In the Night Kitchen

1:40 a.m. What is it about nighttime that makes all the demons come home to roost? I’ve been lying in bed for more than two hours, tossing, turning, flopping, listening to David snore, and flipping the pillow in search of a cool spot. There is a cloud of tormenting demons swirling around over my bed. As they swirl and swoop, they whisper in my ears all the things I worry on, and can do nothing about in the middle of the night. Whisper… murmur… whisper… hiss…

My mother’s birthday present is sitting on my sewing table, and her birthday was yesterday. I’m a bad daughter. The mortgage is payed for March, but what will we do for April? Fifteen months without a job- will one ever come? What if I die before my children are grown? Will their step-mother be kind to them and love them even close to as much as I do? Do I have enough designs to give a solo career a try? What if I bomb? My head hurts. I need to go to the doctor, but we have no insurance.  I forgot to send thank-you notes to some people from Christmas, and now it’s so late, they probably hate me. I’m a bad friend. I need to buy milk tomorrow. Stupid snow. How many painting are in the queue? Four or five? And then the two for Primary? I’m so behind. I wonder when our car will be done at the shop and I can return the Dodge Turd? My teeth hurt and I need a dentist appointment. I wonder if my teeth hurt because I have some weird disease and I’m going to die and my children won’t even remember me?! I’m cold. Did I tuck the kids in tight enough? I wonder if they’re cold, too. Did I turn the iron off downstairs? What if the house burns down. Did I fill out that permission slip for Jeffrey? What am I going to decorate the table with for the RS dinner next week? And how am I going to do that with everything else I’ve got up in the air? Did Jeffrey do his homework tonight? I think I left laundry in the washer. Where are my keys? I’m so behind on everything, I’m never going to catch up…

And on and on and on it goes…

16 thoughts on “In the Night Kitchen

  1. I have similar insomnia every single night. And my DH snores through it every single night. Then he wonders why I am always so tired. I’m sorry you’ve got so much to worry about right now. I wish I could take some of it away for you.

  2. I think you were eavesdropping on my worries for some of those statements. I go through that every night when i lay down to sleep and since I am 6+ months pregnant any time I wake up to pee as well. It is the worst to lay there and think about all the stressful things that plague your mind and you have swept under your brain carpet during the day and then they sneak back out at midnight! Hopefully you did eventually sleep. I did the same thing from 5:45 this morning until I dragged my tired sorry butt out of bed at 8am. Why do we do this to ourselves?!?

  3. for the nights that my mind is really bad one tyenol pm seems to help (my dr. said occasionally it was ok). Why is it that during the day I can push all the crazy thoughts out, but at night I can’t for the life of me get rid of them???

  4. I was going to suggest sleep meds, as well. I think we are so busy during the day that it is easy to push the worries to the back of our conscious minds and not dwell on them. Then when we finally slow down, they come back to roost…

    Part of dealing with our challenges is processing the accompanying mental stress. I know in my case, if I continually suppress these types of questions and fears, then eventually I blow – BIG-time blow! I have to let off steam, and part of doing that is asking these questions. Of course, it is also easier to deal with the worries when we aren’t sleep-deprived… Oh, the irony! Like everything in life, it is a balancing act. Sometimes we can do that well, and sometimes… well, sometimes isn’t that what blogging is for? To get it out just like you did here?

    As far as the thank-you notes, I think most (all?) of your friends understand your stress enough to cut you some slack. That said, “better late than never”! Maybe from your friends’ perspective, it’s not so much the creative thank-you note but just the simple acknowledgment that needs to be expressed.

    Ah, Tracy, my heart aches for you. Wish we could do something to help. Alas, we are back in a similar boat… When does it end? When does it end? I have a date with Tylenol PM tonight. 🙂

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one with similar fears, worries–however irrational they may seem in the daylight or to someone else, they are real in the moment. I hope you found some peace in the end.

  6. Why do you need to go to the doctor? Do your teeth hurt because you have a sinus infection? My sister in law was told she needed a root canal, went to a dental school ( they are teaching so have no motivation for a convenient and expensive mis-diagnosis) and was told nothing was wrong with her teeth, she just had a sinus infection.

  7. Re: your teeth hurting… The sinus infection is a possibility. Also, could you be clenching your jaw and/or grinding your teeth, especially in your sleep when you don’t realize you’re doing it? (What an ironic question in an insomnia post!)

    A few years ago when I had TONS of stress and similar teeth/head pain, this is what it turned out to be. I think (because I usually grind my teeth when I’m asleep) that I am doing better, but I still find myself clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth when I am totally overwhelmed and stressed out.

    Is there a dentist in your ward who would be willing to check it out for you? Or a dental school like Marta suggested? Or your own dentist who would do some checking/fixing in trade for something you create?

  8. You are in my head! These could’ve been my thoughts! I have to decorate a da*m table too, and I am major stressing because I am NOT the creative artsy kind……oh, why did I say I would do it?

  9. V – I watched that comedy central clip and it was hilarious. Why is it this happens. Sometimes in the night I want to hit my husband because he is sleeping so soundly, and then snores and keeps me awake more! ARG!

    Sorry about all your stressing, it’s all been wonderfully said but I’ll say the usual- are you getting any Mommy time? Craft room time doesn’t count. Something indulgent in no way related to helping someone else. Utterly SELFISH!! I know, easier said than done when money is tight. Call a reaaaalllyyyyy good friend and just talk about yourself for a while.

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