Why I'm Scared to go to Bed
Oh, you’re back. Lucky you. You’re just in time to hear me list all the reasons that bed makes me anxious.
Just before we do that, I wanted to say this: I LOVE BED. SO MUCH. BED IS BEAUTIFUL.
Bed is probably my favourite place to be. When I am feeling a lil’ bit anxious - bed is my calm, my consistency, my brother.
Bed makes me anxious.
Bed is quiet. Optimising sleeping potential and avoiding doom-filled thoughts is a tricky balance to strike. That’s probably why bed is the place I have 99% of my panic attacks. It’s cosy, and dark and yummy and quiet. But then it’s the ultimate place for all those scary thoughts to take advantage of my undistracted mind. Like “if I had an aneurysm right now, would my housemate find me alive?”
What if I can’t sleep? The minute my head hits the pillow, I am hit with a hammer of self doubt and lack of faith in my falling-asleep capabilities. I learned sleeping before I ever really learned awaking, but it doesn’t matter. This is most likely the thought that prompts me to put on a podcast. Or an audio book. Stephen Fry is voice goals.
What if I do sleep? Suppression is SO BAD for anxiety, and it looks so similar to “coping”, that it’s sometimes hard to know you’re even doing it. I manage my attacks very well, usually catching them somewhere between 0-10% of their full potential and stopping them in their tracks. There have been times, however, when “managing” and “suppressing” got so confused that I stopped having waking panic attacks and started to experience attacks while I slept. So now, part of the reason that I am anxious about bed is because I am anxious about anxiety.
Someone is in the house. There’s nobody in the house.
I’ve quad-locked the doors and done a perimeter sweep. I’ve checked behind doors, under the sofa and in the fridge for intruders (and cheese). But I definitely heard a cough. Time to get up and do the lock-sweep-cheese check, which I have been known to do three or four times a night.
Money. Because I love bed so much and because I am totally sane and relaxed, I like to optimise my sleeping potential by mentally checking my bank account… and then getting up… to physically check my bank account.
What time is it? Because nothing says “sleep” like reminding yourself you only have 3.5 hours left until morning. I then like to spend at least 45 minutes convincing myself I’ll be less tired if I “pull an all nighter”, only to change my mind an hour later and have to survive at work the next day on 1 hour 45 minute’s sleep.
Birds. Because they start to sing, just as you start to drift off. Happy bastards.
It’s a good job I like bed, because I sure spend a lot of time wide awake in it.