In the Middle of the Night

It’s frustrating to not be able to sleep. It’s even more frustrating to be absolutely and completely exhausted from fighting away the wicked cold from hell who just won’t fucking quit and still be unable to sleep.

Insomnia is a motherfucker.

There’s something about the dark that can be comforting. It’s quiet, it’s enveloping, all-encasing. The highway just outside the window doesn’t scream like it does with the windows open, but instead is a soothing hum not unlike the white noise machines so many people seem incapable of living without. Darkness feels like it holds all of your secrets, never letting anyone else get a glimpse into that time when you are at your most vulnerable.

When it’s dark, when I’m sleeping, my defenses are down. I’m not hiding anything, I’m not intentionally keeping anyone out. I am perfectly relaxed.

When it’s dark and I can’t sleep, that’s when darkness turns.

That’s when all those secrets start coming back at me. That’s when darkness stops being friendly.

It’s when the memories I fight away every single day seem to become stronger, where I can be reminded of the things that were done, the things I failed at, the things that hurt me. Darkness mocks you when you’re unprepared for it.

Waking up in the middle of the night has become so commonplace it’s no different than any waking hour. Being unable to fall asleep is torture.

Laying there, wishing past hope that there will be some sort of reprieve from the torment one’s subconscious can bring, yet it’s never enough. At that point, sleep will become the chains that push you deeper into dreams that feel like reality, where you’ll find fears and doubts come to life.

Failure is so much worse in the dark. Second-guessing past choices. Did I try hard enough? Did I say the right thing? Should I never have said anything at all? Am I doing enough?

These are the dark nights where years of personal growth come crashing down around me, where the demons I thought I exorcised rear their ugly heads, where I have to consciously look them in the eye and tell them “You have not defeated me. You will not defeat me.” In the dark is when they try harder.

It’s so easy to realize just how alone you are in the dark. There is no movement besides your own constant fidgeting, trying to find that one position that will allow you to breathe and hopefully find solace. Tossing, turning, sheets and blankets ending up twisted around your legs making the weight of those memories feel like they’ve gained the ability to physically hold you down.

A straight-jacket holding you in place.

These are those dark nights that all you can do is wait for morning. A new day, another chance to push everything away and start again.

Dawn is so close. Dawn is so far away.

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