Lights out…

I watched “One Flew Over the cuckoo’s Nest” tonight.
Shaun fell asleep half way through, and even though I’m not a big movie watcher, I was too lazy to get up and turn it off. I watched it all the way through.
After it was over I thought; Anxiety. yes. Mentally Ill. no.

I turned off the tv and got into bed thinking about how much Jack Nicholson reminded me so much of an old friend of mine, Dale. He has the same ‘Devil may care’ attitude. I talked to Dale the other day online. He got married. I’m getting married too.

I’m getting married. I need to set a date. I guess I need to set a timeframe of how long it will take me to lose this weight so I can fit into a dress.

It’s about here I realize what I am doing. I’m going into ‘anxiety mode’. I rub my eyes and scratch my scalp real hard. That might help clear my head enough to go to sleep.
The lights are off. The TV is off. Shaun’s asleep right here. I’m safe.

Sometimes if I roll over it will shut off the anxiety or redirect my thoughts. Now on my left side I am thinking about the car. I need to renew the insurance. They are going to want some sort of payment up front. I’m going to have to use some of the child support check to take care of that. I need to call the ex tomorrow and have him…oh God. I can’t breathe.

I sit up and try rolling over to the other side. The other side is full of everything I left over on the other side now. Car insurance. Dress sizes. Ex husbands.
I can actually feel my stomach knotting up as I try to find a comfortable pillow.

Excedrin PM or Benedryl…which one will knock me out fastest? The clock only says 1am. There is no way I can fall asleep on my own that early. I could turn back on the television and get lost in the episode of Frosty the Snowman I have Tivoed. No. I need to learn to go to sleep on my own.

I put my head back down and try to remember a time when I could turn off the lights and go to sleep like a normal person without feeling like I am going to burst into tears, clutch my stomach and explode. I know there was a time when I could lay down and not worry about every single detail of my life.
Is there a way I could just focus on ONE part of my life without everything jumping in line screaming “WHAT ABOUT ME? Remember ME?”
Was I really good at drowning those things out or did I not have that before? When did all of this start?

Realizing that trying to analyze why I have anxiety isn’t going to make it better I decide to get up and check the locks on the house. OCD? no. maybe a little. When did I start doing this? I check to make sure the boy is covered and the back door is locked. The locks on the door seems a bit harder to turn. I need to get that checked. I also need to call the people about the carpet. I really need to have it cleaned again. dumb dogs. During a task to try to get my mind off not being able to sleep, I pile more on.

I know. I’ll go to bed and swear to only think about really good things. This week the kids are off of school and Shaun took his vacation time. I need to clean the bedroom. I just tripped over something that may or may night be alive at the foot of my bed. This week we are going to do neat things like some home repair and I promised to take the kids rollerskating. How did I get swindled into doing that again? Oh yeah, dumb ex asked me if I would. Oh yeah. I need to tell him to come over and drop off the check he keeps forgetting to drop off. I would rather I didn’t have to do that. He always makes me listen to his financial whoas when I do. STOP. I swore to only think of the good stuff.
Skiing. Tyler and Shaun have never been skiing so I am taking them skiing. Tomorrow is Wednesday right? Shit. We have to go on Wednesday or Thursday because Friday they go to their mom’s house. I need to call and check road conditions. This is going to be a pain in the ass. Who’s going to watch the little ones while we go?

I roll over again, hoping to locate the pillow that will somehow cause me to fall asleep when I see the answering machine messages. 18. The dog ate the phone lines and now I have no house phone. There are static messages on the machine from parents saying they may or may not be able to make it to Alyx’s birthday party at the roller rink next week. The same party I HAVE NOT BOOKED YET.

GOOD THINGS. I lay back down and think about Christmas with my sister. I love her so much. At any point my parents could die.

I’m up now. There is NO way to go back to sleep after that.

I go and crack the bedroom door and climb back into bed. Sometimes getting up out of the bed will shake bad thoughts. Sometimes I will stare at the door crack and listen for things. It’s my ‘Guard Dog’ motherly ways. If I just stare at the door I can make sure that nothing comes in the house, down the hallway and into my children’s rooms. Sometimes I stare at it until one eye closes…then the other and I fall asleep. At least, in my head, I can rationalize that fear.

Anxiety. yes. Mental illness. ?.

I'm a lot of things, but mostly I'm just Random and Odd.


  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    Aaaaah, yes – anxiety rodeo. I’ve spent many a night helpless as every little problem in my life competes loudly for my attention. All I can say is, I wish I’d known about xanax years ago.

