When I was little, falling asleep was bliss; lying in a huge bed, drifting off, feeling like I was sinking down into the mattress and floating away.

Comfortable.

Safe.

Not so much these days.

I am either so tired that I am fighting with my eyelids for most of the day and barely remember lying down in bed – or worse: lying awake…

Up until recently, lying awake in the night felt like a bonus. I knew that my children and husband were sleeping soundly, relaxed, warm and well cared for. I relished those extra hours that were just for me.

But then anxiety happened.

Now lying awake is a punishment.

The darkness is like solitary confinement.

The blackness acts like a vacuum, sucking all those negative thoughts out.

The silence makes me question everything; every conversation, look, text. Did that mean this? Was that meant like that? Why?

How am I not disturbing everyone with my heart pounding so loudly?

Panic. Self loathing.

It is exhausting. And so detrimental.

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