Anxiety Always Keeps Me Awake After Midnight

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My anxiety keeps me up all night.

Instead of falling straight asleep, my silent bedroom gives me the chance to think about what tomorrow will bring. It gives me plenty of time to worry about what I’m going to wear and where I’m going to sit and what I’m going to say.

My anxiety keeps me up all night, because it wants me to think of every possible way my life could go wrong. How I could embarrass myself in front of friends, how I could make one stupid mistake and lose my job, how I could say something extreme and chase away my person.

Instead of relaxing like I should, instead of falling into a dream-filled slumber, the night makes my heart beat faster and my lungs take in less air. The night gives me too much time to spend inside my head — which is not a pleasant place to be.

My anxiety keeps me up all night, but I never let anyone know that. I stop myself from texting friends, because I know if I reach out to them in the middle of an episode I’ll sound like a psychopath. I know I’ll regret opening up to them in the morning when I’m calm again.

If they text me first, that’s a different story. I’ll answer back, but only with sarcasm and silly jokes. I’ll be laughing over the phone and crying on top of my pillowcase.

They’ll have no idea what’s really going on inside of my head, because I’ve become so good at playing pretend. I know how to act like things are fine when I’m internally falling apart.

The worst part is when there’s absolutely nothing for me to worry about tomorrow, but it’s still impossible for me to fall asleep. I’m still worried about what’s going to happen. I’m still stressed, even though I have no idea what I’m stressed about.

Anxiety doesn’t mean that something is wrong. It can hit me when everything is going well. Sometimes, my happiness can even cause that anxiety. It will make me turn suspicious.

It will make me think about how things have been going so well lately, so something bad must be around the corner. It will make me think about how things don’t stay this good forever.

Anxiety keeps me up all night, because it’s the one time of day when the world goes silent, when I’m all alone, when I have nothing to distract me from my darkest thoughts.

In the morning, I know I’ll have the strength to piece myself together. That I’ll fight past my symptoms and make it through my day, even though it’s hard. In the morning, I’ll have more courage, more hope.

But at night, I have no faith in myself. I feel like giving up. I feel like I should never leave my bed again. TC mark

Holly Riordan is the author of
Severe(d), A Creepy Poetry Collection.
Pre-order your copy here.

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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