  • judypatooote

    I still do that and I’m 65….last night I fell asleep around 10 and I woke up thinking it was around 5 and it was only 11:30.. I just started to laugh….I don’t know why I can’t think of all those things that run through my mind, during the day…..I always remember bills I have do Pay, and things that need cleaning….it really does suck…..Sometimes I even wake up thinking about the world situation, now that is something to keep you awake…..Have a Happy New Years

  • Vajana

    If that is mental illness, count me in. Add a dash of 5-year-old throwing up too, and you have last night’s sleepless in St. Louis.

    Here’s to a good night rest, Kristine.

  • LeaLea

    I love to read your blog-but finally will speak up. Yikes. You’re so like me..Though I now take a small dose of Flexeril at bedtime..My dr. says its ok to use at bedtime whenever needed.
    Regardless-I will send you non-anxious vibes!!!

  • Andrea

    Yes, write them down! Then you know you can look at the list tomorrow, so you can hopefully relax enough to fall asleep.

    And William’s got the right idea too. “Hope” has been your word for a long time now; maybe you should think about adding another one: “peace”.

  • torrie

    That is why I read a book or a magazine, or do a crossword puzzle before I go to bed. If I fill my mind with other stuff the anxiety gets pushed to the back.

  • MrsDoF

    This past semester, I had to write a report on Ludwig von Beethoven for a Music Appreciation class.
    It was well known, even reported in newspapers, that he was often restless, roaming the streets in filthy clothes, and mumbling to himself.
    In one of the four sources I read, a little tidbit turned up. One of his landladies reported that often, in the middle of the night, he would stand beside his bed and pour a pitcher of cold water over his head to wash away his restless thoughts. It’s one reason she had to kick him out, he ruined the wooden flooring with the puddles.
    Beethoven wrote some of the most excellent music the world has ever known.
    Here you are reporting that you have some of the same traits.
    I’m thinking this means there are great happenings coming your way.
    Speaking for myself, I love seeing all your photographs.
    Get all your energy emphasizing the positive and who can say….
    ~~love and Huggs, Diane

    p.s. When you find out the secret to doing this, millions of other humans would like to know about it.

  • dashababy

    Restless mind syndrome.

    This is why I fall asleep with the t.v. on. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think about crummy stuff that happened in the past, talk about a waste of time and sleep but for some reason these things have a way of coming back, tapping on your shoulder and saying “remember the time….?”

  • Romani Heart

    I remember those night. I hesitate to offer advice because, I don’t know if I come across as a know it all or what, but people tend to get angry. I have been there, as someone else mentioned, going to sleep with the t.v. on seems to help, I just set the sleep timer to shut it off after two hours. Sleeping with the radio on real low helps too. By keeping the volume way down, you have to focus on the sound to hear it and it seems to occupy that part of my mind. I’ve practiced mediation as well, and it does help, but alot of people aren’t open to that. Hope it helps. *Hugs*

  • Tee

    They say that if you think you’re going crazy, you’re not, because crazy people don’t realize it and think everything is perfectly fine… I don’t know if I believe that. I’ve been where you are.

    As for the dress, as Jennifer Lopez says in “Monster-in-law” (Just watched it last night. Funny!) – “I’m making the dress to fit my body, not the other way around.”


  • mrtl

    Oh mah sistah. My drug of choice is Nyquil, although I didn’t need to take it the other night after all. One culprit for me is napping during the day. I can’t help myself, though.

    Don’t you wish you could put your anxieties in their own little bed?

  • Random and Odd

    I hate those hot or cold flashes that come with the night time anxiety. Some things are worse than others and somehow I get the stab to the heart to empasize which ones are more important to my brain.

    It’s those nights that last night that make me feel like a horrible person and bad parent.

  • Carrie

    I have OCD and used to basically spend every night like you described trying to fall asleep. One bad thought perpetuated another, and another… then the anxiety set in and the really bad thoughts about all things scary in life started running through my head and any chance of sleep was gone. I didn’t get much sleep. Since being put on meds to balance me out, it’s not so bad. Although, I am a firm believer in a nightcap (read: drink before bed) to help send me off to sleep when I’m really stressed out. :)

    Hope you are able to get a good night’s sleep! :)

  • Lori

    I do that all the time. I too, go to sleep with the tv on, it helps distract my mind. But for me it’s waking up at oh, 4 a.m. and then it really starts.

  • kimmyk

    I do it all the time Kristine.

    I’ve recently started exercising before I go to bed, then I take a hot bath or shower and I’m so relaxed by then that I just fall asleep.

    Last night I couldn’t sleep so I layed there and started breathing sort of hard and listened to myself breathing and ended up falling asleep.

    I hope you get some sleep tonight.

