It's 4:15 a.m. on Monday morning. For some reason, I awoke about 90 minutes ago and have been unable to get back to sleep. It wouldn't matter so much except I have an 8:15 a.m. doctor's appointment and must get up by 6:30 in order to get there on time. I went to bed knowing I had to get up early and I think I got myself all frazzled just worrying about missing the alarm clock. When I was working, I arose early every weekday morning and I never had any problems. I'll no doubt fall asleep thirty minutes before the alarm goes off.
It's lonely in the middle of the night. Even though I know that my daughter and her husband are across the hall sleeping in their bedroom, I feel all alone. It's a strange, sad feeling to be awake when others, even those who are close by, are fast asleep. It takes me back to being a young child--around 7th grade, I believe--when I had panic attacks. They happened on Sunday nights, in particular, probably brought on by a dread of Monday mornings, a malady from which many people suffer. If I wasn't asleep by 9:00 p.m. and I heard the theme song from Bonanza drift in to my bedroom from the living room, it would literally take my breath away. If I was still awake by 10:00 p.m. when I heard the refrains of the next television show (I can't remember just what it was at the moment), or Heaven forbid, hear my parents switch the television off and get ready for bed themselves--well, by then I was in a full-blown attack and there was NO way I was going to get to sleep that night. Inevitably, I awoke the next morning, signaling to me that I had indeed finally slept.
But that was no comfort to a young girl lying in the dark feeling all alone and scared of something that had no face, no form. In fact, there was nothing in particular that I was afraid of. It was just not being asleep like the rest of the world was, of being wide-awake in a fast-asleep world. Scary stuff for an 11-year-old.
Not much better at this age.
Until the next time...