When You’re Terrified of Sleep

It’s hard to rest when you know what’s waiting for you

My eyes feel like the bully from down the beach poured a bucket of sand in them when I was buried up to my neck. They’re tired and red. I try to finish reading my story, but I keep nodding off. I almost wish the baby would start crying, so I have a reason to get out of bed. I really don’t want to fall asleep.

My nights are filled with terrors.

For the past week, I’ve had horrible nightmares. Two nights ago, the baby woke me up, and I leaped out of bed. I can’t remember what I saw, but, half asleep, I turned to Flora and said:

“I don’t mind the dreaming — I just wish there wasn’t so much blood!”

That scares me every time I think about it.

Photo by Stock Photography on Unsplash

Night terrors are nothing new to me. I’ve had vivid and frightening dreams my whole life. It’s something I’ve learned to live with — like the voices. I wish sometimes I had a little control when I was dreaming. I’ve heard some people can do that.

Usually, when something bad is happening, it’s happening to me. I would never hurt anyone — not even when I’m asleep.

Lately, the dreams get worse when my mental illness symptoms are better. This past week I haven’t been depressed, and the anxiety has been manageable. Even the voices are muted and polite. It’s almost like they know I’ll get everything I deserve when I fall asleep.


It would be nice if my trainwreck of a brain would let up on me for one day. Just one day! That isn’t asking too much, is it? I would like a nice breather. Let me walk through my day without cringing at all the feelings and noise, and let me close my eyes without Creepshow playing on repeat.

How much can one guy take before he loses it?

No. I won’t lose it. Here’s what I will do…

I’m going to finish this essay, proofread, and publish. I may spend some time promoting it on social media. Then I want to catch up with my favorite writers on Medium. After, I need to do some more research for my new YouTube channel.

Once I get tired, instead of laying in bed trying to force myself awake, I’m going to put one of my favorite guided meditations on my headset and listen to the whole thing before drifting off into peaceful slumber.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

At least, that’s what I plan on doing.

More likely, this will happen…

I’ll finally finish writing at about 8 pm, because any minute now, I’ll be interrupted. The baby needs a diaper, or Zoey will need me to help her with homework. It’s okay. I’m first a father and husband and my family come first. I signed up for this and I love every minute.

I will finish this essay, and I will publish it. The promotion will get done when I finally get a spare few minutes to take a crap. The toilet is the best place to work!

I’ll never get around to reading any Medium stories, except for a few on the sharing threads, because that is the best thing to do for your writer friends.

I’ll finally lay in bed and put on a YouTube tutorial that talks about the best way to film a vlog with only a smartphone. Every 5 minutes, I’ll get interrupted to take care of the baby. Burping, changing, cuddling — again, I love this stuff!

Some time around 1 am, I won’t be able to hold my eyes open anymore, and I’ll fall asleep without having meditated. My mind will be in the same stressed-out state it was when I operate all day.

I’ll have nightmares. Maybe the one I had last night will continue. Have you seen the scene in Hostel with the drill? Think that, but with more drills and more blood.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I’ll scare myself awake all night, just in time for feeding and pooping duties. When I finally get up in the morning, I’ll be more tired than I was when I went to bed.

I’ll drink lots of coffee and try to forget what happened in my sleep.

One day, I’ll either start to chill out, or my symptoms will come back and free me from the dreams. One day I’ll get time to meditate. Maybe when the kids go to college?

I’ll only be 65 years old.

Can I wait that long?

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Introverted essayist and creator- I am doing it my way and it might take a bit longer. Don't wait up! https://ko-fi.com/jasonweiland

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