fails, I move onto another one, very violently. Not sure why. If just seems like the only way I can move in bed is by thrashing. No warning. No plans, Just 1, 2, MOVE! Taking all the covers with me!
But I’m ever optimistic. I’m sure tonight my super powers will return, and I’ll be sleeping through the night without a care in the world. If not just feel safe knowing that I’ll be worrying about the 2020 election, global warming, money, debt, cancer, The Bachelor in Paradise, the Cubs score, my receding hairline, and the fact that I know nothing about the governing system of Portugal enough for the rest of us.