  • Jen

    Today was first day back to work. So I had the bright idea to take a Tylenol PM last night so I could wake up all rested. UHMMMM I saw every every hour between 11pm and 4:30am. WTH?

    I guess we will be so tired tonight that we will just crash?

    Next time, no Tylenol… just give me a glass of wine. ; ) That what I get for trying to be good!

    Sleep better tonight.

  • The Recovering Straight Girl

    Firstly, you don’t need to lose weight because you’re beautiful just the way you are.

    I know that feeling oh so well and I’ve been there many a time. I like to drug myself personally. Also sex works too; but I’m not having any of that so it’s drugs for me!

    And just for the record; we are all mentally ill to some capacity, it’s just a fact!

    I love you HAB; let’s run away to Tahoe together and get drunk!

  • Cat

    Woman, I feel stressed just READING that. Screw Excedrin PM… a donut and hot cocoa (with lots o’ mini marshmallows)is the ONLY cure for the Midnight Worrython, which is not to be confused with the Midnight Whorythong. Two totally different things, those.

    Dunkin Donuts Hot Chocolate rocks the hizzouse. Fo’rizzle! They are open 24 hours. Need I say more?


  • Sharkey

    When I have a night like that, I lie there and imagine myself standing on the diving board. There are tons of people at the pool, and I can hear the talking, laughter, and screams of the children playing (just like the noise of the thoughts in my head). Then I imagine myself diving into the water with its instant silence. I leave all the noise behind as I focus on “swimming” in slow motion.

    Some nights, this really helps. Other nights, not so much. Good luck–hope you can get some rest tonight.

  • SoozieQ

    You are NOT mentally ill. If you are, then we ALL are! It’s as simple as that.

    I lay awake at night because I cannot for the life of me make my stupid brain stop whirling.

    I might have to try Sharkey’s pool thing. But with my lungs and all, I can’t hold my breath for very long ;-)

    Oh and can I meet up with you and RSG in Tahoe?

  • Rob

    One of the best movies made..When I was a little girl, I use to get out of bed quite a few times and check and re-check that all the drawers to my dressers were shut tight. Oh it was the worst! I have since grown out of that disorder of sorts, but have moved on to many others. :)

  • Ern

    More *HUGS* for ya.

    Good thing: I saw a fleece blanket at Shopko today that made me think of you. It was bright green, and…yes, I think you’ve guessed it…it had a yellow border and…here it comes… the John Deere logo on it! The logo was at least 3 feet across. It was totally awesome.

  • Amy

    Oh those long long nights! I like Mrtls idea of putting the worries in their own little bed. Like a bed with those crazy patient straps in it. So you can buckle the fuckers in real tight. And then lock them in their own room, their own house, their own country.

    Hope tonight is better, my love.

  • Susie

    Oh, fuck. That’s not what I really want to say, but too many thoughts are competing for attention (sound familiar?) I keep believing there are ways through anxiety, and out the other side, and I keep pursuing them myself. I expect you’ve tried everything I can dream up, so I won’t waste your time. Hope is good, keep that, and don’t give up.
    I wish you’d scrap the notion of looking other than you do right this minute, for your wedding. (Well, maybe a little makeup ;) Shaun sees you TODAY, finds you hot TODAY, not 10 pounds from now (or 5 or 20, or whatever causes you distress). You are beautiful as is, Princess.
    Oh, technically, it’s a “mental disorder.” Sounds a little better than “illness,” maybe? Plus, it’s more fun to say, “I have a disorder.” Or maybe, “I am out of order.” Yea, they even make signs for THAT! XOXOX

  • Kylz

    Yes, if you are mentally ill then we all need to be committed.

    Did you know that you get paid where I live for committing someone? What does that say?

  • sheryl

    One other thing I want to add which I didn’t include in the email I just sent…

    I know things feel like they are out of control. And the truth is, they are. But not everything. The truth is that the one thing I can control is the way I speak to myself in my head and heart.

    That may sound like hippydippy horsepoop, but it isn’t.

    The one thing I can do is let myself feel what I feel and accept me as I am, and talk to myself with the same kindness and caring that I would extend to my little nephews and nieces if they were feeling afraid and alone and out of control.

    I can encourage myself to keep breathing through it, that it will be ok. I think acceptance and love, the kind I would freely give to a friend or a child, is the key to my peaceful heart.

    I am using “I” because “you” sounds too bossy.

    Wishing you a better night, sweetie.

  • Danielle

    On a scientific note…. I was just reading a published scientific article talking about how for some women depression and anxiety are heightened during the premenstrual period. (And when hormones are out of whack in general)

    Don’t know if that applies, but sometimes it is nice to know that
    A) it isn’t just you (as others have said) and
    B) there might be a physiological reason for it.