Always the Fight Ministries: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse. (c)2019 Nancy Virden
Tonight I publicly confessed that my lack of sleep is an attitude, a thought process, and not a medical issue. I told this to a group of about 10 people from my church because I knew they would pray for me.
At some point in childhood, sleeping became equated with dread. Years later, I reasoned that if I stayed awake tomorrow would not come or at least, not come so fast. These thinking patterns made sense considering the circumstances.
Yet why does it still have a hold on me? I’m in my late fifties and experience joy every day. Anxious nights can frequently resemble those of one Reddit user:
As many causes as people
Several people who can relate responded with possible reasons for the problem from general anxiety to fear of failure to not wanting the day to end!
~bexadcox77 pointed out a possible cause and solution in one.
“It’s hard to view ‘tomorrow’ as a bright new day if you’re dealing with yesterday’s [problems]…”
~surpriseDRE had a clinical reason.
“I used to do this. Heavily. For me, it was because I was very depressed and I couldn’t stand the idea of another day. *
Or, maybe it’s something else
While I can relate to the above, tonight my problem seems to have grown simpler. Whether negative or positive, fearful or comforting, we develop thought habits like any other repeated behavior. By embracing the idea (with awareness or not) that “next days” are dread-worthy, even if I cannot point to anything to dread, my nights and bedtime remain a challenge. Willpower doesn’t cut it.
Thoughts that you and I do not want to keep must be proactively replaced. Tonight I am going to attack this old habit with some great advice from Reddit members.
~Cleverusername531 says to plan joy.
“… Another thing is I find something I am looking forward to the next day. If I don’t have anything, I try to create something. Is there someone you can interact with tomorrow whose company you enjoy? Is there a particular path you can walk on, can you take a break to listen to music or a podcast?”
~bexadcox77 suggests routines that include happiness.
” All I can say is that I think you will be okay and this will pass as you figure out how to cope with the weirdness of life being somewhat out of your control. You establish routines and fit in stuff that you love to do so you always have that to look forward to.”
My friends did and will pray for me. They see a spiritual battle in this. I believe insight is coming to me tonight because God heard our prayers an hour ago.
Planning to look forward to the next day? What a thought!
Today’s Helpful Word
Matthew 6:34 NLT
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
*surpriseDRE said more about clinical treatment for anyone with severe depression. “Psychiatric care (via medication and cognitive behavioral therapy) was what made the difference for me. Without it I don’t think I would still be alive, but it really, really works. It took me trying 9 different antidepressants to find something that worked for me. It’s not always a quick path but it’s so worth it.”