Are you afraid of the dark? Not the soft deep of a midnight sky full of mountain stars, and not the comforting cocoon when you’re wrapped up in a cozy blanket and trying to ignore your alarm clock and the responsibilities of the day. But the dark that smothers you in your bed and seeps in your eyelids with terrible monsters and nightmares. Have you ever been afraid to fall asleep because then the darkness takes over?
Have you ever experienced that kind of dark? It is terrible. It’s the kind of thing that skirts around your consciousness and puts your mind on high alert; you can’t sleep or concentrate or think straight and you can’t turn it off. It’s not insomnia, not exactly. It’s just…this interminable blackness that you can’t shake and you can’t sleep off.
Up until about a year ago I didn’t know that this kind of nightly hell wasn’t “normal.” I thought all adults woke up every few hours in a state of half-panic and had to sing or rock themselves back to restless sleep.
Yeah. Apparently that’s not normal. I’m not normal.
So, thank heavens for doctors and medicine and better living through chemistry. The thing is, even with the pills and the therapy and everything….sometimes I still find that I am scared to fall asleep, scared to let down my conscious guard because when I’m asleep I’m vulnerable and vulnerability means…vulnerability means that the dark can take over. And sometimes it does.
About a year ago I put the following quote from Madonna Badger in a post:
“Basically, I go to wherever the light is, because anything else is darkness…”
Sometimes, I can’t fight back the dark, and it’s scary. And sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can’t turn on the light; and that’s scary too.
I take my meds, and I talk to my doctor, and I do all those things I’m supposed to do. But I’m still afraid of the dark.